Case Study: Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
June 30th , 2023 by kevin
One of only two specialist trusts in the UK, the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust delivers over 8,000 babies per year, alongside their services in neonatal care, gynaecology, and fertility treatment. As Deputy Chief Pharmacist of the organisation, Daniel Collins has an overarching role managing various departments, and leading a team of pharmacists to deliver excellent care. High on his agenda is the safety of the medication his team prescribes and dispenses to patients across the hospital, as he explains;
“As a specialist trust, we use a lot of specialist medicines. So, the procurement, supply, and demand of those medicines can be tricky. When we are using these medicines, we need to make sure they are stored appropriately – both at ward level, and crucially here in the pharmacy.”
To ensure all medication is kept at a safe temperature, Dan and his team have over 70 Monika temperature monitoring sensors installed across the hospital, recording refrigerators, freezers, and ambient room temperatures. Having used Monika’s systems in his previous role at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Dan helped roll out the introduction to Monika systems on World Patient Safety Day in September 2021, and has seen a myriad of benefits since:
“The main advantage of Monika is that we can constantly record and provide evidence of our medicine storage and our temperatures. So rather than being a paper-based solution where we’re removing clinical staff from patient-facing roles, we actually have this electronic system now, which constantly monitors that temperature, so it frees up staff time.”
In addition to freeing up time and providing more accurate results, Monika’s smart system has flagged issues previously unnoticed. Dan explained that over the summer, storage rooms were exceeding +25 degrees, resulting in unsafe conditions. This enabled Dan to provide the trust with information and evidence that led to the installation of air conditioning units in areas that needed them.
Monitoring chilled medication between +2 – +8 degrees, frozen goods between -10 – -25 degrees, and ambient temperatures of +15 – +25 degrees, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust stores everything from specialist medicines, vaccines, and breast milk for new-borns. Should an area move outside these pre-determined safe ranges, hospital staff will receive an alert, as Dan explains:
“We manage our alerts from the Monika system depending on the individual area. There are a number of senior staff in each area that have access to the Monika system, and therefore they are sent notifications whenever a temperature has deviated for a certain period of time. The expectation is that the staff in those areas acknowledge those alerts and apply the corrective action.”
In the instance the senior staff are busy with patients, Monika’s smart system can accelerate the issue as required, Dan continues, “Now, if they don’t act on those alerts in a timely manner, then the alerts will be escalated up through the hospital, and crucially that will come through to pharmacy, so we can act on them.”
This early warning system has helped Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust prevent unnecessary waste, including valuable vaccines, which require strict temperature conditions;
“In the past when we’ve had paper-based records, you may not realise for a significant amount of time that medicines have been stored inappropriately, and we would have had to dispose of them. Now with the Monika system, we get quick alerts and detailed information as to when, by how much, and how long the temperature has been out of range meaning we can make informed decisions and act appropriately.”
Dan summarised his experience with Monika systems;
“I would recommend the Monika system for other NHS trusts and organisations. The system allows us to provide assurance around our medication storage, and therefore when we’re administering medicines to patients or prescribing medicines, we can ensure they’ve been stored safely.”
Watch the video case study here.
For more information on Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, please visit https://www.liverpoolwomens.nhs.uk/. To find out more about Monika’s temperature monitoring systems, please phone 01664 420 022.