Minimizing the Refrigerator Alarms that Disrupt Patient Care

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Temperature stability matters in any refrigerator but is an absolute necessity in laboratory and medical grade refrigerators. Unfortunately, many healthcare facilities are still using traditional compressor-based refrigerators, which often experience temperature fluctuations that can damage products, trigger alarms and work orders, and disrupt patient care.

Even purpose-built laboratory refrigerators that are based on conventional compressor-based technology are prone to this continuous cycle of out-of-range temperatures, alarms and work orders. Here’s why:

 

Lack of Uniformity

A common problem for compressor-based refrigerators is poor uniformity throughout the chamber. Uneven cooling with frequent door openings results in warm and cold spots. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) even suggests placing water bottles on the top shelf, floor and in the door racks to help stabilize refrigerator temperatures and prevent vaccines from being stored in areas where there is a greater risk of temperature excursions.

RELATED READ: Flu Vaccine Refrigeration: Improve Patients’ Safety and Reduce Your Risk

 

Fluctuating Temperatures

Because of the normal on-off duty cycle of compressor-based refrigerators, the temperature inside the cabinet can oscillate as much as 5°C. This is due to the nature of how compressor-based refrigerators are designed to work. When the cabinet interior gets too warm, the compressor kicks on to generate air colder than the set-point. Once the cabinet gets too cold, the compressor turns off and waits for the cabinet interior to warm up and the cycle begins again. These wide fluctuations result in temperatures that can fall well outside of FDA and CDC guidelines and can potentially damage vaccines, medications and breast milk.

Automatic Alarms & Work Orders

When the refrigeration temperature isn’t uniform or stable, you can guess what happens next: high temperature alarms are triggered each and every time the temperature is out of range; facilities staff are quickly overloaded by work orders; doctors and nurses are interrupted and annoyed by the alarms; and patients are deprived of the rest they need to recover and heal.

If medical refrigerator temperature monitoring (and the resulting alarms) has become a headache for you, your staff and your patients, it’s time to break the cycle. Solid-state cooling is an innovative alternative that offers unmatched stability.

Our solid-state application for cooling allows medical grade refrigerators to run without the compressors and duty cycles that create wide temperature oscillations and poor uniformity. Small semiconductor chips are packaged in a durable, solid-state heat pump that delivers extremely stable temperature control for precise and uniform cooling throughout the chamber. That means you can use the entire cabinet to safely store and protect vaccines and medications, instead of wasting space with useless water bottles.

And without all the out-of-range temperature excursions, there are fewer alarms for staff and patients to endure, and ultimately, fewer work orders for facilities.

RELATED RESOURCE: INFOGRAPHIC – Solid-State Refrigeration for Improved Temperature Performance & Fewer Alarms    

Break the cycle of excursions, alarms and work orders. To learn more about medical grade, solid-state refrigeration for better temperature stability, connect with our healthcare team.