Clinical Risk Assessment in Intensive Care Unit

Saeed Asefzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Yarmohammadian, Ahmad Nikpey, Golrokh Atighechian


Background: Clinical risk management focuses on improving the quality and safety of health care services by identifying the circumstances and opportunities that put patients at risk of harm and acting to prevent or control those risks. The goal of this study is to identify and assess the failure modes in the ICU of Qazvin’s Social Security Hospital (Razi Hospital) through Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA).

Methods: This was a qualitative‑quantitative research by Focus Discussion Group (FDG) performed in Qazvin Province, Iran during 2011. The study population included all individuals and owners who are familiar with the process in ICU. Sampling method was purposeful and the FDG group members were selected by the researcher. The research instrument was standard worksheet that has been used by several researchers. Data was analyzed by FMEA technique.

Results: Forty eight clinical errors and failure modes identified, results showed that the highest risk probability number (RPN) was in respiratory care “Ventilator’s alarm malfunction (no alarm)” with the score 288, and the lowest was in gastrointestinal “not washing the NG‑Tube” with the score 8.

Conclusions: Many of the identified errors can be prevented by group members. Clinical risk assessment and management is the key to delivery of effective health care.

Keywords: Risk assessment, failure mode and effect analysis, intensive care unit

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