In our last post, we presented an overview of the US regulatory landscape and a comparison of manual and digital monitoring systems. We demonstrated how continuous temperature monitoring is a more proactive approach than a paper-based/clipboard system, and much more likely to meet compliance standards accurately as they change over time.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the five ways continuous monitoring goes beyond compliance.
1. Minimizing Risk
Moving to a digital system for temperature monitoring ensures that if a temperature excursion occurs at a single pharmacy in a large retail chain, managers are alerted quickly and can respond before a major infraction ensues. Not to mention bad press and reputational damage which may result from the fallout of mishandled medications or vaccines. If the costs of changing to a digital system seem prohibitive, remember: they’re minuscule in comparison to the loss of expensive medications, regulatory fines, damages from a lawsuit, and costly re-vaccinations.
2. Protecting Investments
It’s not unheard of for pharmacies to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory due to a single refrigerator failure. Many pharmacies rely on insurance policies to protect them from such unforeseen losses. Often they fail to recognize that without continuous temperature monitoring, they may not even know when temperature-sensitive medications have been exposed to temperature failures. Moreover, insurance policies often have insufficient coverage for large, short-term inventories, such as flu vaccines, or expensive drugs such as chemotherapy, immunosuppressants, chronic condition injectables (e.g. insulin for diabetes) and biologics. For these reasons, it’s key to use continuous temperature monitoring to protect your investments.
3. Optimizing Resources
If you’re looking for even more reasons to prioritize your expenditures in these days of thinning profit margins, consider how a digital system will optimize resources, especially human resources. In fact, using cutting-edge technology to monitor temperature can improve margins by freeing up pharmacists and technicians to focus on patient care. Why waste valuable staff time on manual temperature monitoring when connected technology can do it faster, better, and more reliably?
4. Upholding Obligations
Pharmacies hold a moral and ethical responsibility to their customers. A critical part of doing this is to ensure temperature rules and regulations are followed to the letter of the law—and sometimes well beyond—to uphold best practices which keep patients safe and healthy.
5. Adding Value
Perhaps you’re still not convinced the value of 24/7 data is worth the expense of a digital system. You might be wondering, really, how useful are temperature readings every 5-15 minutes? Beyond the benefits detailed above, here’s your answer: continuous data records hold valuable information that can help you address—and improve— other business needs.
With our system, analytics can show you when refrigerators and freezers need maintenance. Temperature data, coupled with the information about compressor cycles, can predict unit failures in advance, thus allowing teams to proactively schedule maintenance before breakdown occurs. Moreover, you can better judge which units actually need to be replaced immediately, allowing you to make only the necessary capital expenditures within any single fiscal budget. Finally, the data can also provide comparative information when equipment make and model is captured along with readings and time stamps, providing insight into which brands are better than others when purchasing replacements.