Power outages happen for many reasons including inclement weather, power surges, human error, and most terrifyingly during natural disasters. Every year, flooding, hurricanes, and severe traumatic events require healthcare facilities to operate under emergency situations and often with limited resources or operating on backup power sources. Unfortunately, not every piece of healthcare equipment is connected to a back up generator. This puts healthcare staff in an unfortunate position of allocating electricity to priority equipment. Energy resources can become strained when the healthcare facility is overwhelmed accommodating many patients in crucial need for care, which often occurs during traumatic events requiring emergency management . So what happens to vaccines, medications, laboratory specimens, or food that is stored in climate controlled environments when the power goes out?
While prioritizing patient care and emergency resources, less urgent healthcare equipment is at risk of going without electricity. Loss of power can therefore result in failure to maintain climate controlled environments. Fortunately, loss of power doesn’t have result in loss of inventory. Many medications and vaccines allow for variation in climate temperature before they need to be disposed of, giving staff the ability to allocate energy to priority equipment during a power outage. However, the next priority becomes making the right decision regarding whether to save or toss medications? Making the wrong decision puts patient safety at risk. As a result, many healthcare staff resort to a conservative approach regarding temperature controlled medications, which means, medications may be destroyed in an effort to preserve patient health and safety. This results in a loss of financial investment and valuable life saving medication. Ideally, healthcare facilities would be able to preserve as much valuable medication as possible. So what is the best way to assess the safety and viability of temperature controlled medications during a power outage?
First, you need access to a complete temperature log with detailed and regular recordings. Unfortunately, opening refrigeration units to take manual measurements during a power outage results in a faster breakdown of the controlled environment and increasing the necessity of disposal of valuable medications and vaccines. A more feasible solution is an internal temperature recording system that alleviates the need for constant disruption of the contained controlled environment. EoScene has partnered with temperature monitoring vendors that provide battery backup. This means that EoScene’s automated facility recording will continue to document and record temperature readings from within a controlled environment, without the disruption or door openings that standard manual temperature measurements requires. Because of EoScene’s set up, all readings are recovered when power is restored, documenting the exact temperature of your inventory for the duration of the power outage. EoScene’s Automated Temperature Monitoring system ensures accurate recording and documentation consistently during daily healthcare facility functioning and during unexpected periods of power loss. Meaning that healthcare staff can most accurately and confidently make the appropriate decisions regarding medication and vaccine preservation. This saves the facility time and money, while continuing to maintain life saving resources available for patient use
A feature of the EoScene platform and temperature monitoring system, is the ability to stay informed from anywhere. Meaning that wherever the day’s events take you, simply log-in to EoScene to ensure ongoing facility maintenance, recordings, and documentation. So that during the worst of situations, you can manage facilities from the safety of home, or while triaging in the field during a traumatic event. , from any device that is connected to the internet. Staying out of harm’s way by removing the need to return to the healthcare facility once the power is back on simply to check viability of inventory, and ensuring ongoing care to those in need.
One less thing to worry about when the power goes out, at least you know your inventory is being monitored so you can make the proper decisions when the lights come back on. EoScene provides confidence and reduces stress during an already stressful time.
Key lesson: One way to be prepared is to have a temperature monitoring solution that supports power outages.