Emerging healthcare demands require appropriate storage practices
Friday, Oct 11th 2013

Healthcare demands often necessitate the shipment of medical supplies and medications to remote locations. As researchers develop newer and better medical prevention and treatment methods, maintaining best practices for proper storage across the distribution chain becomes more difficult in the face of additional supplies, especially when items have to travel long distances. Recent reports show expansion in a few markets to keep up with an overall rising demand for quality medical supplies.

Many recent innovations in the medical field are in cost-effective, preventative medical treatments to aid healthcare initiatives in developing nations. According to a new report from Research and Markets, point of care testing is one of the emerging techniques used often in clinics, critical care units, emergency rooms and doctor's offices. This cost-efficient method can be used in tests for blood glucose analysis, pregnancy, drug screening, food pathogens and infectious diseases. While point of care devices allow rapid diagnostics tests to be performed at virtually any location, only proper temperature monitoring will guarantee the device's quality and accuracy. 

"Your fully integrated PoCT service will conform to current legislation, meet regulatory standards, achieve accreditation and deliver improved patient safety," according to global medical care solutions provider Roche. "All of your diagnostic devices are managed to the same high level, using one team and a consistent set of processes."

Better asset management
Solutions like environmental control systems have traditionally been useful in keeping healthcare equipment in the appropriate conditions. The global healthcare market was valued at $2.6 billion in 2012 with hospital asset management as the largest share, growing 20 percent annually, according to research by Fast Market Research. This development shows the importance of supply management within the market as it was the top demand for applications in 2012. Asset management demand is part of a larger initiative to counter drug counterfeit and wasted products, making item tracking a necessary solution. Temperature sensor solutions are useful in ensuring that items are in the optimal environment and have not been tampered with.

"Use the refrigerator to store heat sensitive medicines and laboratory supplies. Opening and closing the door may increase the temperature and cause medicines or test kits to deteriorate," according to the World Health Organization. "Record the temperature daily. Check that there is enough space around the refrigerator so that air can move freely."

The increasing demand for medical supplies and asset management are just a few examples of healthcare's globalization. By observing storage best practices and using monitoring solutions, critical supplies and equipment equipment will be kept in optimal conditions and suffer no drop in quality across the supply chain.