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Primary Care Training Enhancement

Continuous Quality Improvement Overview: What is the Root Cause? Session Overview

This session covers the definition and explains the process of root cause analysis. Participants determine which method to use and demonstrate two root cause analysis methods.

Session Length: 60 minutes

Prerequisite(s): None

Learning Objectives

  • Define root cause analysis

  • Demonstrate two root cause analysis methods

  • Determine appropriate root cause analysis method for specific projects

Author:  Amy Lee, MD, MBA, MPH

School: Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)

Continuous Quality Improvement Root Cause - Session Facilitator Guide

Presentation - Continuous Quality Improvement: What is the root cause?

Resources for Learners

Memory Jogger II: Healthcare Edition. A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement and Effective Planning. GOAL/QPC.

Resources for Facilitators

Presentation slides

Flip chart paper, 3x3” sticky notes, pens, fishbone diagram template


  1. ASQ. Cause analysis tools

  2. Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Quality improvement essentials toolkit (you have to register—really nice tools)

  3. MoreSteam. Fishbone diagram 

  4. ASQ. Affinity diagram.

  5. iSixSigma. Determine the root cause: 5 whys

  6. Smartdraw. How to make a flowchart