The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Understanding and Utilizing Lean and Six Sigma in the Histology Laboratory. 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 Six Sigma tool designed to identify the underlying causes of defects and problems within a process. Understanding the source for the occurrence of any defect or problem is the first step towards developing valuable process changes to detect and prevent it.

RCA data can help teams identify and improve their processes through;
  1. Data analysis- looking at the collected data for trends and insights which can be helpful when the team;s focus in primarily on improving process effectiveness;
  2. Process analysis- analyzing the process itself through process maps and value stream maps, which can help identify bottlenecks and wasted steps that can be lessened or eliminated, improving process efficiency.