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Maintaining Control and Compliance of Growing Healthcare Networks

When Stand-Alone Data Loggers Aren’t Enough Anymore

Marietta Memorial Hospital in Ohio has a number of physician offices, pharmacies and research centers that require proper environmental control of medicines being dispensed to patients. For some time, things worked just fine. However, the Health Systems had disparate means of determining medicine quality in refrigerator storage, using varied devices including stand-alone data loggers, chart recorders, others using manual paper reports written by hand. Which meant there was no way to receive alarms if staff wasn’t present, such as on weekends.

Sure enough, as bad luck goes, a major storm came through and knocked out power to an off-site cancer center causing over $147,000 in drug loss. That was the beginning, of the end. As the Health System began to grow with new physician offices and sites, so did the need for greater protection, centralized monitoring of the high costs drugs.

Learn how Marietta Health Systems and other healthcare organizations like Duke University and University of North Carolina are transitioning their fragmented monitoring to a streamlined Central Monitoring System; accommodating various sites, locations and applications.

Why a Central Monitoring System?

Beyond regulatory compliance, the purpose of a CMS system is to simplify operations, giving the facility manager time back. The right CMS system will do the work for you. Here’s what to look for in a Central Monitoring System.

Central database, archiving, auditable

This is one of the key advantages of moving to a Central or Continuous Monitoring System. By having all the data in a central location, you will have faster and easier access to data, alarms and reporting functionalities. A central location also means all your equipment, assets and networked locations are connected, online available 24/7.

A sensor based system

Having your CMS system set up based on sensor groups allows you to customize your system to allow access of certain sensors to specific user groups. This is particularly helpful if you want to allow only certain access to some groups. With a sensor based system you can configure different access levels (view and analyze only; deactivate alarms) to certain people/groups.

Reporting capabilities

Having a CMS system that you can set up to send you automated reports is extremely helpful for large organizations with diverse user groups and several system owners. You can customize reports so the metrics are sent to pre-defined recipients by email. All reports can be auto archived for efficient and compliant record keeping.

A newer feature of modern monitoring solutions for Rooms & Equipment include a "one click" deviation report. It is automatically generated to give a snapshot overview of alarm details. ELPRO’s newest monitoring solutions for Rooms & Equipment is one such platform. Read more about this solution.

Remote real-time view

One of the biggest advantages of using an online software platform is to be able to access your facility data from anywhere, anytime – without having to go to the facility. As some platforms are web based, there is no need for installations at numerous workstations, making it easier to maintain. As all measurement point values, alarms and deviations are recorded on a central database, you can simply search time and date of any historical point. You and your teams can use any workstation or PC worldwide to have visibility on the environmental conditions of your critical assets.

New software validation

How easy is it to validate? Healthcare IT systems must follow certain regulations. The industry standard is GAMP®5, using the V model. There are only a few solutions that come GAMP®5 validated right ‘out of the box’. These options will save you a significant amount of time and cost. You’ll also want to work with a vendor who has the capabilities to help with the IQ/OQ after installation.

To continue learning about the basics of monitoring solutions for rooms & equipment, read the white paper Central Monitoring Systems 101: Easier Management and Better Control of Critical Assets

"Out of the box" solution 

Moving to a central monitoring system should be an exciting venture, not duanting and full of concern. Yet for some smaller yet growing facility networks, resources and experience in using central monitoring systems can be few. Using an 'out of the box' solution is a good option to ensure smooth operation of the facilities.

Considering all the system requirements and options discussed above, an ‘out of the box’ solution could offer an easy transition. For example, ELPRO’s Plug&Play system is GMP qualified out of the box specifically for pharmaceutical and healthcare applications. The system comes with an industrial PC that has the elproMONITOR software pre-installed and pre-qualified. An IQ is preformed before delivery and follow-up documents are sent after an OQ is performed.

Because system owners need no IT infrastructure for the Plug&Play system, it’s ideal for smaller groups of facilities up to 50 measuring points wired or wireless communication and measurement modules; such as warehouses, network of labs and smaller cleanrooms.

The brains behind the solution, the elproMONITOR software has been around for some years, but significant updates have been made.

Key advantages and features of the new system include:

    • Your Data, On Your Site: Allows to keep your data fully under your control

    • Easy set-up: Software is pre-installed and pre-qualified; no complicated IT infrastructure required

    • Proven Stability: Runs on reliable, industry-leading elproMONITOR software

    • Hassle-Free GxP: IQ is performed before delivery; OQ templates are provided or you can benefit from ELPRO's comprehensive qualification service

    • Greater Control: Unique configuration by sensor allows for customized access, alarm delays and user rights, ensuring the right person, or group, gets the right information

    • Full Scalability and Flexibility: Add up to 50 measurement points; simply plug in additional wired and/or wireless modules; ECOLOG-PRO modules work seamlessly with current ECOLOG-NET hardware

    • Swiss-Engineering: Turn-key, validated, calibrated solution; resulting in lowest total cost of ownership

    • Efficiency Gains: Saves time and hassle in alarm response processing, sensor configuration, data analysis and deviation reporting; Audit-friendly

To learn more about Plug&Play designed specifically for pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities, visit here.

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