Expert Online Non-technical Training for the Diagnostic Laboratory

Causal Tree

Causal Tree

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Free Quality Tool Lesson!

In this module, you will learn how to use a tool called a Causal Tree to find the factors and conditions that lead to actions, which collectively cause problems.

The causal tree is a tool for investigating all of the factors and conditions that allowed a cascade of actions to cause error. Using this tool, you can understand where the most significant barriers to error free work might exist.

This lesson includes:

One 20 minute video

References for this course can be accessed in the Materials tab at the top of this page.


Wilson, B. “Causal Factor Tree Analysis.”  The Rootisserie.  Retrieved from   •  Accessed March, 2020

Reason J. (Mar 18, 2000) Human error: models and management.  BMJ 2000/3/20, 768–770. doi: 10.1136/bmj.320.7237.768  

Lowe, CM.  (Dec 2006) Accidents waiting to happen: the contribution of latent errors to patient safety.  Qual Saf Health Care 2006 Dec; 15(Supl1) i72-i75. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2006.016071

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