What basic requirements should a temperature registration system in hospitals and pharmacies meet?
Hospitals should put safety and quality of care first. And they do!
A temperature registration system in hospitals and pharmacies should meet several basic requirements to ensure accurate and reliable temperature readings. These requirements include:
- High accuracy to measure temperature with precision and accuracy, typically to within 0.1°C or less.
- Wide temperature range, typically from -200°C to +1300°C. Easy to use with intuitive interfaces and clear instructions.
- Secure data storage, to ensure patient and employee information is kept confidential.
- Compliance with relevant regulations, such as those set by the FDA or EMA.
- Automated data recording and analysis, with the capability of storing it in a central location.
- Alerts capability when temperature is out of range or abnormal.
- Easy service and maintenance access with clear instructions for troubleshooting.
It should also be designed to be effective, easy to maintain and scalable, with the ability to integrate seamlessly with other existing systems in the hospital or pharmacy. As for accreditation, hospitals can get accredited by third-party organizations like Qualicore (in the Netherlands) or JCI (internationally).
Why is such a system important for compliance with laws and regulations?
In a lot of hospital departments like laboratories, pharmacies, and kitchens, correct registration and monitoring of temperatures is - literally - of vital importance.
Medicines must be stored and dispensed at specific temperatures, tests must be carried out at specific temperatures in the laboratory, and food safety is particularly important in hospitals.
Is it important to have 24/7 insight into the monitored temperatures?
Yes, it is. Basically, the safety of medicines and patients in hospitals never sleeps. Automating temperature registration is essential if you want to achieve 24/7 insight into everything proceeding correctly and according to the standards.
Around the clock insight into monitored temperatures in hospitals allows staff to quickly identify and respond to any temperature deviations that may occur.
This is particularly important in situations where temperature deviations can potentially have serious consequences, such as in the storage of vaccines and other temperature-sensitive medical products.
How does this help with quick corrective actions when a temperature deviates too much?
Each department has its own limit values that must be monitored, and it’s the local employees of the department who must be notified if a deviation is detected. It’s best to set up the reports and alarm settings by the individual quality managers per department.
But, overall, having 24/7 insight into temperature monitoring in hospitals helps with quick corrective actions by providing real-time information and automated alerts, allowing staff to identify deviations, access the data remotely, analyze historical data, and maintain compliance.
1. Real-time monitoring
With 24/7 monitoring, temperature data is continuously collected and analyzed in real-time, providing staff with up-to-the-minute information on the status of the temperature in various areas of the hospital. This allows staff to quickly identify when a temperature deviation occurs, and take immediate action.
2. Automated alerts
Many temperature monitoring systems are able to send automated alerts when a temperature deviation occurs. This can include text messages, emails, or push notifications to staff members' mobile devices. This helps ensure that staff are quickly made aware of any temperature deviations and can take action as needed.
3. Remote access
By having 24/7 insight into temperature monitoring, staff members can access the data remotely, allowing them to monitor temperature even if they're not on-site. This means that staff can take action even if they're not physically present in the hospital.
4. Historical data analysis
With a comprehensive temperature monitoring system, historical data can be analyzed to identify patterns and trends that could be contributing to the deviation. This can help staff to identify the root cause of the deviation, and take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Temperature monitoring systems can automatically store temperature readings, making it easy to comply with regulations such as FDA or EMA guidelines and make sure the hospital is in compliance with these rules.
How important is interdepartmental temperature registration uniformity?
When different departments or areas of a hospital have different temperature standards or use different methods of temperature monitoring, it can lead to confusion and inconsistencies. This can make it difficult to identify temperature deviations and take appropriate corrective action, which can put patients, staff, and medical products at risk.
Having a consistent and uniform temperature registration system across all departments of a hospital can help to mitigate these risks by providing a clear and consistent framework for temperature monitoring.
This makes it easier for staff to understand the temperature standards and requirements, and take appropriate action when deviations occur.
But at the same time it’s important that the management of the system is supported by the technical services and IT solutions for digital quality control. Uniformity of the temperature registration solution across the departments is extremely important for these central services.
Can a centralized temperature monitoring system contribute to uniform temperature registration?
With a centralized system, maintenance and possible repairs can partly be done internally, which benefits the reliability and robustness of the monitoring system for all departments.
We suggest trying an IoT-based Digital Quality Management Solution like Rmoni to raise quality standards across the board. Here’s how Dutch academic hospital UMC Utrecht used Rmoni to create temperature registration uniformity.
Ultimately a centralized temperature monitoring system like this contributes to the highest possible quality of care for patients.