The Children’s Hospital of Aurora Colorado is one of the top-ranked pediatric hospitals in the United States. They were founded in 1908 in Denver, Colorado and have been helping heal sick children for over one hundred years. Over one thousand pediatric specialists and more than 3,000 full-time employees work there to help their young patients. They selected a wireless temperature monitoring system from Mesa Labs to take care of their critical biological samples and medicines. What follows is an interview with Butch Wilcox, who works in the hospital’s equipment management department.
What system did you have before installing your Mesa Labs CMS?
We had a homemade one. At the time our VP Jerrod Milton was a Pharmacist and had made a small wired one that kept track of the Pharmacy only.
What led you to choosing the Mesa Labs wireless temperature monitoring system?
Jerrod formed a Team to find the best refrigerator monitoring system. Cindy McCall, a supervisor at that time, found Mesa Labs and the team picked this company.
How long did the installation take, and what was the process like?
I started at TCH one year after the system was installed. From what I gathered it had it up’s and down’s and the biggest problem was the high number of alerts issued each day.
You installed over 450 sensors. With that large number, was it difficult to decide where to place them, and what was the process for testing them all before the system came online permanently?
I do know that there were a lot of problems with refrigerators changing rooms and the team didn’t pick a good naming convention to start with. They put the room number in the name and this caused a lot of problems. We now have 600 plus sensors online.
With a large system, it has been believed that many wireless repeaters are necessary to improve reliability, but your system just has one in the form of a Distributed Antenna System. How much time and cost would you estimate has been saved during installation due to this reduction in hardware?
We use about 45 WAP’s around our 1.4 million square foot facility. I have no way of calculating the savings.
What kind of materials are you keeping, and how many refrigerators are being used?
I have Patient Foods, Medications, Lab, Specimen, and Blood samples. I don’t monitor my staff food or family food units. My Mesa Labs sensor count has grown to 600 units now.
How many biological samples does your refrigeration system preserve, and how important are they?
We have a large Lab and store 100’s of samples daily. The value is many millions at any given time. We have lost a few Lab units with reagents that cost us over $50,000.00, not because the Mesa Labs system failed, but we failed! We had some staff training setbacks, but we have solved this problem.
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