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Proactive Systems Analysis for Healthcare Organizations

Peace of Mind for Your High-Risk Clinical Processes

The proactive systems analysis process can provide a structure for your organization to identify flaws and process errors built into systems of care and service delivery that may contribute to the risk of errors. Endorsed by the Joint Commission, the prospective, preventive focus of the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) approach helps improve your systems and pave the way for long-lasting success in minimizing risk.

ECRI Institute can assist you in optimizing the effectiveness of your organization’s proactive systems analysis and FMEA process, helping you minimize the potential for system failures. When facilitating FMEAs at healthcare organizations, ECRI Institute can:

  • Develop an action plan for implementation
  • Educate management and staff on the purpose and methodology of healthcare FMEA
  • Facilitate the FMEA process
  • Help you identify the staff who should participate in the FMEA process and organize your multidisciplinary team
  • Provide healthcare FMEA tools
  • Run pilot studies
  • Work with both healthcare organizations and collaboratives to implement FMEA on a broad scale

For years, ECRI Institute has partnered with hospitals and organizations to develop FMEA protocols:

Milbank Memorial Fund

Milbank Memorial Fund
ECRI Institute helped the Milbank Memorial Fund convene a summit to promote a national discussion about the use of proactive hazard analysis in healthcare settings. The collaboration brought together clinicians, hospital leaders and health researchers, individuals experienced in proactive hazard analysis, and representatives of four federal agencies, of state government, and the Joint Commission. The monograph Proactive Hazard Analysis and Health Care Policy resulted from this meeting. 

Institute of Medicine

Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) commissioned ECRI Institute to coauthor a paper on proactive hazard analysis. IOM released Patient Safety: Achieving a New Standard for Care, a report that describes a detailed plan to facilitate the development of data standards applicable to the collection, coding, and classification of patient safety information.

Partnership for Patient Care

Partnership for Patient Care
Now in its third year, the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC), a southeastern Pennsylvania regional initiative, uses a collaborative approach to help hospitals improve quality and safety in healthcare through the rapid adoption of best practices. A core component of this program is implementing a regional proactive risk analysis approach that uses FMEA methodology to strengthen patient safety.  ECRI Institute provides education, training, facilitation, technical assistance, and tools to support the participating hospitals with the aim of finding new or improved ways to prevent infections, to reduce the risk of falls, and to find solutions to other patient safety issues.

Through this partnership, hospitals collaborate in workshops and through an interactive, Web-based work site to share clinical experience, knowledge, analyses, and solutions, in order to quickly implement evidence-based best practices. This collaboration marks the first time in the United States that a large-scale, multihospital collaborative used FMEA. The program also supports hospitals in meeting key goals and requirements of the Joint Commission, the National Quality Forum safe practices, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 5 Million Lives Campaign, and the Surgical Care Improvement Program.

Visit our PPC Web page to learn more about the reports and tools developed through this initiative.


How May We Help You?
Take the first step in addressing risks in your organization. Learn more about our proactive systems analysis and FMEA services. Call us at (610) 825-600, ext. 5891, or e-mail us at


Interested in a Patient Safety Organization?  
ECRI Institute is a federally certified Patient Safety Organization (PSO). Learn more about our capabilities at