04 Jan 5 Advantages of Real Time Temperature Monitoring
With all the regulations, suggestions, requirements, and helpful hints today coming from various organizations and agencies, Real Time Temperature Monitoring can be a tedious and taxing endeavor. There are so many places and opportunities for excursions and spoilage of perishable materials. For example, monitoring of a lab sample’s temperatures is critical from the time a sample is collected until it is properly analyzed in the lab. This is important to ensure not just the integrity of the sample, but to be able to demonstrate compliance, as well.
The pharmaceutical industry faces the same type of challenges, too. It’s vital for vaccines, active pharmaceutical agents, and biopharmaceuticals to be transported and stored at their respective proper temperatures. This is important whether they are awaiting attention in stationary refrigerators or as they are transported from facility to facility.
Historically, data loggers have been used but, in addition to expense, they were subject to a number of significant limitations. One would need to start the logging, often by pushing one or more buttons, to get the process going. To view the data, one would need to open whatever container held the logger, disconnect it from any external probes, and go through some hoops to download the data to a computer which must have the appropriate application installed. Then the logger would need to be disconnected from the reader and reconnected to the probe — a time and labor intensive task.
With the era of Bluetooth sensors upon us, sensors can now be placed and have continuous communication with the Internet. No longer is there a need to remove the sensor on a daily basis. Monitoring is completely uninterrupted and the data is viewable at any time by anyone with web access and the proper credentials. Historical data and associated graphs are then viewable at the whim of some mouse clicks whether that data is minutes old or years old.
That’s why it’s important to consider real time temperature monitoring for totes, containers, stationary refrigerators, and work environments. The advantages are many.
Advantage #1: Something either goes wrong or is about to go wrong and can be fixed immediately
With Lab Sensor Solutions’ sensors reporting temperatures on a minute-by-minute basis, appropriate actions can be taken to correct any excursions since notifications are instantaneous. Staff are alerted immediately when the temperature violates an upper or lower range. In fact, staff members can take action before a violation occurs simply by looking at the trends or by receiving alerts when temperatures are heading toward a violation.
Advantage #2: Data Collection for Process Validation
Each of our sensors has a calibration certificate proving readings are accurate to within one degree thus providing the ability to validate Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). This is something that most healthcare departments do on an annual basis and can be time consuming when not automated. The ability to quickly fetch validation data from an online website allows for an accurate record of all process validation activities.
Advantage #3: Continuous Compliance Monitoring
Each of our sensors can be configured to report ambient temperatures on a minute by minute basis. Interval-based logging can be enabled to auto-upload that historical data to the cloud whenever a cell phone running our app is within range. This allows an organization to demonstrate compliance, even when a human is absent. Continuous monitoring is vital to ensure that compliance is happening all the time — not just when the validation study was run.
Advantage #4: Statistical Process Control and Analysis
Healthcare companies are now starting to utilize Statistical Process Control (SPC) to improve their processes and ensure quality outcomes. SPC methods have been used for decades in manufacturing and the application to healthcare requires processes to be routinely monitored. Being able to download data over any period of time for utilization and analysis by third-party software to study trends and conduct forecasts makes SPC a lot easier to implement. Real time monitoring is critical to all SPC programs since what is measured, improves.
Advantage #5: Quickly and Efficiently Compile Audit Data
Just as data can be downloaded for analysis, it can also be used to assemble reports for purposes of an audit. Combining calibration certificates and historical data makes any audit fun and exciting! With our T-Tracks system, data is retained indefinitely and can be downloaded in any number of formats. Downloading data in a .csv format enables healthcare professionals to incorporate any subset of their data into spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and presentations. This flexibility, along with the ability to retrieve specific data sets, is truly a time saver.
It’s clear that real time temperature monitoring represents the future for healthcare-related transportation and storage. The days of having contaminated test-tubes, spoiled reagents, compromised vaccines, and ineffective pharmaceuticals can finally be put behind us.