Hospital Reduces Medication Errors Using DMAIC and QFD

Abstract:The medication error rate at Illinois' Alton Memorial Hospital was low when compared to national statistics, but the hospital knew cost savings would be significant if this statistic was lowered even further. A multidisciplinary team sought the help of a Black Belt to help the team use the Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) methodology to reduce the defect rate of the current process and to develop a standardized process. While changes improved the medication order entry process, the issue of the multiple ways the staff process medication orders remained. The team then decided to use a design for Six Sigma methodology, quality function deployment, to link the needs of the customers to the development of the process functions. Audits revealed the percentage of order entry errors improved by 90 percent. Additionally, the new process is simpler, works on all units, and is more …

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I found this very interesting and enlightening. I plan to share it with my administration and co-workers. Even if not actually attempted in the same sense, it shows that changes can be positive, time saving and error reducing.
--Trudie Blue, 05-25-2012

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