What is Root Cause Analysis?

What we see as a problem that needs fixing is often not the cause of the issue at hand. Sometimes we need to explore the problem in depth to find out the true cause, or, the root cause.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) investigation is a well-recognised way of doing this. It is used to identify areas for change and to develop recommendations which deliver safer care for patients.

It seeks to:

• Determine what happened
• Understand why it happened
• How to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again.


If you’re not sure the root cause of the problem is correctly identified, use our more in-depth Root Cause Analysis. Download here.

There are various tools you can use to undertake a root cause analysis – for example, the Five Whys Technique.