Risk Assessment Workshop Offered at APIC 2023

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What are risk assessments? How are they done? Two experts explained them in an entertaining and informative presentation at the APIC 2023 conference in Orlando, Florida.

What are risk assessments? How are they done? Too often, infection preventionists are told to do them but have yet to learn what to do or how to start.

Dana Piatek, MPH, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC Clinical Consultant forGOJO, New Castle, Pennsylvania; and Jenny Bender, MPH, BSN, RN, CIC; Clinical Science Liaison for PDI Healthcare, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, presented “Don't Let Risks Drive You Batty: A Hands-on Risk Assessment Workshop.”

Piateck and Bender spoke with Infection Control Today® (ICT®) about their presentation at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held in Orlando, Florida, June 26 to 28, 2023.

They discussed the key points of their presentation and the takeaways for infection preventionists and others who will attend. Looking further out, they discuss what they most looked forward to at the APIC conference. They also discussed what “the buzz will be around the “water fountain” (and why that isn’t a good phrase!).

“Nobody ever teaches you how to do [risk assessments],” Pietek told ICT. When you get into being an infection preventionist, it's like, “Okay, you have these risk assessments you have to do. Good luck.” We wanted to break [them] down, walk everyone through, and teach them some of the basics, plus some of the pieces that nobody tells you about.

Bender said, “We'll review the guidance from [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] and The Joint Commission surrounding risk assessment. We will cover when to do a risk assessment because I think most people are familiar with their annual [risk assessment] that checks the box, but there are a couple of other times when you should consider doing one. We will also go over all the steps. There are four categories, and then we'll go over a couple of specific types of risk assessment, including construction.”

Piateck and Bender emphasized that their presentation would be fun and informative. “Infection Prevention sometimes is not the most interesting topic, and you tend to hear things over and over again. So we tried to make it fun. A little goofy, a little nerdy,” Piateck laughingly said.

(Quotes have been edited for clarity.)

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