International Journal of Health and Allied Sciences


Introduction: ‘Quality’ is an inseparable component of healthcare. It focuses not only on care parameters but also in identifying the potential failures/ risks associated with the care process; thereby addressing them pro-actively before the occurrence of the loss. There are several quality tools available such as Process Failure Mode Effect Analysis (PFMEA) that helps in analyzing a process for identification of possible failures. This helps to find ways to avoid the occurrence of the failure or have a strategy to eliminate or minimize the risk. Thus, the current study was undertaken on identifying the risks involved in the discharge process using PFMEA tool. Objectives: To identify the potential risks in patient discharge process and suggest measures to address the failures. Methodology: The study was conducted for a period of 2 months in a multi-specialty hospital. In-patient discharge process was observed in detail and potential failures in the process were identified with the help of a multidisciplinary team constituted for the same purpose. Brainstorming sessions were conducted with the team members to identify possible failures, its causes and effects. Basing on the severity, occurrence and detectability, failure was ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 and Risk Priority Numbers (RPN) were assigned to each of the potential risks in the process. Results: A total of 23 possible failures were identified which included inadequate explanation of discharge summary, missing diagnostic reports, delay in discharge medication initiation and unattended patient queries. RPN values have ranged from 60-320; depicting severity, occurrence and detectability of respective failures. Conclusion: Identifying the potential failures in the patient care process is very crucial for patient, provider and healthcare facility as it helps in the optimization of resources, adds value to patient care, leads to patient satisfaction thereby enhancing quality.