• Commentary
  • Published February 2017

Root-cause analysis: swatting at mosquitoes versus draining the swamp.

Although root cause analysis is an established strategy to investigate incidents, some have questioned its effectiveness in health care. Drawing from a recent study, this editorial suggests that robust health care investment in human factors engineering and safety science is needed to help root cause analysis achieve its full potential as an improvement mechanism. A recent Annual Perspective discussed ongoing problems with the root cause analysis process and described opportunities to improve its application in health care.

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