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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis Tool Workspace
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic, proactive method for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail, and to assess the relative impact of different failures in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change.

Using the FMEA Tool
East Alabama Medical Center
Opelika, Alabama, USA

The team at East Alabama Medical Center is using the FMEA Tool to improve their chemotherapy processes.

See some great results this team is achieving!

Tour the FMEA Tool
Using the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Tool

FMEA includes review of the following:
Steps in the process
Failure modes (What could go wrong?)
Failure causes (Why would the failure happen?)
Failure effects (What would be the consequences of each failure?)

Teams use the FMEA Tool to evaluate processes for possible failures and to prevent them by correcting the processes proactively rather than reacting after failures have occurred. The FMEA Tool is particularly useful in evaluating a new process prior to implementation and in assessing the impact of a proposed change to an existing process.

You can use the FMEA Tool in two separate, but related, ways:
1. Analyze the current process and evaluate the potential impact of changes under consideration
Teams can use the FMEA Tool to discuss and analyze the steps of a process, consider changes, and calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) of changes under consideration. Teams can use the FMEA Tool to "verbally simulate" a change and evaluate its expected impact in a safe environment, prior to testing it in a patient care area. Some ideas that seem like great improvements can turn out to be changes that would actually increase the estimated RPN of the process.
2. Track improvement over time
In addition to using the FMEA Tool to help evaluate the impact of changes under consideration, teams can calculate the total RPN for a process and then track the RPN over time to see if changes being made to the process are leading to improvement.