Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TEEM Presentation Available.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to give a presentation at the National Society for Histotechnologists at their Annual Meeting in Vancouver.  This was the second time that NSH as met in Canada.   This was a good time to have a meeting in Vancouver.  I don’t know what is and what is not a manifestation of climate change, but this has been one magnificent late summer and fall in British Columbia.  

The meeting had by my estimate maybe 700 attendees (?) with a nice group attending my presentation on Costs of Poor Quality with a focus on TEEM impact factors.   If you have visited here before, TEEM describes the impacts and consequences of error in terms of Time, Effort, Energy and Money, where effort describes physical strain and Energy describes mental stress.

This was my first oral presentation on the concept of TEEM impact on Quality.  It describes the impacts of Effort and Energy on medical laboratory error.  

I started with the argument that most laboratory errors are the result of slips and distractions, and sometimes poor judgements.  But these don’t just happen in a vacuum.  Sometimes, stressing and straining systems factors like noise and crowding and workflow increase the likelihood of error.  

In addition, I drew on the literature from laboratory safety.  An old and small but very insightful study by G. Briggs Phillips on the human factors associated with laboratory accidents [ see: Laboratory Safety: Principles and Practices, published by ASM Press in 1986] pointed out that attitude and situation  impact the risk of error and accidents significantly.

My central point was that underlying factors that cause stress and strain can increase the likelihood of error that gets described as a human foible or slip, but slips often increase the level of stress and strain which in turn increases the risk of error.  What I have added is some scales that can (once validated) be used as measures of stress and strain, that the astute manager will be able to apply as an indicator of rising risk for error.

Brilliant?; no.  Inventive?; no.  But I think it has the potential of being a good example of an innovative tool for Quality and Risk managers.

I promised the attendees of the conference that I would post the presentation on-line in lieu of giving a handout.  (I hate giving handouts.  They are expensive, and always distracting, and usually end up in the proverbial round file.)

For those interested, you can see the presentation at:

Invite comments.

I have re-activated my Twitter ® account.  @Qualitology for a number of reasons which I will explain later. 

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