White Paper | Root Cause Analysis in Aging Services

Learn how to implement this powerful systems analysis tool that drives purposeful change to prevent harm

Root cause analyses (RCAs) are powerful systems analysis tools that inform performance improvement, drive purposeful change to prevent harm, and improve outcomes for all stakeholders. With a focus on organization-wide system improvements, RCAs operationalize stronger care and service delivery processes. Due to their benefits, federal regulations for skilled nursing facilities require provider organizations to conduct quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) activities that include processes such as RCAs. Compliance with these regulations is required in other parts of the aging services continuum, including assisted living facilities, home health, hospice, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, as some states, in addition to the Federal government, now include continuous quality improvement requirements for licensing.

However, RCAs are not without challenges.

Based on data received through ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and experiences from the field, this white paper highlights the importance of:

  • Implementing the Root Cause Analysis and Action (RCA2) model
  • Overcoming common challenges in conducting RCAs in aging service settings
  • Ways to streamline and enhance existing performance improvement efforts

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