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HLT 308 Week 2 Discussion Question Two

HLT 308 Week 2 Discussion Question Two


Describe the purpose of a root-cause analysis. Discuss an example of any issue that would necessitate a root-cause analysis. You may use an incident from a referenced article, textbook, or personal experience. Support your analysis with one peer-reviewed reference. Identify the actions that would need to be taken to correct the issue.

In science and engineeringroot cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems.[1] It is widely used in IT operationstelecommunicationsindustrial process controlaccident analysis (e.g., in aviation,[2] rail transport, or nuclear plants), medicine (for medical diagnosis), healthcare industry (e.g., for epidemiology), etc.

RCA can be decomposed into four steps:

  • Identify and describe the problem clearly.
  • Establish a timeline from the normal situation up to the time the problem occurred.
    HLT 308 Week 2 Discussion Question Two

    HLT 308 Week 2 Discussion Question Two


  • Distinguish between the root cause and other causal factors (e.g., using event correlation).
  • Establish a causal graph between the root cause and the problem.

RCA generally serves as input to a remediation process whereby corrective actions are taken to prevent the problem from reoccurring. The name of this process varies from one application domain to another. According to ISO/IEC 31010, RCA may include the techniques Five whysFailure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), Fault tree analysisIshikawa diagram and Pareto analysis.

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In science and engineering, there are essentially two ways of repairing faults and solving problems.

Reactive management consists in reacting quickly after the problem occurs, by treating the symptoms. This type of management is implemented by reactive systems,[3][4] self-adaptive systems,[5] self-organized systems, and complex adaptive systems. The goal here is to react quickly and alleviate the effects of the problem as soon as possible.

Proactive management, conversely, consists in preventing problems from occurring. Many techniques can be used for this purpose, ranging from good practices in design to analyzing in detail problems that have already occurred, and taking actions to make sure they never reoccur. Speed is not as important here as the accuracy and precision of the diagnosis. The focus is on addressing the real cause of the problem rather than its effects.

Root-cause analysis is often used in proactive management to identify the root cause of a problem, that is, the factor that was the main cause of that problem.

It is customary to refer to the root cause in singular form, but one or several factors may in fact constitute the root cause(s) of the problem under study.

A factor is considered the root cause of a problem if removing it prevents the problem from recurring. A causal factor, conversely, is one that affects an event’s outcome, but is not the root cause. Although removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence with certainty.

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