Tinytags monitor temperature in vaccine fridges and cool boxes
Tinytag data loggers monitor fridges and cool boxes to help verify that vaccines are stored and transported within the specified temperature range.
Maintaining recommended temperatures is essential to ensure the efficacy of vaccines; Tinytags record data to help verify that vaccines have been stored correctly and help meet SEQOHS accreditation standards for cold chain and vaccine storage.
The 5 Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust Occupational Health Department is a mental health trust covering Warrington, Wigan, Leigh, St Helens and Knowsley. The Trust is using Tinytag temperature data loggers to monitor departmental vaccine fridges, and cool boxes used to transport vaccines taken off site.
Temperature monitoring is vital to ensure vaccines remain effective. Many cannot remain at room temperature for long before they have to be discarded, and there is a huge cost implication if this occurs. The Trust is SEQOHS (Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service) accredited, and using the loggers helps it to meet the recommendations within the accreditation standards for cold chain and vaccine storage.
There are two Tinytag View 2 data loggers in use, one in each vaccine fridge. They are used as a back-up on a daily basis, in conjunction with the temperature gauges already in situ in each fridge. The fridges are checked daily and the temperatures recorded; in the case of any discrepancy, the logger's information is downloaded. The Tinytags record the temperature every 10 minutes, so it is possible to pinpoint exactly when and for how long the fridge/storage has been out of range.
There may be a need to remove and destroy any vaccines that have been stored at the incorrect temperature, whether that be above or below the recommended range.
Monitoring also provides important information indicating how long the fridge door has been open during a stock-check. This helps ensure that the pharmacy and nursing staff do not allow the door to be opened for extended periods and can demonstrate why. Tinytag loggers remove any guesswork regarding fluctuations in temperature and timescales!
The Tinytags are also used in cool boxes for outreach clinics during 'flu vaccinations, and for external clinics where other vaccines are used (e.g. Hepatitis B vaccines). If the logger shows the temperature of the cool box to be above the upper recommended limit of 8°C then the vaccines are discarded.
Nurse Team Leader Diane Williams chose Tinytags due to their flexibility and is very satisfied with the results. She comments, "They are small and easily portable, and can be set to record temperatures at any chosen interval and this can be changed as required. They can have alarm limits set, the batteries are long-lived and the software is easy to use."