Root Cause Analysis and Medical Error Prevention


4.5 out of 5 (46 Reviews)



Post Assessment Questions


Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

120 Minutes

Need Help?  If you have a system or content concerns, please contact

Activity Description

The term "medical error" encompasses diverse events that vary in magnitude and can potentially harm the patient. According to the 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Safety Factsheet, adverse events due to unsafe patient care are among the top 10 causes of death and disability worldwide. However, it is essential to understand that healthcare delivery involves multiple variables in a dynamic environment, with many critical decisions made quickly. As such, the healthcare system cannot implement rigid protocols used by other high-risk industries, such as aviation. Reducing medical errors requires a multifaceted approach at various levels of healthcare. In the event of a sentinel occurrence or adverse patient outcomes, a thorough evaluation is warranted to prevent such events. Root cause analyses provide a method of evaluation for these situations so that a system-based intervention can be implemented rather than blaming individual providers. This activity reviews the root cause analysis process in medical error prevention. The course highlights the interprofessional team's role in performing this analysis to prevent medical errors and improve clinical outcomes.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, dentists, and social workers.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Demonstrate effective root cause analysis of a sentinel event and implement strategies for its prevention.

  • Apply root cause analysis reporting standards in accordance with the Joint Commission requirements.

  • Identify the indications for reporting sentinel events to the Joint Commission and the steps that should be taken following the occurrence of such incidents.

  • Collaborate within an interprofessional team to prevent the most common types of clinical errors and improve clinical outcomes.


StatPearls, LLC requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. Others involved in planning this educational activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

As a Jointly Accredited Organization, StatPearls, LLC is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. StatPearls, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 2.00 continuing education credits.

Social Workers: StatPearls, LLC designates this continuing education activity for 2.00 ASWB ACE credit(s) for social workers. Social Workers should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

If you have concerns regarding the CE/CME system, please contact


This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




Robert R. on 7/15/2021

Sandra K. on 10/10/2021

Adele L. on 12/29/2021

Carlos J. on 3/23/2022

Dercy V. on 3/23/2022

Tim H. on 6/3/2022

Sally B. on 6/6/2022

Laura P. on 8/15/2022

Nicole F. on 9/22/2022

Todd B. on 10/7/2022

William L. on 10/13/2022

jaime r. on 10/18/2022

Dwayne W. on 11/17/2022

David B. on 12/3/2022

Jason H. on 12/12/2022

michael a. on 12/19/2022

katarzyna b. on 12/26/2022

Heather L. on 12/28/2022

Robert on 1/13/2023

Paul L. on 1/16/2023

Michael Y. on 1/20/2023

flavia f. on 1/31/2023

Amy J. on 2/7/2023

Lesly P. on 2/10/2023

Dong O. on 3/4/2023

Lisa C. on 3/25/2023

Christopher M. on 4/10/2023

Brandy M. on 4/16/2023

Julianne H. on 4/27/2023

Gregory P. on 5/9/2023

Abby W. on 5/20/2023

Juan s. on 6/21/2023

Deepti N. on 7/23/2023

Michael B. on 7/28/2023

LIGAYA B. on 7/30/2023

Rayon S. on 8/14/2023

Grace A. on 8/21/2023

Julie H. on 8/29/2023

Richard D. on 9/11/2023

Clarivel T. on 10/3/2023

Kenneth K. on 10/9/2023

ROSEMARY D. on 10/9/2023

Russell J. on 10/14/2023

Javier D. on 10/24/2023

michael a. on 11/17/2023

Sana U. on 11/19/2023

Unlimited Social Worker CE

Stay up to date on the latest medical knowledge with 230 CE activities. In these online self-assessment activities, read our reference articles and test your knowledge with more than 327 hours of CE.

1 Year Unlimited Social Worker CE

Access to all the Unlimited Social Worker CE activities.

$49 per 1 year per user