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Wireless temperature monitoring for healthcare

The client – a bustling teaching and research hospital

The Royal Liverpool University Hospital (RLUH) is a teaching and research hospital,which provides state-of-the-art clinical care supported by dedicated laboratories. Its landmark £429m redevelopment and links with the University of Liverpool and Liverpool BioCampus institutes have given the city recognition as a national leader for health research and innovation. The Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s Pharmacy Department and Transfusion Laboratory depend on the Monika wireless temperature monitoring system to ensure patient safety and prevent expensive stock losses.

 

The need – safely stored bloods, vaccines, insulins and medicines

Bloods, vaccines, insulins and other proteinaceous products often used in clinical research have finite shelf lives and must be stored in carefully managed conditions to avoid temperature fluctuations and irreversible denaturing.

Hospital staff all follow strict approval policies and procedures to provide the highest standard of care and research, and comply with MHRA and NPSA best practice. The Code of Ethics for Pharmacists also prevents medicines being supplied if there is any doubt around their integrity and quality.

RLUH is the busiest hospital in Merseyside and Cheshire, with the largest emergency department of its kind in the country. Consequently, manual product safety checks are an incredibly time-consuming task for already very busy staff. The Royal Liverpool University Hospital wanted an efficient, reliable method to monitor and record product temperatures, improving the quality control of valuable perishable products stored throughout the facility and giving staff the peace of mind to focus on other lifesaving duties.

 

The solution – wireless temperature monitoring

Monika’s PathFinder wireless temperature monitoring system has been automatically and continuously monitoring chilled/frozen samples and ambient product storage across the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for more than 15 years. A discreet sensor is placed inside each refrigeration unit to automatically and continuously record product temperatures, calibrated with a bespoke safe range to protect products from freeze damage or overheating. If any of the units are running outside their approved range, nearby staff will hear an alarm and e-mail/text alerts can be automatically sent to key personnel.

Assistant Director of Pharmacy Shakeel Herwitker commented: “Incidents happen, little things like doors being left open and fridges being overfilled or otherwise improperly loaded, and this could lead to very costly stock losses if we didn’t have the Monika wireless temperature monitoring system alerting us to problems in real time.”

Monika’s wireless temperature monitoring system uses robust, self-healing ZigBee wireless connections, specifically designed for this kind of harsh environment, to transmit real-time data from fridges and freezers throughout the hospital back to a central server. Staff can see up-to-the-minute records of temperature and other critical data on Smart Wireless Monitoring software, allowing them to identify potential problems and act fast to save stock if needed.

Shakeel said: “With over 40 cabinets being recorded all the time, we use the Smart Wireless Monitoring software a lot – it’s useful to have a remote overview, because of the size of the hospital, and I can check on things from home. It’s a significant piece of kit but it’s so user-friendly; the whole department finds it very straightforward.”

 

The outcome – product and patient safety guaranteed

The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital has complete confidence in its product quality and patient safety, and is in constant compliance with the regulatory requirements for conducting clinical research.

Shakeel Herwitker, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, concluded: “Our Monika system is a critical support mechanism for us. It makes it easier to keep on top of the strict medicines-related storage guidelines, so I can focus on my day-to-day work. A well as the immediate benefits, over the years it has more than paid for itself by preventing expensive product wastage.”

Dr Peter Baker, Transfusion Laboratory Manager, added: “Long-term record-keeping and full traceability are essential for us to meet the UK Blood Safety and Quality Regulations, pass MHRA inspections and achieve Blood Establishment Authorisation. Storing all our records online with the Monika wireless temperature monitoring system gives auditors a detailed, accurate, traceable trail – and gives me peace of mind.”

To find out more about the healthcare and clinical applications of Monika wireless temperature monitoring systems, please call 0800 130 3838 or email webenquiries@monika.com. For more information on The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, please visit www.rlbuht.nhs.uk.

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