31 Jan How Healthcare Logistics Improves with Real Time Temperature & Location Monitoring
Temperature Monitoring Systems (TMS) have evolved a lot over the years as has the need for the healthcare industry to monitor the temperature of perishable materials. From 21 CFR Part 11 to College of American Pathologists (CAP) to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, temperature remains a vital component to not only track but keep within acceptable norms for all sorts of perishable medical materials like blood, vaccines, pathology samples, pharmacological agents, and reagents.
Location, Location, Location
Location monitoring has also seen a rise in usage because of the critical nature of getting perishable medical materials to the right place at the right time. Although this seems like an easy task, location can be tricky since most healthcare facilities are old and outdated, which means that materials are stored in all sorts of places that GPS can’t reach.
This can be problematic when time critical deliveries can’t be found or get misplaced.
To address this dilemma, we utilize location sensors to enhance traditional GPS. These sensors are configured to be stationary with a label representing where they’re placed. Now, if one of these is placed in a courier’s vehicle, another in a doctor’s office, and a third is placed in a lab, a courier’s phone will report seeing each of them at a time the phone comes into proximity with the respective sensors. This data is transmitted to the management dashboard via cellular or wifi signal and managers, voila, are able to discern location as well as time and temperature readings.
The Global Nature of Healthcare Logistics
The challenge that the healthcare industry faces is global in scope since a lot of perishable materials, such as blood samples, reagents, drugs, vaccines, etc, get transported by planes, trains, and automobiles all over the planet. It’s this landscape that makes the tracking of temperature one of the most troublesome aspects of healthcare logistics. This lack of transparency has created a need to seamlessly monitor the temperature and location of medical materials through the healthcare supply chain in real time.
Why Real Time Monitoring is Essential
Real time TMS supersedes old-time data loggers so that we are no longer constrained with yesterday’s technology. Today, we can take immediate corrective actions to prevent spoilage and contamination of medical samples. Using today’s real time TMS tools allow errors and excursions to be auto-monitored, alerting, and fixed on a virtually instant basis by any individual within reach of a medical sample. And, not only temperature can be monitored but location as well. While GPS allows accurate monitoring outdoors, Lab Sensor Solutions’ bluetooth-enabled sensors provide accurate monitoring of indoor locations for couriers and samples. Other essentials such as visual analyses and compliance verifications are also at our fingertips.
In their Guidelines for Storage of Essential Medicines and Other Health Commodities the World Health Organization suggests keeping thermometers in various places for monitoring. With today’s sensors and mobile phones able to be everywhere, thermometers can be, as they say, thrown out the window!
On Demand Demands It
With modern day technology, healthcare logistics are easier and much more straightforward than they were even just a decade ago. As a result, drinking from information hoses can be done with a multitude of straws depending on who needs the siphon. From couriers to dispatchers to lab analysts, from lab managers to clinical trial administrators, and from regulatory personnel to archivists, all that data is readily available when you use real time temperature and location monitoring.