What we do

What We Do

SPECT provides health care workers with knowledge and skills to decrease patient risks.

Thousands of preventable deaths occur each year due to postoperative infections. Ensuring surgical instruments are properly cleaned and sterilized is fundamental to decreasing these numbers.

Our approach to
creating lasting impact

Education and Training

Close enough isn’t good enough when it comes to sterilizing surgical instruments. SPECT's training program involves context specific classes on the fundamentals of sterile processing that consider local conditions and available resources. Find out more about our training program here.

Consulting

Prior to SPECT's in-person training, an environmental survey of the sterile processing areas in local healthcare facilities are completed by SPECT personnel. Recommendations based on the findings are provided to leadership and staff of the facility.

Mentoring

Following SPECT's training program, participants are supported in their work settings by visits from SPECT personnel. These visits include meetings with facility leadership to discuss and elicit support for planned changes and address potential barriers to implementation.

Resources

Barriers to effective sterile processing include a lack of knowledge related to products and equipment needed to clean and sterilize instruments. SPECT explores options for acquiring these resources in-country and provides this information to local facilities. Supplies donated to SPECT are given to trainers for use in their training of others.

Partnerships

Fostering partnerships is key to the success of SPECT's work, as we endeavour to ensure all patients, regardless of where they live, have access to safe surgery. This is a global fight, and we make a bigger impact when we work together.

Advocacy

We’ve seen the less-than-ideal conditions that many resource-constrained healthcare facilities face. The participants' motivation to improve conditions has inspired us to increase awareness of sterile processing challenges by conducting research and publishing findings on the impact of our training programs.

Our Training Program

2019

The Impact of a Sterile Processing Program in Northwest Tanzania: A Mixed-Methods Study

BMC

A mixed-methods research study was initiated in the Lake Zone areas of Northwestern Tanzania in the summer of 2018. The goal was to identify the impact of education and training on sterile processing practices at ten hospitals. Data on sterile processing practices prior to, during and after training and mentorship showed that improvement in test scores was directly related to sterile processing training. The greatest sterile processing practice changes identified through hospital assessments involved how instruments were cleaned, both at point of use and during the cleaning process, with rusted and discoloured instruments appearing as new again. Themes identified in participant interviews included: changes in practice, challenges in implementing practice changes, resource constraints, personal and professional growth, and increased motivation, confidence and responsibility.

2019

The Impact of a Short-Term Training Program on Workers’ Sterile Processing Knowledge and Practices in 12 Ethiopian Hospitals: A Mixed Methods Study

PLOS ONE

The study aims to identify the impact of a sterile processing course, with a training-of-trainers component and workplace mentoring on surgical instrument cleaning and sterilization practices at 12 hospitals in Ethiopia.

2018

Surgical Instrument Reprocessing in Resource-Constrained Countries: A Scoping Review of Existing Methods, Policies and Barriers

Mary Ann Libert Inc

Large gaps exist between instrument reprocessing practices in LMICs and recommended policies/procedures. Identified areas for improvement include instrument cleaning and decontamination, sterilization aspects of instrument reprocessing, and verification of sterilization. Education and training of staff responsible for reprocessing instruments and realistic, defined policies and procedures are critical, and lend themselves to improvement interventions.