FMEA at a Residential Care Facility
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In the healthcare industry, reliability of the care provided at residential care facilities has come to the forefront as a major concern of residents and their families. Management at these facilities understands the high liability involved with residentsâ€™ safety, but they do not perform formal analyses to mitigate the risk. Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEAs) have become a very popular method to mitigate the risk involved with health care products [1-2], but can also be extended to analyze an entire process at a residential care facility which provides older adults the high quality residential living and healthcare services they need. One particular residential care facility understands and shares the concern for the well-being of its residents, so its management decided to perform a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) on their Emergency Alert System (EAS) and supporting processes. The EAS is a campus-wide notification system that is activated by pendants worn by residents, pull cords, and motion detectors in the event that a resident requires emergency assistance. When activated, the system alerts the main security station. The security guard radios the appropriate facility staff who respond to the location of the call. The alert system requires the proper operation of the hardware and software components as well as the proper response of various key staff members. In this paper, we describe an environment where a process FMEA was performed. The FMEA included the functional failures of an electronic system, as well as the human factors that could cause a failure in the process. A Risk Priority Number (RPN) was calculated for each failure mode so that management could focus on mitigating the risk associated with the most critical failure modes.
Keywords: RAMS 2010 Proceedings - Product Reliability