Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  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.