In order to safely store vaccinations for you patients, and be in line with RACGP Standards, there is a lot of information you need to know regarding cold chain management.
Data Loggers and Temperature Recording:
Vaccine fridge temperature charts and temperature data can be collected through the use of a data logger. Data loggers are a small, electronic device that continuously take temperature measurements which is then uploaded to software on the computer for viewing and monitoring results. Data loggers are an essential for vaccine fridge monitoring, they will help you identify potential temperature fluctuations inside the fridge and the duration of these fluctuations, accuracy of the thermometer and also record quality checks.
Some medical fridges come with an inbuild data logger. The AQ Box by Avem Quirks Medisafe Fridge comes standard with any new Medisafe Plus Vaccine Fridge purchase. They can also be retrofitted to any existing Medisafe Plus refrigerators. The AQ Box will monitor fridge temperatures and automatically log the data to the cloud so you can view remotely. This system will log any faults such as temperature fluctuations or power outages and inform the nominated people via email or text.
Essential Cold Chain Management Points:
As per RACGP standards for Cold Chain Management, in order to meet the requirements, your practice must:
- Store vaccines in a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator
- Monitor and record the minimum and maximum temperatures of refrigerators in which any vaccine is stored at least twice a day on each day the medical facility is open (ideally the beginning and end of each day)
- View and consider the current temperature every time a refrigerator storing a vaccine is opened
- Take appropriate action if the temperature is not stable or within the required range.
The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5, will provide more details on cold chain management and is the authoritative guidance in this area. See bottom of this article for link.