Case Study: Monika in action at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital
March 17th , 2023 by Monika Australia & Asia Pacific
The Liverpool Women’s Hospital is a major obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology research hospital in Liverpool England. It receives over 50,000 patients annually and delivers more babies than anywhere else in Europe, about 8,000 – which is almost 1 per hour!
Monika is installed in over 70 areas throughout the Liverpool Women’s. The Monika system ensures that important medication is stored correctly and is kept at a safe temperature, it does this by monitoring and recording the temperatures of refrigerators and freezers, and it records ambient room temperatures both in the wards and in the pharmacy.
Our UK team interviewed the Deputy Chief Pharmacist of the organisation, Dan Collins. Having used the Monika system in a previous role, he explains why he chose Monika again for the pharmacy at Liverpool Women’s.
“The main advantage of Monika is that we can constantly record and provide evidence of our medicine storage and our temperatures. So rather than being a paper-based solution where we’re removing clinical staff from patient-facing roles, we actually have this electronic system now, which constantly monitors that temperature, so it frees up staff time.”
In addition to freeing up time and providing more accurate results, Monika’s smart system has flagged issues previously unnoticed. Dan explained that over the summer, storage rooms were exceeding +25 degrees, resulting in unsafe conditions. This enabled Dan provide the trust with information and evidence that led to the installation of air conditioning units in areas that needed them.
Monitoring chilled medication between +2 – +8 degrees, frozen goods between -10 – -25 degrees, and ambient temperatures of +15 – +25 degrees, Liverpool Women’s Hospital stores everything from specialist medicines, vaccines, and breast milk for new-borns. Should an area move outside these pre-determined safe ranges, hospital staff will receive an alert, as Dan explains:
“We manage our alerts from the Monika system depending on the individual area. There are a number of senior staff in each area that have access to the Monika system, and therefore they are sent notifications whenever a temperature has deviated for a certain period of time. The expectation is that the staff in those areas acknowledge those alerts and apply the corrective action.” In the instance the senior staff are busy with patients, Monika’s smart system can accelerate the issue as required, Dan continues, “Now, if they don’t act on those alerts in a timely manner, then the alerts will be escalated up through the hospital, and crucially that will come through to pharmacy, so we can act on them.”
This early warning system has helped Liverpool Women’s Hospital prevent unnecessary waste, including valuable vaccines, which require strict temperature conditions;
“In the past when we’ve had paper-based records, you may not realise for a significant amount of time that medicines have been stored inappropriately, and we would have had to dispose of them. Now with the Monika system, we get quick alerts and detailed information as to when, by how much, and how long the temperature has been out of range meaning we can make informed decision and act appropriately.”
Dan summarised his experience with Monika systems;
“I would recommend the Monika system for other hospitals and organisations. The system allows us to provide assurance around our medication storage, and therefore when we’re administering medicines to patients or prescribing medicines, we can ensure they’ve been stored safely.”
Please click on the YouTube clip below to see the Monika system in action in this busy pharmacy environment.