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Mistake Proofing


Defects emerge because of errors – invariably human errors. To “mistake proof” is to reduce the likelihood of something going wrong which would result in an error. Mistake Proofing, sometimes called “poka-yoke,” was developed by Shigeo Shingo in the 1960s to prevent human errors in industrial processes. Countermeasures alert users when errors are about to be made or prevent errors from becoming a defect (e.g., not allowing an intake form to be submitted if a required field is missing). Mistake Proofing is used in conjunction with flowcharting, with analysis and safeguards built-in wherever necessary throughout the process, and is well-suited to Kaizen Process Improvement Events. This tool was developed by PHF Senior Quality Advisor John W. Moran and PHF quality improvement expert Sonja Armbruster. Click here to see the full tool.
About the Public Health Quality Improvement Encyclopedia
Mistake Proofing is one of many supplements to the 2012 Public Health Quality Improvement Encyclopedia, a practical guide to using 75 tools for quality improvement practitioners in public health organizations. The book was distributed to all state and local health departments, and may be purchased through PHF's Online Store.


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