August 2, 2017

6 Reasons Why Pharmacies Are Moving to Continuous Monitoring

Written by SmartSense | Pharmacy Safety

If you’re still using a paper temperature log, then there is a very high probability of undiscovered thermal excursions in your fridges and freezers. Accompanying these unseen excursions is a high likelihood of you administering ineffective vaccines and medications.

To mitigate temperature damage, more and more pharmacies are moving to continuous temperature monitoring. Combining wireless sensors with real-time temperature logging and alerts is enabling pharmacies to improve their visibility and take corrective action when needed.

Behind the move to continuous monitoring are a series of reasons that have a positive impact on both independent pharmacies, as well as large pharmacy chains.


A pharmacist's time is extremely valuable, and they should be spending that time efficiently. Most pharmacists manually check temperature twice daily and record it in a paper log. Switching to a continuous monitoring system will allow pharmacists to spend their time doing more important things, like attending to patients, filling scripts, and following up on refills.

Using a continuous monitoring system eliminates manual temp checks and provides proactive insight into temperature excursions across all locations. Temperature excursions can then be quickly identified and managed in real-time.



A continuous monitoring system helps your pharmacy meet CDC and State Board of Pharmacy regulatory requirements by automating your temperature logging. Instead of cumbersome paper logs, you can automate all reports. Some states have specific requirements, while others have recommendations, making pharmacy regulations unique. Since every state is different, digitizing temperature logs can simplify the process by allowing you to stay on top of temperature 24/7 as well as ensure medications are safe.


Trust is an important part of the pharmacy/patient relationship. With manual temperature monitoring, there is not enough visibility for the pharmacy to know that medicines have been stored properly, never mind enough visibility for your patients to trust that their medications have been stored properly. Manual paper logs also increase the chance of human error. A digital system eliminates the need for paper logs, is much more accurate, and is more trustworthy than a manual process.


Continuous monitoring ensures product quality. Studies have found that out-of-range temperature excursions can change formulation properties, such as coloration, dissolution, and separation. The active ingredient can also be transformed into corrupted components, some of which are toxic. The longer the duration that medications are exposed to suboptimal temperatures, the greater the amount of product degradation. Digital continuous monitoring decreases the length and occurrences of such durations and therefore decreases the risk of spoilage.


Surprisingly, regulations for pharmacies are fewer than you might imagine, providing minimal guidance to pharmacy executives looking to manage risk and avoid the human and financial impact of compromised medications. Some states have stricter regulations while others have looser requirements, and some only provide recommendations. Continuous monitoring with real-time, proactive alerts based on actual product temperature let you make more informed decisions and take corrective action, sooner rather than later. You can ensure your equipment is always within range by setting alerts based on state guidelines, which is a highly proactive approach.


Reports of pharmacies losing more than $100,000 of refrigerated medications are not unusual. Unfortunately, the loss of high-value medications can often exceed the limits of pharmacy insurance policies. Given the cost and risk involved when drugs are not stored consistently at appropriate temperatures, continuous temperature monitoring will help your pharmacy avoid costly product loss.

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Topics: Pharmacy Safety

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