We had a story this week that talked about risk assessments and the importance of doing assessments in all areas of the hospital. This is a very simple tool that allows you to evaluate your area and then see how you can improve. In designing a tool for any department one should look at the various standards and guidelines that are used and followed in that department. If designing a risk assessment for a C.S.S.D. area one would use at least AAMI ST 79, SGNA Guidelines and AORN Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices to make the assessment tool. If you are processing scopes in your department one way to use the assessment would be to take a closer look at your scope processing.
An example would be testing your disinfectant. The disinfectant has to above its minimum effective concentration (MEC) for adequate disinfection of flexible scopes and should be checked each time before use. The assessment tool would allow you to monitor and track this function. You could add other assessments to this tool like ensuring you date all opened solutions. The tool can be viewed as an objective way to look at this process and also can be looked at as a way of preparing for a Joint Commission survey.
Regardless, of how risk assessment is looked at, it is a great way to gauge how your area (department) is doing when compared to the various standards and guidelines you use.