Continuous Monitoring in Hospitals

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WHY MONITOR?

The short answer is pretty simple–the Government and Accreditation Agencies require it. Of course that’s not the only reason. Maximizing Patient Safety is atthe top of every hospital administrator’s priorities list, and the monitoring of critical processes helps meet this important goal.

THE CASE FOR CONTINUOUS MONITORING

Today throughout the hospital, it is perfectly acceptable to monitor by manually taking periodic measurements. For example, the temperature inside blood bank refrigerators and freezers only needs to be sampled and recorded once every four hours. The temperature in pharmacy appliances needs only be measured at least once a day. The airborne particle counts in IV preparation cleanrooms can be sampled as seldom as once every six months (although once a month is recommended).

Of course, the results from the sampling must be recorded and made available to auditors when requested. The advantage of continuous monitoring is twofold: First and foremost, continuous monitoring will provide maximum safety by alerting personnel to an abnormal condition or trend long before it would be detected by the monthly or even daily sampling. Secondly, the measurement data required by auditors is automatically gathered and stored in a computer-based system without the risk of missing a sample, or incorrectly recording the results.
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