SPD Consulting and Performance Improvements | STERIS
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Sterile Processing Consulting and Performance Improvements

The Sterile Processing Department (SPD) is integral to a healthcare facility. Staffing shortages and improperly sterilized surgical instruments can ultimately have a negative impact on the Operating Room (OR) and on patient outcomes. With a dedicated team of full-time Professional Services Consultants, our team is uniquely positioned to address all challenges facing the SPD environment.


SPD Consulting and Performance Improvements


With quality improvement at the forefront of healthcare professionals’ minds, our team of clinical and lean experts works with your healthcare facility to provide onsite assessments to address SPD operational and leadership needs. Our solutions are customized to your facility's areas of need now and in the future. STERIS works with Customers to investigate and evaluate process improvement options to ensure healthcare facilities meet or exceed their goals and clinical and regulatory compliance. Some of our services include:

  • In-depth assessments that provide strategic recommendations for your sterile processing operations and performance.
  • Audit your facility's performance to identify gaps between the current state and guidelines to ensure your facility is regulatory compliant.
  • Continuing education to improve operational processes and quality.
  • KPIs to ensure performance is measured and reported.
  • Access to technology programs that provide quality tracking reporting and Pareto charts, real-time decontamination and sterilization guidance, and documents IFU details through an easy-to-use dashboard.

Sterile Processing Industry Challenges

Sterile Processing Industry Challenges

Capacity & Space

  • Outdated / Insufficient equipment
  • Lack of capacity
  • No more available space


  • Clinical Best Practice / Compliance
  • Complex IFU Standards
  • Lack of quality management & productivity systems


  • Lack of instrument inventory
  • Instrument tracking & management
  • Outdated count sheets / preference cards


  • Chronic staffing shortage
  • Competency & education
  • Lack of SPD management systems


Our Experience


Years of experience in providing consulting and performance improvement


A comprehensive partner that can help support your healthcare facility


Reduction in missing surgical instruments*

*Data was pulled from an internal survey conducted with existing STERIS Customers.

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STERIS’ comprehensive sterile processing and high-level disinfection (HLD) assessments can provide strategic and operational recommendations to improve clinical compliance, quality outcomes, management systems, and the financial performance of your SPD. Our full suite of customizable assessments and studies include:

  • Mock Survey – identify a healthcare facility's preparedness and opportunities for improvement.
  • Comprehensive SPD and HLD Assessments – better understand how a department sterilizes surgical instruments and if a facility has an effective system in place to manage people and processes and ensure quality outcomes.
  • Strategic studies for single or multiple SPD locations – assessment to determine strategic direction for sterile processing.
  • Clinical and regulatory compliance audits – evaluate an SPD's performance to clinical guidelines, identify gaps, and help develop an action plan.

Our experienced specialists will evaluate any gaps in your sterile processing operations and STERIS can provide you with consulting, education, and interim staffing to improve your department's operations and performance. STERIS has forged close partnerships with hospitals and healthcare networks to create effective and efficient SPD operations. Customers gain knowledge and paths to efficiency from the experience of our team and the years STERIS Professional Services has spent in the field.

Sterile Processing Process Improvement Metrics Example

Task Baseline Metric Current Metric Variance % Description
Decontamination - Cleaning time per tray 17.8 Mins/Tray 7.2 Mins/Tray 59.5% Reduced the amount of time to clean an estimated 100,000 trays annually.
Assembly - Assembling instrument trays 28.2 Mins/Tray 15.3 Mins/Tray 45.7% Reduced the amount of time to assemble surgical instrument sets, estimated 100,000 trays annually.
WIP - Backlog of unprocessed trays at 7 AM 600 Trays 70 Trays 88.3% Amount of surgical instrument sets not processed before the next surgical day begins.
Missing Instruments from Surgical sets 3000 instruments 150 instruments 95% Amount of surgical instruments missing out of assembled surgical trays within the entire inventory.
Case Cart Readiness 72% Case Cart Complete 95% Case Cart Complete 23% The number of case carts is 100% complete at 7 AM surgical start times.
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Performance Improvements

The SPD is an essential part of a healthcare facility. Our team has invested heavily in the people and processes needed to address SPD's current and future challenges while planning for growth and regulatory compliance. Using data and benchmarking, we resolve the misaligned priorities of multiple stakeholders to ensure that your hospital’s plans result in successful outcomes. Our performance improvements include:

  • Identify opportunities for improvement, develop quality indicators, and implement a process moving forward to ensure your SPD is running effectively.
  • Improve tray accuracy, quality indicators, and instrument reprocessing optimization.
  • Leverage in-service sterile processing continuing education to improve operational processes and quality.
  • Robust technology for IFU compliance and surgical instrument tray optimization.
  • Sterile processing performance improvement that reduces errors and enhances patients' safety.

Process Improvements for Missing Surgical Instruments

Graph - 79%Reduction in of Total Missing Instruments
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Clinical & Regulatory Compliance

The overall quality of the SPD directly impacts patient safety. As standards and regulations evolve, your department must adapt to ensure compliance with governing bodies. Our team will evaluate current processes with clinical guidelines and identify gaps and opportunities to ensure your SPD conforms with industry best practices. Our services are based on industry guidelines and regulations such as AAMI ST79, clinical requirements such as manufacturer instructions for use, and specific Customer requirements. Our services include:

  • Complex surgical instruments are properly reprocessed and audit-ready.
  • Surgical instruments and flexible endoscopes are processed according to the manufacturer's IFUs for medical devices.
  • Properly processed and handled complicated or sophisticated loaner surgical instruments.
  • Accurate data on key performance indicators is available to share with hospital leadership.

The Joint Commission – Customer Mock Survey

Standard EP Code Risk Matrix Explanation Consultant Observations General Recommendations
EC.01.01.01 1 No Impact/
The hospital plans activities to minimize risks in the environment of care. The facility has been without a manager and 1 or 3 supervisors for more than a year. Personnel could not provide.
EC.02.05.01 9 Medium Impact/
The organization manages risks associated with its utility systems. No process documentation was provided to surveyors, and/or zero staff was able to articulate the process.
EC.02.05.01 15 High Impact/
The organization manages risks associated with its utility systems. Biomed was called and provided action plans that have been developed. Long-term plans to update handlers.
EC.01.01.01 1 Medium Impact/
The hospital plans activities to minimize risks in the environment of care. The facility has been without a manager and 1 of 3 supervisors for more than a year. Personnel could not provide. The facility has contracted with an outside agency to provide leadership and prioritize out of compliance documentation ASAP.

Team up with an Experienced Partner

We offer a wide range of solutions and products to address your sterile processing and reprocessing needs. From steam sterilizers to offsite reprocessing centers, increase your SPD productivity and enhance patient safety.


3D rendering of an SPD


Contact us today and learn how we can help!

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Related Services

Are staffing challenges creating tray backlogs or surgical case delays?
Call 440-290-9614 or email to learn about our sterile processing staffing programs!

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