24th April 2024

Is it time to automate fridge monitoring to secure stocks of medicines?

A number of recent reports continue to highlight what is viewed as an unprecedented shortage of a range of medicines in the NHS across the UK. Believed to have doubled in number over the past two years, these shortages are endangering lives. Why is UK being hit by medicine supply shortages?

The root causes include the drop in the value of the pound and the instabilities of war, which continue to impact global supply chains throughout Europe and the Middle East.

With pharmacy teams struggling to procure certain medications, the importance of keeping products in prime condition to secure stock becomes even more significant.

The regulations around cold storage for medicines

General Pharmaceutical Council rules around securing the safe and effective running of a registered pharmacy include strict regulations around the storage of medicines in fridges.

On a daily basis, pharmacy staff must:

  • Carry out checks on all fridges, recording minimum and maximum temperatures
  • These records must be retained for as long as the products they refer to are in stock
  • If fridge temperatures go outside 2°C - 8°C, decisions must be made on the validity of the fridge contents based on how long the products have been outside the approved temperature range

All this requires time, effort and attention to detail. Human error can be a deciding factor in how effective these procedures are.

How to automate fridge monitoring for accuracy and security

The RemoteM fridge monitoring system manages the process accurately with fridge temperatures taken and recorded every few minutes 24/7. It’s simple yet sophisticated, consisting of a discreet base station located close to the fridges and a node in each fridge.

The system is also suitable for monitoring temperatures in freezers, dispensaries and other areas.

Firstly, it’s simplicity itself to install and operate. It doesn’t require any specialist knowledge to set up and does not rely on local Wi-Fi or telephone signal.

It’s a "plug and play" operation which sits quietly in the background and automatically records fridge temperatures constantly. In the event of any fridge going out of temperature range, it alerts a designated member(s) of staff via SMS, email and/or automated voice call.

All the readings are sent to the cloud and stored in perpetuity. Pharmacy staff can access these and even download comprehensive reports for each fridge via a ‘dashboard’ giving access to the results.

Why choose RemoteM?

All this for just a small monthly fee, based on the number of base stations and number of nodes required. RemoteM frees up time for pharmacy staff, ensures total accuracy of fridge records and even alerts you to any possible loss of stock.

So just how common are alerts? At RemoteM, we see out of range events caused by a whole range of issues, but by far the most common are human error, where the fridge door is left open, or disruption caused by power cuts or fridge failures. Where these latter events occur outside working hours, it’s usually too late the save stock once the problem is discovered.

Time to consider automating your fridge monitoring?

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