The medical industry's proper storage of temperature-sensitive products – specifically vaccines – is a fundamental growing public health concern.
Many variables contribute to effective vaccine management, including the type of refrigeration unit used, how the product is loaded into the unit, the number and duration of door openings, and the ambient/exterior temperature of the refrigerator's location. All of these factors influence the temperature of the vaccine in storage.
For effective vaccine management, an accurate temperature history that reflects actual vaccine temperatures is required. This time/temperature information is critical for determining the safety and efficacy of refrigerated medications. Improper storage not only endangers public health, but it can also cost vaccine providers millions of dollars in spoiled products each year.
Given these considerations, keeping vaccine refrigerators, freezers, and controlled storage units at adequate and stable temperatures is a critical, driving necessity. And one that emphasises the importance of dependable temperature monitoring in order to keep temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals within specified temperature ranges.
Standard operating procedures such as daily checks, manual documentation of minimum and maximum temperatures, and the removal/retrieval of temperature loggers when the information is needed can hinder productivity and shift clinic staff's attention away from their primary focus of caring for patients. To obtain the data readout from a USB data logger, for example, a user must physically remove the data logger from the fridge, connect it to a USB port on a computer, and have the associated software. Furthermore, the task of sharing this daily report is frequently still done manually.
With the advancement of technology, particularly Bluetooth, users can streamline the data collection process while reducing many inefficiencies associated with traditional USB loggers. Utilising Bluetooth, users can wirelessly configure and readout loggers, set alarms, and easily check the logger status or view current, minimum, and maximum temperatures from up to 30 metres away. This provides pharmaceutical and clinical managers responsible for the storage and safekeeping of refrigerated vaccines with seamless and efficient data access, which is especially useful when dealing with multiple refrigeration units.
Furthermore, wireless technologies have created opportunities for gateways to work with cloud-based software for automatic data downloads and real-time alerts via email or text if a temperature breach occurs.
Bluetooth temperature loggers enable quick measurement and wireless data transmission to a mobile device. The functionality improves the ease and efficiency with which data can be collected, organised, and shared via mobile devices. This allows for more frequent visibility without the need to constantly detach the associated logger.
It is critical to understand the features of the accompanying mobile app when evaluating temperature loggers. To easily share automated reports, the app should allow users to download and send data in a single step. This enables storage monitoring personnel to meet regulatory compliance requirements much more quickly, reliably, and effectively. Ensuring that the app supports secure transmission of PDF and Excel files allows for greater flexibility in how data can be shared across departments. Users who have multiple loggers at various locations may find it especially useful to consider technology that allows for automatic data transfer to a cloud-based software where all data can be viewed from any location and easily shared with others.
If the monitoring application requires users to check the logger on a daily or twice-daily basis, it's a good idea to look for a temperature logger that's built to make these jobs easier. Some loggers allow the associated mobile app to connect to the logger and run inspections. When a check is finished, it can be captured as a logged user-action and should be displayed on the logger screen and in the reports. This allows users to keep track of temperature checks throughout the day while also giving proof that the checks were completed and by whom.
It is vital in temperature-controlled storage monitoring applications that the data logger utilised can alert people in the event of a temperature breach or a disconnected temperature probe. It's also a good idea to look into the logger's advanced alarm capabilities.
Some loggers can also connect to an optional gateway device and a free cloud-based software platform, allowing you to get real-time temperature breach notifications through SMS or email regardless of your location.
Look for models that display all temperature information on a single screen rather to those that require you to press buttons to navigate through a succession of screens. If a temperature breach occurs, the data logger should additionally give a visual signal for warning circumstances, as well as indicators for battery level, storage capacity, and other diagnostics.