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      Failure mode and effects analysis drastically reduced potential risks in clinical trial conduct

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          Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a risk management tool to proactively identify and assess the causes and effects of potential failures in a system, thereby preventing them from happening. The objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of FMEA applied to an academic clinical trial center in a tertiary care setting.


          A multidisciplinary FMEA focus group at the Seoul National University Hospital Clinical Trials Center selected 6 core clinical trial processes, for which potential failure modes were identified and their risk priority number (RPN) was assessed. Remedial action plans for high-risk failure modes (RPN >160) were devised and a follow-up RPN scoring was conducted a year later.


          A total of 114 failure modes were identified with an RPN score ranging 3–378, which was mainly driven by the severity score. Fourteen failure modes were of high risk, 11 of which were addressed by remedial actions. Rescoring showed a dramatic improvement attributed to reduction in the occurrence and detection scores by >3 and >2 points, respectively.


          FMEA is a powerful tool to improve quality in clinical trials. The Seoul National University Hospital Clinical Trials Center is expanding its FMEA capability to other core clinical trial processes.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Risk evaluation approaches in failure mode and effects analysis: A literature review

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            FMEA: a model for reducing medical errors.

            Patient safety is a management issue, in view of the fact that clinical risk management has become an important part of hospital management. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive technique for error detection and reduction, firstly introduced within the aerospace industry in the 1960s. Early applications in the health care industry dating back to the 1990s included critical systems in the development and manufacture of drugs and in the prevention of medication errors in hospitals. In 2008, the Technical Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), licensed a technical specification for medical laboratories suggesting FMEA as a method for prospective risk analysis of high-risk processes. Here we describe the main steps of the FMEA process and review data available on the application of this technique to laboratory medicine. A significant reduction of the risk priority number (RPN) was obtained when applying FMEA to blood cross-matching, to clinical chemistry analytes, as well as to point-of-care testing (POCT).
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              Quality of clinical trials: A moving target

               Arun Bhatt (2011)
              Quality of clinical trials depends on data integrity and subject protection. Globalization, outsourcing and increasing complexicity of clinical trials have made the target of achieving global quality challenging. The quality, as judged by regulatory inspections of the investigator sites, sponsors/contract research organizations and Institutional Review Board, has been of concern to the US Food and Drug Administration, as there has been hardly any change in frequency and nature of common deficiencies. To meet the regulatory expectations, the sponsors need to improve quality by developing systems with specific standards for each clinical trial process. The quality systems include: personnel roles and responsibilities, training, policies and procedures, quality assurance and auditing, document management, record retention, and reporting and corrective and preventive action. With an objective to improve quality, the FDA has planned new inspection approaches such as risk-based inspections, surveillance inspections, real-time oversight, and audit of sponsor quality systems. The FDA has partnered with Duke University for Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, which will conduct research projects on design principles, data quality and quantity including monitoring, study start-up, and adverse event reporting. These recent initiatives will go a long way in improving quality of clinical trials.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                19 October 2017
                : 11
                : 3035-3043
                [1 ]Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Hospital
                [2 ]Department of Transdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University
                [3 ]Clinical Trials Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [4 ]Global Clinical Trial Execution, Pfizer Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Howard Lee, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Hospital, 101, Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080, Republic of Korea, Tel +82 23 668 7602, Fax +82 2 742 9252, Email howardlee@ 123456snu.ac.kr

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Lee et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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