Root Cause Analysis: A Critical Component of Quality Management

Please note: AABB reserves the right to make updates to this program

Live Program: Monday, October 30, 2017 - On-Demand Available

Master Program Number: 17EL-150 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

Educational Track: Technical/Clinical Track
Topic:  Transfusion Medicine (Hemovigilance)
Intended Audience: Physicians, Scientists, Technologist, Nurses, Managers/Supervisors, Perfusionists, Laboratory Staff, Medical Directors, Students/Fellows
Teaching Level: Intermediate

Moderator: Karen E. King, MD, Professor of Pathology and Oncology, Director, Hemapheresis and Transfusion Support, Associate Director, Transfusion Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD
Speakers: J. Wade Atkins, MS, MT (ASCP) SBB, CQA(ASQ), Supervisor, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, NIH, Bethesda, MD; Stephanie Lihvarchik, MT (ASCP)BB, CQA, SSGB, Quality Assurance Officer, Hemapheresis and Transfusion Support, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Add Root Cause Analysis methods or processes to or modify their Quality Management System to incorporate as error management strategies.
  • Apply the concepts and principles to problems within their own institution and eliminate the source of errors. 

Program Description

Root Cause Analysis:  Many shudder at even hearing the phrase.  It has been compared to having a root canal.  The benefits of conducting a well-planned and thorough root cause analysis when indicated could have as many benefits as a needed root canal.  Both will alleviate pain and stress if performed properly.  In our setting, a proper Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is intended to be a systematic review of: an event that poses a high risk of permanent or life altering injury to a person, or a re-occurring problem that poses some risk and causes re-work that is not the best use of resources or is a re-occurrence that wastes resources on repeating the same investigations.  RCA is intended to find the true source (root) of the problem and address it in order to prevent re-occurrence.

This e-CAST is designed to review the principles of Root Cause Analysis, review tools and techniques used to conduct and document a systematic approach to uncovering issues and tracing back through complex processes to find the origin so it can be addressed to prevent re-occurrences. Case studies of applying RCA methods to problems will be presented.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register17EL-4032-150
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register17EL-8032-150

Speaker Biographies

J. Wade Atkins is an MT ASCP with a Specialty in Blood Banking with a Master’s of Science in Health Care Administration and is certified as a Quality Auditor by the American Society of Quality. Currently he is a quality assurance specialist for the Department of Transfusion Medicine (DTM) for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland. The DTM is a full service blood bank with a licensed collection facility and a full transfusion service. He has been in this position for the past fourteen years.  The DTM also has an active HCTP manufacturing facility that supports roughly 50 protocols and 30 of those are under IND at the FDA.

He was a lead author for the WHO Annex for GMP in Blood Establishments. He currently serves on the AABB Annual Meeting Program Education as the sub track chair for the Quality Assurance and Education track.  He is currently a volunteer assessor for AABB and an Inspector for CAP.
He often speaks at local, national and international meetings on quality related topics.