What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in Healthcare?

April 5, 2022

What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in Healthcare?

Almost everything in this world happens for a reason. If you are late for work, it might have been that you were late in waking up or got stuck in traffic or some other internal or external forces ended up making you late. The same is with your body. Nothing happens to your body without reason, Not even a disease.

A disease or disorder is the final stage of a body issue. But, it does not originate as a disease from the get-go. The first or initial stage of a disease is an anomaly in your body. It might not be anything severe. It can be as mild or as insignificant as an insufficient amount of oxygen intake. But, this insignificant anomaly, if left untreated or unsupervised, over time, can turn into a cardiovascular disease

This anomaly is what a Root Cause is. It is the hidden reason behind your health problems.

To understand this better, we can take the example of a torn shirt. You can find a temporary solution of putting a safety pin or sewing it, but none of these will help until you fix the root cause of the issue. That is by asking the question, why exactly did the shirt tear? Is it because the material was not good or had stuck on a nail somewhere, or because you have gained weight? Finding the Why and then working on fixing it will help you more than finding temporary solutions. But how do we detect this? 

How to Get Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?

Well, your doctor always asks you to get a blood report done when you go to them with a problem. The reason being, your blood is the information center of your body. Getting your blood analysed can help you detect the root cause behind your health problems. 

Multiple root causes affect a person in different ways. The reason being your body is an interdependent system. It is a beautifully complex being. Each cell has its own unique functions, which in turn help different body systems do their assigned roles. And all these systems work together in keeping the body healthy and functioning at its best.

To understand this, let's talk about hair fall. Loads of people suffer from hair fall and after countless treatments still find themselves unable to get rid of the problem. The reason being they never tried finding out the reason why. One of the reasons for this can be underlying thyroid problems, to be more precise hypothyroidism. And the reason behind the origination of hypothyroidism could be an inadequate supply of necessary nutrients to the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormones. Now, to identify exactly which of the necessary nutrients are you deficient of you need to get your blood analysed. 

To ensure the proper functioning of your body, you must make sure each cell in the body is working efficiently.

How Can Root Cause Analysis Help You Prevent a Disease?

As mentioned above, disease or health disorder is the final stage of a health issue. It takes time for an anomaly to manifest into a disease. This means you have plenty of time to prevent it from turning into a full-blown disease. 

As soon as an anomaly starts becoming a hindrance to your body's functioning, your body starts communicating with you. These are seen as symptoms; like headache, loss of energy, itchy skin, bloating, acidity and more. And rather than delving more into knowing why you are facing these symptoms, you suppress them on the surface by taking a tablet or using home remedies to counter them. 

But if you get a proper analysis of your bloodwork, you, with the help of a good nutritionist, can detect early on the internal issues of the body and take steps to overcome those issues. These will help maintain proper blood parameters, which informs you that there are no issues plaguing your body.

How Can Root Cause Analysis Help You Treat a Health Problem?

Knowing the Root Causes does not merely help you prevent but can also help you reverse diseases. 

Once you know the reason behind your health problem, rather than putting your time, energy and money into treating the disease symptoms on the surface, you can start targeting the root cause. Treating the root cause will automatically start helping your body fight the adverse effects of the root cause. Or in simple terms, it will help your body reverse your disease.

You might question this saying, "how is that even possible?" Well, your body has structures in place that help it fight unwanted elements. Your body is one of the most intelligent systems. The only thing it needs to work smoothly is our support. This support comes in the form of proper nutrition and lifestyle. 

Diagnosing root causes helps prevent loads of health problems and also helps in reversing chronic diseases.

Root Cause Analysis Benefits

Analysing the reason behind your symptoms can help you in many ways, namely

  1. Finding out the reason behind your disorder
  2. Reversing chronic diseases like diabetes
  3. Preventing genetic diseases
  4. Detecting the cause of your symptoms
  5. Preventing diseases related to ageing
  6. Achieving optimum health
  7. Treating lifestyle diseases like heart diseases
  8. Maintaining your body's nutritional level
  9. Achieving sustainable health
  10. Eliminating almost all health problems 

Functional Nutritional Approach to Root Cause Analysis

Finding out the root cause of your health problems is steadily gaining attention in many healthcare sectors. Functional Nutrition, a holistic approach to healing, also uses RCA to help treat people of their health dysfunctions with a huge distinction. Rather than using normal reference ranges, Functional Nutrition uses Optimal Ranges to make a diagnosis. 

Let's see what the difference between Optimal Ranges vs Normal/Reference Ranges is

Optimal Ranges Reference Ranges
Uses ranges based on tests taken using healthy individuals as the subjects. Uses ranges based on tests taken using a large population as subjects that include unhealthy subjects and make no distinction in age or lifestyle.
They are updated every few years. They have never been updated.
They use narrow ranges. They use wide ranges.
They are very precise. They are not precise.

Another distinction in Functional Nutrition's approach to RCA is that they do not check just the necessary parameters but rather dive deep into all body parameters. A comprehensive analysis of a blood report helps get a better idea about your body's health. A Functional Nutritionist does not give up until she/he finds the Root Cause. 

Why is RCA Important?

Root Cause Analysis is an essential part of treatment, or at least should be, as it helps the healthcare practitioner pinpoint the reason or reasons behind your health dysfunction. Also, it gives insight into what parameters are to be prioritised. This helps in creating better treatment plans. Also, RCA can help distinguish areas you must work on to prevent the onset of any other health dysfunction. 

RCA helps reverse and prevent diseases and to get better results out of your blood work, it is recommended to approach a Functional Nutritionist. They will make sure the diagnosis is done using Optimal Ranges. Also, they will give you a better direction on how to proceed with your treatment. 

A good experienced Functional Nutritionist will, after the RCA, help you treat your health problems through diet, supplementation, lifestyle changes and different holistic practices.

Sharvi Dave
Research Associate

Experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing & editing history. skilled in writing, communication, digital marketing, & general aviation. Strong media & communication professional with a Bachelor of Science - Bs focussed in Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science & Technology General from Bombay Flying Club.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.