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Triggering questions

Triggering questions are used by the RCA2 team to help them consider areas of inquiry that might otherwise be missed.

Here's how:

  1. After reviewing an initial chronology or flow diagram (based on what is known about the event before the RCA2 team begins its probe), compile a list of questions team members have about the event.
  2. Review the triggering questions below with the goal of identifying those questions applicable to the event being investigated.
  3. Combine the applicable triggering questions with the team questions, and identify where the answers may be obtained. This may include: interviewing staff, reviewing documentation (e.g. policies, procedures, the medical record, equipment maintenance records), regulatory requirements (e.g. The Joint Commission, CMS, other accreditation or regulatory agencies), guidelines (e.g. AORN, ISMP, ECRI Institute), publications, and codes and standards.
  4. As the investigation progresses, the team may identify additional questions that will need to be answered.
  5. By the end of the investigation, the team should have collected answers to all of its questions.

Triggering questions are grouped by topic below:

Source: Developed by Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety