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Published on
Tue, 03/21/2023 - 08:14

Healthcare is Inherently Risky 

Whether you are a network of healthcare facilities or just a small, individual organization, no healthcare operation is spared from dealing with risk. In fact, all healthcare operations are in the business of identifying and solving problems. From a doctor assessing a patient’s well-being to a risk manager reviewing incident trends, healthcare facilities all need a way to supervise their risk management and build a sustainable risk management culture.  

The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) outlined an eight-point framework for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to help address risks and build a foundation for healthcare risk mitigation excellence. As a leading risk management and safety agency, ASHRM identified the different domains of risk a healthcare system may face including operational quality, clinical/patient safety, and technology risks. (You can learn more about these domains here.) Each of these eight domains can be directly addressed through a healthcare risk management information system (RMIS).  

How Origami Risk Can Help 

Origami Risk’s RMIS solution provides tools for tackling each domain of risk outlined by ASHRM. For starters, the solution delivers process improvement tools like Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA), the focus of today’s blog. These tools can be leveraged to proactively treat the cause of error directly at its source — empowering decision makers to have a clear understanding of what went wrong and to prevent future errors from occurring. Origami’s tools provide access to clear dashboards and real-time data to identify failures and make changes seamlessly. And best of all, because Origami is fully integrated, the platform supplies healthcare organizations with streamlined communication channels that break down silos and unify stakeholders across departments to centrally mitigate systemic problems. To learn more about Origami’s HFMEA solution, watch the on-demand demo below. Now let’s dive into how healthcare organizations can incorporate FMEA into their risk management portfolio to get ahead of future issues.  

HFMEA – Address Failures Up Front 

The FMEA approach was originally founded by the U.S. military in 1940s to effectively reduce any source of variation in a process. It has since been modified by the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) to match the specific needs of healthcare organizations (HFMEA) and to help identify risk and produce corrective actions. Origami Risk’s HFMEA solution offers two routes of process analysis.  

In the first, the individual answers questions following a decision-tree diagram to ultimately determine how failures should be addressed. A hazard score is automatically calculated from these results to quantify a level of concern. Users can then see where errors occur most frequently to identify areas of improvement. HFMEA differentiates itself from other process improvement tools by streamlining the hazard analysis process through combining the detectability and criticality steps in the algorithm. Origami also supports the HFMEA methodology sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). A risk profile number is calculated based on occurrence, detection, and severity of the issue. Once completed, users can easily develop, assign, and track progress on corrective actions through the dashboard. By adopting the HFMEA process, healthcare organizations can proactively address repeat failures, subsequently improving the quality and safety of their communities. 

Beyond identifying where and how failures might occur, HFMEA can also be used to assess the relative impact of failures. Not all errors are weighted the same. HFMEA can help quantify your improvement priorities through the hazard score or risk profile number, providing data points — managed in real time in the healthcare RMIS — that inform smarter safety decisions. In essence, using the right technology helps to capture more data — and more data is the fuel for identifying root causes.

Process Improvement  

HFMEA is one of the many process improvement tools available in the Origami Risk healthcare solution. In the coming weeks, we’ll look further into how root cause analyses can positively impact the efficiency of your risk management. As a reminder, many states require RCAs to be performed and reported after any serious safety event, so it’s relevant to all healthcare institutions. RCAs are also required by the Joint Commission and other accreditation agencies to analyze sentinel events.

If you want to learn more about RCAs or our healthcare solution, please click here.