1. Zastrow, Rachel L. MSN, RN, CCRN, CPPS, LSSBB


The application of root cause analysis (RCA) to health care began in the Veteran's Administration system and spread to Joint Commission-accredited organizations when it became a requirement for accreditation. The success of this valuable quality improvement tool relies on understanding the principles of patient safety, assembling a team, and producing and completing action items aimed at correcting root causes of adverse events. This article describes optimal RCA techniques based on published literature and expert opinion and then provides a sample RCA for a fictitious but common adverse event: catheter-associated bloodstream infection.