Maintaining a detailed record of the temperature of your facility’s cold storage units has never been more important — and the pitfalls of manual logging techniques have never been more apparent. Learn how to upgrade your logging system in this article.
Healthcare facilities and hospitals had a challenging 2020, and many organizations have taken or are taking the opportunity to assess the efficiency of their operations from the lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. One universal element is the management of cold storage assets that house vaccines, medications, samples, and testing materials. This article takes a look at how your facility can take a focused approach to the role refrigeration temperature logs play in patient care and how to streamline asset management for more effective operations.
When to Upgrade from Manual Temperature Logging
Manual temperature logging has been a necessary step when automated systems are absent. However, manual methods create the potential for user error, unrecorded events, and inconsistent reporting. Today’s regulatory standards for medication, vaccine, and other temperature-sensitive asset management have become more stringent than what manual logging can provide.
Hospitals have to comply with federal, state, and local standards as well as manufacturer specifications and an ever-changing landscape of research and protocols. As soon as temperature-sensitive assets are received by a hospital, the monitoring efforts for temperature control, inventory management, and storage monitoring must be tracked. Without automated monitoring, facilities run the risk of issues such as untracked equipment failure or compromised medication efficacy. For example, epinephrine can lose up to 64% of their efficacy if exposed to repeated heating and cooling brought about by an unregulated refrigeration unit — potentially putting patients suffering from anaphylaxis in grave danger. Furthermore, medications such as Pfizer BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is stored at temperatures far below freezing, and once thawed above 45 °F (8 °C) cannot be re-frozen for later use, meaning that an out-of-range refrigeration unit could potentially make critical doses of the vaccine unusable.
Regulatory protocols require that the conditions for medications and vaccines — including temperature, access, and duration of storage — need to be monitored and documented. Where manual logging requires dedicated staff time, automated monitoring can consistently track temperature, monitor access, and store the information to create compliance reports as needed.
Prioritizing Refrigeration Temperature-Control Strategies
Hospitals can learn from the lessons of 2020 and implement strategies that will improve operations and patient care. The role of asset management and refrigeration temperature logging will only become more critical as new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines become part of hospital regimens.
Regardless of your facility’s treatment focus, creating a refrigeration temperature-control strategy and defining the protocols for cold asset management are useful measures to modernize and streamline resources. Automated monitoring systems can free up valuable staff time, increase compliance, and support better patient care by ensuring the integrity of medication, vaccines, and medical devices.
Automated Refrigeration Monitoring Solutions for Your Facility
Primex OneVue Sense provides monitoring solutions that can help track refrigeration conditions with precision. When combined with the OneVue Monitor software, the sensors are part of an integrated monitoring system customized to capture the information you need and create on-demand reports. This capability eliminates the need for manual recording while still maintaining accurate records and the ability to demonstrate policy or regulatory compliance.
OneVue temperature and humidity sensors allow environmental conditions to be monitored and for data to be recorded for easy access through the Primex OneVue Monitor system. Easily installed as needed throughout a facility, these sensors feature audible and visible alerts. When connected to the OneVue Monitor network, they can provide alerts by email, text, or phone if conditions fall beyond set parameters.
The Primex OneVue Sense options include temperature sensors with a temperature probe or thermobuffers for targeted monitoring, or temperature and humidity sensors. Each option provides additional versatility to help temperature and humidity monitoring goals. Each sensor unit is portable and can be moved to a different location to meet changing demands according to hospital needs. They are available with battery, AC, or Power over Ethernet (POE) power options to ensure data security during network or power outages.