Timestrip® PLUS shows whether a temperature breach has occurred and shows the cumulative amount of time during which a product was exposed to the higher temperature. The liquid inside moves across the Timestrip® PLUS window for as long as a product is held outside cold storage, but stops as soon as it returns below 8°C/46°F. This rounded information provides enough detail to decide on appropriate action.
Protecting the ‘last mile’ of cold chain for hospital pharmacies
Despite temperature control for hospital drugs being extremely strict, the ‘last mile’ of cold chain – when prescriptions have left the hospital pharmacy – is notoriously difficult to control. Even with the use of temperature-controlled containers, the pharmacist cannot know how the drug is actually handled in transit, or during storage on the ward or in the community. But pharmacists remain legally responsible until the drug is actually administered and, with the MHRA* now auditing all pharmacists, it’s more important than ever that they can show compliance with drug temperature guidelines at all stages of the cold chain.
Confidence in drug use
There are two major implications of drugs being out of cold storage once delivered to a ward:
- the drug could be administered when it is not effective or even safe to do so, because of a dangerously long temperature breach.
- the drug could be disposed of unnecessarily, because staff are unsure how long it has spent above its recommended temperature.
This situation is easily resolved by using Timestrip® PLUS to indicate for how long drugs have been exposed to higher temperatures and therefore whether it is still acceptable to use them.
Accurate and affordable
Thanks to its low cost, Timestrip® PLUS can be used at individual case or product level, increasing the accuracy of the data and making it the first truly cost-effective product of its type. There are currently five products in the Timestrip® PLUS range, each designed to monitor a different threshold temperature.
Ensuring best practice in pharmacies
A number of NHS dispensing pharmacies are already using Timestrip® PLUS and it is also used to monitor the cold chain for temperature-sensitive drugs such as Neulasta® and Total Paternal Nutrition (‘TPN’) products.
Timestrip® PLUS is very much a quality assurance product, helping pharmacies to follow best practice by ensuring product efficacy. Further potential applications include orthopaedic surgery, obstetrics and diagnostics kits.
* Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency