Root Cause Analysis in Health Care: Tools and Techniques

Root Cause Analysis in Health Care: Tools and Techniques
  • 5th Ed.
  • 2015
  • © The Joint Commission
  • James Parker
  • ISBN-10: 1-59940-897-X / ISBN-13: 978-1-59940-897-2
  • eISBN-13: 978-1-59940-898-9
  • Patient Safety and Quality Improvement , Hospital Administration


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When a serious patient safety event (such as a sentinel event) occurs, it is critical for the health care organization to understand the system failures or defects that contributed to that event. Root cause analysis (RCA) provides a systematic approach to identifying those contributing factors. RCA is also beneficial as a proactive tool to identify potential safety problems before they reach the patient.

RCA is an effective tool that can help health care organizations that have experienced a patient safety event, as well as those working to improve their patient safety systems or achieve high reliability, to do the following:

  • • Ensure reliable processes
  • • Decrease variation and defects (waste)
  • • Achieve better outcomes
  • • Use evidence to ensure that a service is satisfactory

New for 2015, Root Cause Analysis in Health Care: Tools and Techniques, 5th ed., updates the bestselling fourth edition. The book provides a framework for conducting an effective RCA, both proactively and as a response to a sentinel event. The fifth edition reflects recent revisions to Joint Commission standards and the Sentinel Event Policy, and includes a wealth of new tools and case studies. A new appendix to the fifth edition discusses alternative methods of comprehensive systematic analysis, including common cause analysis, human factors analysis, and others.


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