The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Error Prevention: Patient Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

RCA is a structured study that determines the underlying causes of adverse events. RCA focuses on systems, processes, and common causes that were involved in the adverse event. It then determines ways to prevent recurrence by identifying potential improvements in systems and processes that should decrease the likelihood of repeating the event.
Occurrences that may jeopardize patient safety must be investigated immediately and appropriate risk-reduction activities must be implemented.