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TJC MM.05.01.01 Standards Drive Medication Refrigeration Monitoring

Feb 10, 2014

First in a series regarding medication storage temperature monitoring: MOTIVATION

A recent article on the Pharmacy Purchasing and Products website titled Implementing a Facility Wide WTM System offered some useful suggestions regarding evaluating the need for and implementing a WTM (Wireless Temperature Monitoring) System to assist with proper refrigeration of medicines as well as The Joint Commission (TJC) medication management compliance. (Link to TJC Medication Document)

According to the article, it can be challenging to ensure medications are continuously stored at the proper temperature when utilizing a manual process. Implementing a wireless temperature-monitoring (WTM) system ensures that medications are stored properly and can prevent the loss of expensive medications should a refrigerator or freezer go out of range. (Link to PPP Article)

Full disclosure: The piece offers a list of Where to Find Wireless Temperature Monitoring Systems. This writer is employed by one such supplier that is not on the list, Temperature@lert. There are many more good suppliers to choose from other than those on the list so the reader is invited to perform her/his own search for options.

Temperature@lert ZPoint Wireless Sensor Temperature@lert ZPoint Cellular Edition
Temperature@lert ZPoint Wireless Network Sensor Module & Cellular Base Unit

There are several factors to consider when healthcare sites store temperature sensitive medications to insure product efficacy and safety including maintaining the medications at the proper storage temperature range based on manufacturer’s information. Manufacturers go to great lengths to test their products within recommended ranges. Hospitals, medical offices, clinics and pharmacies are expected to comply to the recommendations to insure the products are safe to administer and to insure that the dosage is not compromised by loss due to overheating or excessive cooling or freezing. One organization behind setting recommended temperature ranges for medications is The Joint Commission (TJC).

The Joint Commission website defines TJC as, An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

TJC Logo and Gold Seal of Approval

TJC Logo and Gold Seal of Approval (Source: TJC Website. Link Above)

To emphasize their role in helping assure safe and quality healthcare is maintained in the U.S., TJC offers its Mission and Vision Statements as follows:

Our Mission: To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

Vision Statement: All people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings. (Link to TJC Website)

While these statements may seem lofty, most acknowledge standards and accreditation are critical to delivering and maintaining quality, safe healthcare to citizens not only in the U.S. but elsewhere.

This series will examine in detail The Joint Commission’s standards and guidelines as well as technical and practical information regarding temperature sensitive medicines storage best practices, monitoring technologies and implementation strategies that include both wireless and wired solutions to provide a complete picture of options available and associated costs and benefits.

TJC image describing the integration of the organization’s three branches
Left: TJC image describing the integration of the organization’s three branches (blue ring) to address all aspects of healthcare safety and quality as well as accreditation.(Link to Source: TJC Website)

Temperature@ert’s WiFi, Cellular and ZPoint product offerings linked to the company’s Sensor Cloud platform provides a cost effective solution for organizations of all sizes. The products and services can help bring a laboratory or medical practice into compliance with minimum training or effort. For information about Temperature@lert’s Cellular and SensorCloud offerings, visit our website at or call us at +1-866-524-3540.

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