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Hospitals play an undeniable role in preserving public health. As a home to indispensable medical services, hospitals must ensure patient care through a tightly controlled environment. Executing precise and strenuous health and safety measures to safeguard their processes.
Its unsurprising that the logistics needed to perform safe and flawless patient care are substantial. Amongst all the important parameters required to facilitate the hospital environment, maintaining an appropriate temperature is one crucial factor of patient safety.
This is where the robust use of a temperature monitoring and data logging system that is versatile is essential, providing rapid response and frequent assessment of stable temperature.
What role does temperature play in elevating patient health?
Any medical setting has patient care at its core. As such, it’s unsurprising that a number of crucial processes, technologies and systems are at play to ensure adherence to health and safety regulations.
From sterility, air quality, maintenance and more, temperature is one of the unnegotiable parameters that requires consistent monitoring.
Without adequate temperature control in hospitals, an environment perfect for bacterial transmission is created, medications also run the risk of diminishing in shelf-life and losing their potency, leaving patient safety compromised.
There are variable requirements in place to create temperature-controlled hospital environments, depending on the specialisation, population, and size of the hospital. Nevertheless, all will require a much-needed regulatory tool for accurate and reliable monitoring of each temperature-specific zone. Here’s how temperature data logging can ensure patient safety and enable hospitals to run efficiently:
Safeguards stored medication, vaccination and bloods
The sheer volume of patients requiring treatments within a hospital setting brings with it a substantial need for readily available medications. Many of these require temperature-controlled conditions in order to diminish any chance of degradation.
Pharmaceuticals are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and can easily lose their integrity and potency if they’re not stored at highly controlled conditions. Take chemotherapy drugs for example, which require temperature-controlled environments. These drugs must strictly adhere to proper temperatures to ensure their effectiveness. This often results in them being shipped using insulated containers.
Improper temperature control can alter a drugs physical properties, leading to changes in colour, texture, odor and taste. This often indicates that medications are no longer effective and could even cause harm to the consumer. For vaccines and blood storage, inappropriate temperature conditions can effect potency and even destroy it, meanwhile bacterial growth can take place.
From Immunoglobulins and vaccines, to antibiotics with intravenous formulations, the list of medications that require temperature-controlled storage is endless.
Preserves stored biological material and samples
Often used for diagnostic testing and disease progression monitoring, samples of biological material are a routine of many medical settings. They play a distinct role in diagnosis and result in proper care for patients which means correct storage minimises their deterioration over time.
In order to prolong sample integrity, temperature data loggers can utilise sensors that measure surrounding temperature and store readings over a longer period of time, which often corresponds with how long samples are kept for.
Urine samples should be maintained through refrigeration, whilst some blood culture samples may need to be stored at room temperature. Other biological materials that are often stored within hospital settings, must be stored at highly specific temperatures to account for long-term storage.
These include readily available blood supplies for emergency situations, such as blood transfusions and blood type assessment, which include both refrigerated and frozen storage requirements. Blood components such as platelets, red blood cells and frozen plasma all must be stored at specific temperatures, storing to as low as -30°C or lower.
Any temperature deviations are a one-way ticket to sample loss; an inefficient and unwanted result, especially in an environment where streamlined procedures are of critical importance for adequate patient care.
Protects patient comfort and overall safety
Temperature control in hospitals also has a key role in minimising free-floating airborne infectious organisms. Regulating the overall environmental temperature minimises infectious disease transmission, from patient to patient, patient to employee and patient to visitor.
The recommended temperature requirements differ with each designated hospital area. Infant, for example, are more susceptible to transmission and sensitive to temperature, which results in neonatal wards typically operating at a higher temperature of 24-26°C. Meanwhile, operating rooms function at a cooler temperature of around 20-23°C for infection control purposes.
The need for automation in hospitals
A recent situation in 2018 detailed faulty air conditioning that led to a dramatic drop in temperature for a maternity ward in Kent. The temperature dropped low enough to risk hypothermia for babies and infants in the ward.
This only reinforces the need for a consistent temperature monitoring solution which can instantly indicate system faults, and manage temperature extremely regularly, every 5 minutes in fact!
Despite all ongoing technological advances seen within the healthcare sector, reliance on manual temperature monitoring is still common practice. Although a seemingly cost-effective solution at the surface level, the process of having an employee manually check current temperatures is fundamentally flawed, given its susceptibility to human error.
Instead of relying on manual labour to carry out consistent checks, hospitals can save time, free resources, and eliminate any chances of incorrect assessment through automation, particularly the AiroSensor by SenseAnywhere which allows hospitals to operate in a ‘fit and forget’ approach.
The AiroSensor is an ultra-low power, wireless temperature data logger which manages temperature behind closed doors (quite literally – it can be placed in medicinal storage cabinets and a variety of other locations!).
The logger incorporates a user-friendly design, to ensure it is fitted perfectly in a hospital environment. Meanwhile, once fitted, it can easily be forgotten, as it facilitates an ongoing comprehensive data overview and temperature analysis, generating an in-depth mapping report in just one click when necessary!
Ensure patient safety with AiroSensor
Hospitals have a variety of functioning areas, with environments that house drugs, patients, samples, sterile equipment and a magnitude of other things. This makes it quite difficult to manage the varying temperatures in each zone, without the need for expensive systems.
Opting for an inexpensive data logger that combines real time temperature monitoring with reliable, regular and accessible readings that operate using instantaneous technology is the more convenient solution for a sector that is already time constricted.
AiroSensors by SenseAnywhere can be placed directly into storage facilities to track any deviations of temperatures. If the values are outside of the pre-set margins, hospital employees receive a triggered warnings, protecting the wider hospital against temperature fluctuations. Intervention can be immediate, whilst still ensuring that hospitals can continue with their care for patients first and foremost.
Free trials are more than welcome, get in touch to find out how to receive your AiroSensor!