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How to maintain safe medicine management with a reduced staff

In a briefing paper, Closing the Gap, from the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation, and the Nuffield Trust predicts that NHS staff shortages in England could increase from 100 000 at present to almost 250 000 by 2030 if not dealt with.

Figures report that the NHS employed 1,239,631 staff across England in May, with a significant drop of 1,695 compared to April. It is becoming more apparent that the NHS doesn’t have enough staff to fulfil its increasing demand. The NHS is in desperate need of qualified and experienced clinical and operational staff, including Paramedics, mental health practitioners, and primary care doctors, nurses and midwives.

The Royal College of Nursing research points to data showing the nurse workforce has increased by 4.6% in five years. But hospital admissions have jumped by 12.3% – nearly three times the rate. The RCN is campaigning to encourage people to “speak out” over the impact of England’s 40,000 nurse vacancies.

With no clear idea of what Brexit will bring other than further uncertainty, staffing levels are not set to improve any time soon. The CQC are, month after month, uncovering yet more poor medicine management, and control of biological assets. Is it any wonder, when such a manual process is employed by Trusts, that staff shortages lead to failures? So, what is the solution?

Recognising the value of automated temperature monitoring:

Automated temperature monitoring provides a tried and trusted solution. Yet why are so many trusts slow to recognise the value of automation investment? It releases front line staff, reduces errors in medication and prevents the loss of medicines and valuable stock. The value of the service can justify the investment.

Sometimes it’s as simple as creating a basic business case. But when was the last time someone trained NHS staff on creating a business case for investment in an automated solution? Let us help you.

Understanding the challenge of meeting medicine compliance:

First recognise the issue, it could be a CQC non-compliance related to medicine management, or a UKAS audit recognising that your monitoring systems are not meeting the regulatory minimum requirements. Or MHRA inspection identifies areas which are not considered under control and auditable. Whatever the issue of compliance, quality or efficiency is, it will certainly have a cost implication.

What are the hidden costs of manual temperature monitoring for medicines?

Calculating the cost of the current process should include not just the manual time absorbed but also the cost of failure and your exposure to risk. Any manual process requires consistent full-time staff or it will be missed and mistakes will be made. This might be a fridge full of medicines and their associated commercial cost. It could be litigation cost should a patient become unwell, or cost of corrective action, disposal, re-ordering, shortages, reports, re-training staff, integration with Pharmacy. All these areas have a cost and when examined the money wasted is eye watering.

What does a fully automated data and temperature monitoring service provide?

Firstly, front line staff are no longer needed to record data, so no additional cost of bank or temp staff required, it’s collected, saved and backed up continuously for you. Auditable, reports at a push of a button when required. Data to learn from, correct and improve processes. Calibrated and maintained by qualified engineers, UKAS Certified on site. VAT is refundable with a fully managed service and costs can be planned and budgeted from 5- 10 years with certainty, including maintenance, updates, calibration and training.

What do you get in return?

The big one is total security, items are monitored 24/7/365. And when any excursion such as a temperature failure or door left open is detected or 02 levels fall, you are contacted immediately via a Tutela trained representative. The Tutela trained member of staff will describe the issue, where to find it and open a corrective action report. The records are stored, backed up and secure for 30 years. Connectivity is possible between sites, departments, floors and even other hospitals and Trusts, where close working relationships exist, allows for data exchange, so identifying further process improvements.

Tutela Monitoring Systems – learn from our customers

Speak to some of our 1000’s of customers and inspirational leaders who have written business cases and have won the investment to make patient health outcomes, safer, more consistent and have protected their reputation without the need for additional staff and are seen as “World Class”.

Contact us and we will put you in touch with one of our customers, so you can learn from their experience of investing in automated temperature monitoring.

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