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There are many tools that exist to ensure patient safety is a top priority in quality improvement efforts. All of these tools are designed to understand how a process failed. They are not intended to focus blame on the individuals operating within the process. One example of a patient safety tool is root cause analysis (RCA). RCA is a tool to help health care organizations retrospectively study events where patient harm or undesired outcomes occurred in order to identify and address the root causes. By understanding the root cause of an event, we can improve patient safety by preventing future harm. A good root cause analysis allows for the design and implementation of a solution that addresses the failure at its source.

The following resources have been collected to enhance an individual’s understanding of the role of a root cause analysis by:

  1. Describing the purpose of an RCA
  2. Explaining how to run an effective RCA
  3. Describing the RCA Program specific to UNC