The importance of real-time information for the cold chain in eliminating hospital waste
The cold chain is fundamental to ensure the quality and safety of medicines, blood units, and products for medical use used in the hospital sector. However, problems such as deterioration of these products due to lack of proper temperature control can lead to significant hospital waste and consequently affect the safety, efficiency and quality of patient care.
Real-time information plays a critical role in eliminating hospital waste. The use of real-time monitoring systems allows hospitals to have access to accurate and up-to-date information on product temperature throughout the storage and transport process. This means that preventative action can be taken immediately should any problems arise before irreversible damage occurs to products kept in cold storage systems.
In addition, real-time information can also help improve the operational efficiency of the cold chain. With real-time data and using artificial intelligence tools, equipment usage and behaviour patterns can be identified, allowing predictive alerts to be generated that are essential for decision-making in equipment maintenance tasks. It also allows for a simplified demonstration of compliance with applicable standards, resulting in a significant reduction of costs and waste, as well as improving the management of facilities and equipment.
To guarantee the effective use of information, it is important that hospitals invest in monitoring systems capable of providing accurate information in real time, with automatic alerts in the event of deviation from the recommended conditions, and that allow the expansion of monitoring to the remaining critical areas and infrastructures.
Examples of critical systems are the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) responsible for ensuring optimal environmental conditions in areas such as operating theatres, isolation rooms and pharmaceutical production areas, and also the water supply networks (DHW and DHFA) where monitoring allows the early detection of conditions favourable to the appearance of Legionella.
In conclusion, the implementation of real-time monitoring systems represents a significant reduction in costs, improves operational efficiency, ensures the quality and safety of patients and staff and is a tool in demonstrating compliance with applicable standards.