Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – St. Francis is a full-service community hospital that has been serving Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since 1956. The hospital is large, with 700 doctors, but it also manages to retain a small community atmosphere.
To maintain the appropriate temperature ranges in the refrigerators storing the hospital’s medications, the floor nurses were checking and recording the temperatures at least twice daily, by logging them on paper affixed to the equipment. This process made manually monitoring the temperatures 100% of the time impossible, which was causing the hospital to risk losing up to $50,000 worth of drugs per refrigerator. Furthermore, they were risking unsafe and subpotent doses, putting patients’ health at risk too.
Promoting regulatory compliance
After consulting with other hospitals in the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare network, St. Francis decided to implement AssureTemp™ by EoScene due to one of the hospital’s success with the system. The web-based application automatically collects temperature data 24/7 and generates multilevel notifications via page, text and email when problems arise. It also creates complete documentation, which would provide the audit trail St. Francis needed to comply with regulations set forth by organizations like The Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Wisconsin Free Vaccine Program.
Providing alerts for issue remediation
St. Francis transitioned their 38 refrigeration units from manual monitoring to AssureTemp in only two days. EoScene provided training during the rollout, but the staff found the system so intuitive that they required only minimal training.
When a refrigeration unit falls out of range, the system sends a pager alert to the lead pharmacy technician. If the notification is ignored, the system sends out a second alert as well as an email to the pharmacy manager. Users can also create reports on demand to provide proof of compliance.
Delivering valuable feedback
Because AssureTemp lets St. Francis easily see trends in temperatures, they can quickly identify refrigerators that are not working properly and thus need repair or replacement. In general, the reports help the hospital monitor the daily health of all of their refrigeration units.
Ensuring accountability and compliance
Using the system’s temperature graphs, management has been able to see the nurses who were notified of refrigeration units falling out of range, and if they resolved the issue. This technology holds all of the nurses accountable, resulting in 100% compliance. Due to St. Francis’ success with AssureTemp, four other hospitals in the network have implemented it too.
Focusing on temperature monitoring
EoScene and AssureTemp help pharmacists, safety and life safety officers, and compliance officers everywhere advance temperature monitoring and comply with regulations. To learn more, visit www.eoscene.com.