Basic Statistics for Infection Preventionists

Learn about the important of statistics in infection prevention and control and get the tools to apply the learning to your role.

 A working knowledge of statistics is a requirement for an effective infection prevention and control (IPC) program. Infection preventionsts must be able to collect, organize, and analyze data, and know how to use the appropriate statistical methods to interpret data.

This four module course covers

  • descriptive statistics
  • inferential statistics
  • ratios, rates, and proportions in two parts

Proficiency Level:



Quality Improvement





Member Price:


Non-Member Price:


Learning Objectives

At the end of this practical skills-level course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the different types of quantitative data
  • Explain the different types of categorical data
  • Describe the various measures of central tendency
  • Describe the various measures of spread
  • Explain the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Describe the various measures of frequency
  • Explain the concept of measures of association
  • Define null hypothesis
  • Define alternative hypothesis
  • Explain the concept of p-value
  • Explain reliability, sensitivity, and specificity
  • Differentiate between positive and negative predictive value
  • Explain what “percentiles” mean
  • Define what the Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) reports
  • Generate a SIR


The four course modules cover a number of key topics in statistics that all IPs need to know to successfully manage their infection prevention and control programs.

Module 1: Descriptive Statistics

Module 1 topics include:

  • Why we need statistics in infection prevention
  • Descriptive vs. inferential statistics
  • Quantitative vs. categorical data
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Measures of spread
  • Quartiles / percentiles


After viewing the presentation and completing the related activities, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Explain the difference between quantitative and categorical data
  • Define measures of central tendency and measures of spread

Module 3: Ratios, Rates, and Proportions (Part I)

Module 3 topics include:

  • Ratios, rates, and proportions
  • Incidence vs. prevalence
  • Direct vs. indirect standardization
  • SIR calculation and interpretation
    o Including determination of statistical significance


  • Define and interpret ratios, rates, and proportions
  • Differentiate between incidence and prevalence
  • Interpret standardized infection ratios (SIR)

Module 2: Inferential Statistics

Module 2 topics include:

  • Steps in statistical analysis (very brief)
  • Null vs alternative hypotheses
  • P-values, confidence intervals, level of significance, power, sample size
  • Type I and Type II error
  • Statistical significance vs. clinical relevance


  • Differentiate between null and alternative hypotheses
  • Interpret p-values and confidence intervals
  • Explain the difference between statistical significance and clinical relevance

Module 4: Ratios, Rates, and Proportions (Part II)

Module 4 topics include:

  • Relative risk
  • Odds ratios
  • Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value


  • Interpret relative risks and odds ratios
  • Interpret sensitivity and specificity
  • Interpret positive and negative predictive values

This program is mapped to the APIC’s IP Competency Model. This model describes the knowledge, skills, and behaviors considered key to advancement and guides IPs toward areas of professional development throughout all career stages. Click here to view the full model.

Paying by check? Please download the 2020 registration form and mail it to the noted address. Please ensure that the registration form and any corresponding documents are included as we cannot process registrations without payment.

Bulk sales are available. Email for more information.


The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC) is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

Course evaluations will be available in your online training menu at the end of the course.

All course-related evaluations must be completed within 30 days of course completion. After satisfying all evaluation requirements, a certificate of completion will be available to print and/or download under My Transcripts for your records indicating CEUs.

Accredited status does not imply endorsement by APIC or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with an educational activity.

Technical Requirements

APIC Education Online courses are accessed through a web browser. The web browser you use must accept cookies, run Adobe Flash, and run JavaScript.

We recommend the below browsers and plug-ins for the best online learning experience

  • Minimum Internet Bandwidth
    Standard Definition (SD) videos: 5 Mbps
  • High Definition (HD) videos: 8 Mbps

Computer Operating System

  • PC: Windows XP or newer
  • Mac: OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or newer

Web Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 8.0 or above
  • Firefox support for most recent 2 public versions
  • Safari support for most recent 2 public versions
  • Google Chrome support for most recent 2 public versions

Browser Plug-ins
Flash Player version or higher. Go to Adobe Flash Player to install the latest version.

Note: APIC Education Online is a mobile-responsive website however, devices running iOS (like iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches) are not able to display course content at this time, due to Flash restrictions on iOS.
Technical support:

Cancellation Policy

APIC must receive all cancellations in writing within 30 days of purchase if you have not yet started the course. If you have started the course, you must submit your cancellation within 7 days of the start day to be eligible for a refund.

Please submit cancellation requests to or via fax to (202) 789-1899. Courses are non-transferrable and remain with the original registered individual regardless of position changes or employee departures.