Quality & Safety Scoop: Cause Analysis – When Does it Become an RCA and What Does it Mean?

By Bridget Norton, M.D., MBA, Children’s Chief Quality & Safety Officer

When an Eye on Safety event is reported in RLDatix or communicated to Performance Improvement (PI) or Administration by area leadership, a cause analysis is considered. Cause analysis focuses on the process and system deviations that need to be improved in order for all of us to perform at our best and provide the highest quality care for our patients.

The kind of cause analysis to conduct is the first question. The level of harm to the patient and the potential for system-wide spread of the issue drive the determination of whether the event is reported as Apparent Cause Analysis (ACA), Common Cause Analysis (CCA) or Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

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