Risk assessment of the hospital discharge process of high-risk patients with diabetes

Teresa A. Pollack, Vidhya Illuri, Rebeca Khorzad, Grazia Aleppo, Diana Johnson Oakes, Jane L. Holl, Amisha Wallia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives Describe the application of a risk assessment to identify failures in the hospital discharge process of a high-risk patient group, liver transplant (LT) recipients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and/or hyperglycaemia who require high-risk medications. Design A Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) of the hospital discharge process of LT recipients with DM and/or hyperglycaemia who required DM education and training before discharge was conducted using information from clinicians, patients and data extraction from the electronic health records (EHR). Failures and their causes were identified and the frequency and characteristics (harm, detectability) of each failure were assigned using a score of low/best (1) to high/worst (10); a Criticality Index (CI=Harm×Frequency) and a Risk Priority Number (RPN=Harm×Frequency×Detection) were also calculated. Setting An academic, tertiary care centre in Chicago, Illinois. Participants Healthcare providers (N=31) including physicians (n= 6), advanced practice providers (n=12), nurses (n=6), pharmacists (n= 4), staff (n=3) and patients (n=6) and caregivers (n=3) participated in the FMECA; EHR data for LT recipients with DM or hyperglycaemia (N=100) were collected. Results Of 78 identified failures, the most critical failures (n=15; RPNs=700, 630, 560; CI=70) were related to variability in delivery of diabetes education and training, care coordination and medication prescribing patterns of providers. Underlying causes included timing of patient education, lack of assessment of patients’ knowledge and industry-level design failures of healthcare products (eg, EHR, insulin pen). Conclusion Most identified critical failures are preventable and suggest the need for the design of interventions, informed by the failures identified by this FMECA, to mitigate safety risks and improve outcomes of high-risk patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000224
JournalBMJ Open Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management


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