Reflecting on HSPA 2024

May 28, 2024

The way our internal production schedule is set up has our team diligently working away on editions well ahead of the month the edition hits your inbox or mailbox. I just returned from the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) conference that took place April 21-23 in Las Vegas. And although this is the editorial for the June edition, I can’t help but keep reflecting on the conference, particularly the advancements being made in this space and the individuals who make it all happen.

On April 22, at the conference at the Caesars Forum, in a session entitled “The Instrumental Role of Data and Analytics in Sterile Processing,” John Erickson and Alison Sonstelie discussed data, key performance indicators, and methods for collecting data.

Erickson has been in Sterile Processing for 18 years and started his career as an entry-level technician, advancing to roles such as educator and manager. Sonstelie is a Client Success Manager at Ascendco Health. One of her current roles involves helping clients leverage their data to improve their operations. Prior to joining Ascendco, she worked in Sterile Processing and Supply Chain for over 10 years. During that time, she was elected to the HSPA Board of Directors, was part of the 2014 Healthcare Purchasing News CS/SP Department of the Year and participated in several AAMI workgroups.

Sterile Processing professionals are often left reacting to chaos and process breakdowns. The key to moving into a proactive approach is to get a better grasp of current performance. Data and its collection points are the foundation for understanding the department's current state and making improvements.

The entire session was full of tips for Sterile Processing professionals to start using data and analytics, even without fancy software. You can read my writeup on this session here:

Also, I had the pleasure of presenting the 2024 Sterile Processing Department of the Year Award to two representatives from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago at the conference.

I’ve been to a lot of healthcare conferences during my career, and I was, and still am, astounded by the commitment and passion that Sterile Processing professionals have in their profession. I truly think we need to do more as an industry to celebrate these unsung heroes who are keeping patients safe “behind the scenes” by bringing them front and center.

About the Author

Janette Wider | Editor-in-Chief

Janette Wider is Editor-in-Chief for Healthcare Purchasing News.

Photo 77197506 © Korn Vitthayanukarun |
Image courtesy of Kat Velez, LeeSar Regional Service Center, Fort Myers, FL, HPN’s 2017 SPD of the Year
261278015 © Александр Лебедько |