Can You Become Mistake Free?

There are many tools that can help us on our journey to becoming the best community hospital in the nation. The concept of first-pass yield is one those tools.

Knowing your first-pass yield (FPY) can help you determine the need for and focus of your process improvement work. It is a simple equation that can help you measure the success our customers have in navigating our health system. FPY answers an important question— how many people get through our process mistake free? It is calculated as a simple percentage and is easy to determine. Let me walk you through it.

Below is an example of a four-step process. This could represent any of our processes at Clark. To understand-first pass yield, you must first lay out the process. Our Yellow Belt team might produce a value-stream map or a process-flow map like the one below.


The next step is to determine the percentage of time each process step gets completed without errors. In other words, how many times does process step 1 (then 2, then 3, etc.) get completed without mistakes?  


The last step to determine your FPY is multiply each percentage:

.80  x .99 x .50 x .90 = .356 or 37%

 What does this mean?

For this process, it means that we can expect our process to produce no errors 37% of the time. Just think if this is a process that our patients go through. Only 37% would experience our service without mistakes! It really shows the importance of process improvement.

 Where to start?

 If you were going to improve the process above, FPY gives you some places to start. Process step 3 has the lowest FPY, making it a good first place to look for improvements. Step one also has a low percentage. If you can improve the FPY in step one, it may prevent additional mistakes downstream. There are many options, and each team and process may tackle them differently.

 Does it work?

One of our process improvement events had an FPY of 4% at the beginning of the event. After a few rounds of improvement, it went to 25%, then 62%. Today, it is at 83%. The team is still working, and we hope to see it rise even more!

 We hope tools like this can help you determine your FPY and highlight areas for improvement. We will have more tools posted here to empower you to become the best community hospital for our patients.


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