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Using the “5 Whys” and Root Cause Analysis to Figure Out the REAL Reason Your License Has Come Under Attack… and What to Do About It Going Forward

Bertolino-Apri-5WhysYou may have heard the saying that every crisis also presents an opportunity. Allegations against your license are a crisis, but they also present the opportunity to prevent similar problems. One powerful way to do this is a method known as the “5 Whys.” By asking “Why?” five (or more) times, you trace an event's causes and effects back to its root cause. Then, you attack the problem at the core.

For example, begin with a statement of the situation:

“I’m facing a license challenge because I administered a medication to which the patient was severely allergic.”

Ask “Why did this happen?” In this case, why did the patient get the wrong medication?

“I never wrote down in the patient’s chart that she was allergic to this medication, even though she told me.”

Ask again: “Why did this happen?”

“I was thinking about some tests I had ordered for another patient.”

Why did this happen?

“I was deciding whether or not to send those labs out for testing, instead of doing them on our equipment.”

Why did this happen?

“We need to get our money’s worth out of that equipment, and I worry that sending lab work out will be too time-consuming.”

Why did this happen?

“I don’t really understand the process of sending out lab work, and figuring it out has always been something I don’t have time for.”

By the fifth “Why did this happen?” the root cause reveals itself: The doctor doesn’t understand the lab admin process. (And he needs help with time management, too.)

Now that he understands the real issue, the physician solves the resulting other problems, too. The preoccupation underlying the original charting and treatment error is eliminated, and the quality of lab results improves.  

The goal of the “5 Why?” process is to de-mystify the problem. It changes the "what if" guessing to managing the core issues that lead to other missteps.

If you're struggling to understand why your license has come under challenge–trying to figure out how prevent this from happening again–consider seeking legal counsel. Please download our free e-Book for more guidance, and schedule a consultation with us today to discuss how we can help you protect your license.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our Law Firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas through our offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

Super Lawyers Rising Star American Bar Association Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College Super Lawyers New York State Bar Association Houston Bar Association Austin Bar Association American Center for Law and Justice 10.0Tony Ray Bertolino

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