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J Patient Saf. 2009 Jun;5(2):102-8. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3181a852be.

FMEA team performance in health care: A qualitative analysis of team member perceptions.

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Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.



: Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a commonly used prospective risk assessment approach in health care. Failure mode and effects analyses are time consuming and resource intensive, and team performance is crucial for FMEA success. We evaluate FMEA team members' perceptions of FMEA team performance to provide recommendations to improve the FMEA process in health care organizations.


: Structured interviews and survey questionnaires were administered to team members of 2 FMEA teams at a Midwest Hospital to evaluate team member perceptions of FMEA team performance and factors influencing team performance. Interview transcripts underwent content analysis, and descriptive statistics were performed on questionnaire results to identify and quantify FMEA team performance. Theme-based nodes were categorized using the input-process-outcome model for team performance.


: Twenty-eight interviews and questionnaires were completed by 24 team members. Four persons participated on both teams. There were significant differences between the 2 teams regarding perceptions of team functioning and overall team effectiveness that are explained by difference in team inputs and process (e.g., leadership/facilitation, team objectives, attendance of process owners).


: Evaluation of team members' perceptions of team functioning produced useful insights that can be used to model future team functioning. Guidelines for FMEA team success are provided.

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