In healthcare, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a structured method used to analyze serious adverse events.
By systematically analyzing the causes and effects of the various components of a process, a RCA is used to identify breakdowns in processes and systems that contributed to an adverse event. When done effectively, root cause analysis in healthcare can improve safety, reduce future incidents, and ultimately lower total cost of risk.
RCA is not a single technique, but rather, it describes a range of approaches and tools drawn from fields including human factors and safety science that are used to establish how and why an incident occurred in an attempt to identify how it, and similar problems, might be prevented from happening again.
After studying how Root Cause Analysis benefits other sectors such as manufacturing and engineering, RCA is applied in healthcare as well to uncover the deep seeded problems and then fix them so they won’t repeat.
Medical error is an unfortunate reality that continues to occur at alarming rates within the United States healthcare system. These mistakes can result in major unwanted consequences for patients, families, and clinicians. A root cause analysis can provide a beneficial resolution for healthcare professionals and patients to further understand and combat medical error and prevent future occurrences.
For accreditation purposes, the Joint Commission requires that healthcare institutions have a comprehensive process for the systematic analysis of sentinel events. The RCA process is one of the most commonly utilized tools for this purpose. Through the RCA process, healthcare institutions can optimize patient care and enact measures to mitigate adverse events that compromise patient safety.
In addition to improving patient safety and quality metrics, an RCA’s purpose includes optimizing process flow and outcomes.
The emphasis of an RCA is placed heavily on system-level processes, not particular individuals’ actions. A designated RCA team is assembled, which reviews and identifies necessary changes at the systematic level, improving performance and reducing the likelihood of a repeat sentinel event.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Root Cause Analysis Training for Healthcare Professionals, a 3-day course that covers the concepts and rationale behind root cause analysis (RCA) methodologies, as well as tools, techniques, and the strategies should be applied in order to execute an effective root cause analysis process.
Root Cause Analysis Training for Healthcare Professionals intends to educate the foundation of this useful methodology and to improve the required skills of the participants so that they can develop and execute successful root cause analysis processes on their own in their healthcare organizations.
Other courses Tonex offers in Root Cause Analysis, includes:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.