As patients depend on their medications and vaccines and costs are high, storing these at optimal temperatures is obligatory to preserve them and minimise risk. Pharmacists are also required to perform regular temperature control checks to be compliant. However, in a busy environment serving customers, manual safety compliance takes up a significant proportion of pharmacists’ time that could be spent more efficiently. The automation of temperature monitoring and data digitization can help pharmacies free up staff significantly, as the example of Glen Eden Pharmacy shows.
Being a small community pharmacy, the small team at Glen Eden Pharmacy often struggled with fitting the obligatory temperature monitoring and recording tasks into their busy daily routines. The increasing customer base after the merger with another pharmacy increased the team’s workload even further, making wise task planning essential for the team. iMonitor’s Pharma Check software and remote temperature monitoring devices have helped the pharmacy free staff and become more efficient by eliminating time-consuming and failure-prone paperwork and manual temperature monitoring tasks.
Digitized safety task recording – a time-saver
Initially, the pharmacy used a digital Excel template that was printed monthly to be used for daily manual checklists. The manual recording plus physical storage of the data did not only take up much time of the team and space in the pharmacy, but sometimes involved human error. “Keeping the documents in order and tidy was not always easy, as every colleague had a different way of organizing the documents”, explains Holly Carrington, pharmacy technician and manager at Glen Eden Pharmacy.
When iMonitor asked us if we wanted to test their solution, we were very open to it. The easy-to-use and intuitive dashboard now guides us through our daily checklists, saving us a lot of time. And the dashboard gives us an instant overview of all the data.
Glen Eden Pharmacy uses iMonitor’s Pharma Check software for daily temperature checks and cleaning tasks. Automatic alerts remind staff of upcoming or outstanding tasks such as cleaning the refrigerators or disinfecting the benches. The dashboard facilitates ticking off assigned tasks and allows for an easy access to relevant SOPs (standard operating procedures). The data is instantly and centrally stored in the cloud.
For Glen Eden Pharmacy, it was important that iMonitor’s software incorporated the pharmacy’s SOPs, their safety and quality tasks and the most recent safety standards to guarantee customer safety. “The customized software quickly convinced us that is was much better than the manual, paper-based system we had used before”, says Holly.
Remote temperature monitoring – 100% accuracy Before using iMonitor’s remote temperature monitoring solution, the pharmacy team recorded the temperature of their fridges and dispensary unit manually with a regular thermometer. The pharmacist recorded the measured temperature manually on paper. “This was not only time-consuming, but could also affect our products, as we needed to open the refrigerator door to measure the temperature. Just holding the thermometer could also influence accuracy of the recorded data”, explains Holly.
Currently, the pharmacy monitors two fridges and one dispensary unit with wireless temperature monitoring sensors that automatically record the temperature multiple times a day. The data is instantly stored in a cloud, making it accessible 24/7. The continuous remote temperature monitoring eliminated one time-consuming manual task, giving Holly’s team much more time to serve their customers.“iMonitor’s solution has changed our safety management in a good way. It makes our safety tasks much easier and ensures that we are accountable each day”, highlights Holly. “The collected data is 100% accurate and cannot get lost as it is centrally stored in the cloud. And therefore, we have much less things to look through”.
Critical temperature deviations set off automatic alerts immediately, enabling the pharmacy to take quick corrective actions to save the pharmaceuticals. “Luckily, we haven’t had these issues so far. But it gives us peace of mind to know that iMonitor’s solution would alert us instantly”, says Holly.
Since using iMonitor’s pharma safety checks software and remote monitoring solution, pharmacists at Glen Eden Pharmacy have had more time available to serve their patients and have avoided risk by relying on more accurate data.
The Auckland-based Glen Eden Pharmacy was formed in 2019 after the merger of the two community pharmacies Unichem Glen Eden Pharmacy and Hollings Care Plus Pharmacy. The two pharmacies have been serving the Glen Eden community for 65 years. Currently, the pharmacy employs ten staff. Holly Carrington is a trained pharmacy technician and the pharmacy manager. Glen Eden Pharmacy complies with the standards under Medicines.
The food industry has always tracked its activities and operations with paper files and records, whether it be recording environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, pressure or time.