Six Principles of Mistake Proofing Care


While elimination of errors is the overall goal of mistake proofing care, the term elimination here refers specifically to the analysis of a process (breaking it down to its discrete steps or operations) and the removal of any steps susceptible to human error.

The most important and sometimes most difficult portion of this is defining each action. It helps to have someone not intimately familiar with a process involved in defining the steps. Personnel involved in a process on a daily basis become close enough to it that they may not see each step as a discrete action. An outside perspective may bring a clearer vision to the process.

Click on the images below for examples.


Thought Question:
Think about a process that you find problematic. It can be work-related or not.

  • What are the steps that are involved?
  • Can you identify any of them that could be eliminated to better ensure proper completion? You may want to create a flow diagram of the steps.
  • Try to eliminate any steps which are unnecessary, or simplify steps which are overly complex.


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