Hello and welcome to this week’s root cause analysis tip. This week the topic is doing better investigations.

The most important thing you can do for better investigations is to use TapRooT®! But assuming you already do that, here are some more tips that I hope will help.

The first thing to think about is preparation – does your company have an investigation policy and does everyone know their roles and responsibilities? In other words, do you have a plan? The time to develop your plan is not after you have had a major incident! You can refer to Appendix A of the TapRooT® book for a sample plan; however, I would imagine most of you already have a plan at your company, so your preparation is simple – read the plan and understand it.

Think about Notification – Who, and under what circumstances? Let senior management know someone’s working on the investigation.  You can share the preliminary information as well. Set expectation that it may take some time. They’ll often back off and let you do your job if you tell them these things.

Plan your investigation – what kind of photos, documents, equipment reliability data do you need? Plan what data to collect and how you’re going to collect that data.

So now you are ready to start your investigation. The best thing you can do to have a good investigation is to have a really good SnapCharT®. Most of the time you spend in an investigation is spent collecting evidence and putting it on your chart. Interviewing is an important part of evidence collection. Follow our 14-Step interview process, it’s in the book. The best way to interview is to let the person tell their story, they may answer your questions without you even needing to ask. If you only ask questions, you’ll only get the answers to your questions and nothing else.

View Part 2 of Dave’s tip on Performing Better Investigations!

or check out other short videos in our root cause tip series:

What Makes a World-Class Root Cause Analysis System with Ken Reed (Click here to view tip.)

TapRooT® & Healthcare: Getting the Most from Your Sentinel Event Investigation with Ed Skompski (Click here to view tip.)