Whether you are in nursing, pathology, operating rooms, clinical laboratories or responsible for administering temperature sensitive pharmaceutical assets, you know how time consuming and error prone manual temperature logging can be. When hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have to prepare and submit compliance reports, hand logs often require arduous compilation and careful submission to satisfy the requirements of compliance reporting bodies like the CDC, FDA, Joint Commission, HACCP and State Boards of Pharmacy.
How Do You Alleviate Manual Temperature Logging Challenges?
Healthcare’s best practice is to install a wireless automated temperature monitoring solution, also referred to as environmental monitoring system, in areas where temperature sensitive assets are stored. This varies widely depending on the type of organization, but we find pharmaceutical and laboratory refrigerators are one of the most critical first places for installations of wireless automated temperature monitoring solutions.
#1 Automate Compliance With Regulatory Reporting Standards
Temperature monitoring requirements put forth by regulatory bodies such as the CDC, FDA, Joint Commission, HACCP, and State Boards of Pharmacy are all unique. Automated wireless reporting allows you to expedite the reporting process by leveraging electronic temperature logs, rather than manually compiling these for each individual reporting body. Be sure to choose an environmental monitoring system like ViewPoint, Infitrak or FreshLoc that records the history of the temperature logs in a central database and stores those for your healthcare organization. This ensures you are able to easily and quickly retrieve historical temperature logs in the event of an audit or litigation.
#2 Avoid Spoilage Of High-Value Pharmaceuticals, Laboratory Samples, Blood and more
All of these are examples of costly losses to a hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility when temperatures are out of normal temperature range. Compromised assets cause concern and put patients at risk. This raises the question, “How can you truly feel confident in the integrity of these items without 24/7/365 uninterrupted monitoring?” The answer is – you can’t. Even with the best staff, human error can occur – as do acts of nature – causing brief power outages. Without an automated monitoring solution in place, staff cannot be proactively notified of temperature changes and temporary power supplies cannot maintain temperature without proper notification.
#3 & #4 Ensure Patient Safety & Regulatory Compliance With New Guidelines
Cold chain management ensures temperature sensitive items are within range. For example, The Center For Disease Prevention and Control’s “Vaccines Storage and Handling Toolkit” outlines requirements for safe storage of pediatric vaccines. The section, “Elements for an Effective and Reliable Cold Chain,” instructs healthcare organizations to have, “a well-trained staff, reliable storage and temperature monitoring equipment.” Wireless temperature monitoring ensures these requirements are met, immediately. Systems like ViewPoint, Infitrak or FreshLoc proactively notify healthcare personnel via email, SMS, Text – any time sensitive perishables register outside the acceptable range.
#5 No more lost logs
This may sound unusual, but it’s not. In our experience working with thousands of healthcare organizations over the years, missed logging times is more frequent than any one would like to admit. With frequent shift changes, sick employees or other departmental changes – temperature monitoring is just one more task. By automating the logging process, this headache and risk is alleviate because systems like ViewPoint, Infitrak or FreshLoc record the temperature automatically, and are reinforced with a backup battery in the event of power loss or fluctuation.
If you or your supervisors are interested in moving to an automated temperature monitoring solution, download this straightforward 2-page overview of these Top 5 Reasons to stop logging temperature manually.
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