Medical laboratories, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities frequently handle extremely temperature-sensitive materials, such as blood samples, medications, vaccines, or pharmaceuticals. These materials are often incredibly valuable to both the scientists that use or study them as well as the patients who might need them. As such, professionals in these facilities have a responsibility to organize, transport, and store these materials in a way that prevents damage or contamination. This makes cold storage units one of the most vital solutions for medical facilities. Without a reliable cold storage solution, medical facilities can lose their materials, face financial consequences, experience a decrease in productivity, and put patients they serve at serious risk. This is why many laboratories and other facilities turn to pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators for their cold storage needs. You can learn more about why this equipment is a far more reliable and productive asset to your facility with this guide to the benefits of a pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator.
What Are Pharmaceutical-Grade Refrigerators?
To fully understand the benefits of a pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator, you must first know exactly what this equipment does. Manufacturers build pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and freezers for the specific purpose of safely storing medical materials such as pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and other components. This gives them several features to set them apart from ordinary household refrigerators, which you can learn about below. Medical refrigerators and lab freezers must also meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding pharmaceutical storage. As such, laboratories, clinics, and other medical facilities are increasingly switching to pharmaceutical-grade cold storage units to safely and securely hold their temperature-sensitive materials.
Consistent, Precise Temperature Monitoring
The most obvious yet most vital feature of pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators is the temperature control. Many important lab materials rely on precise, controlled storage environments to retain their potency or avoid contamination. While a household refrigerator can keep items cold, it doesn’t have the detailed temperature monitoring system that a pharmaceutical-grade unit has. Medical cold storage units use digital sensors and a microprocessor-based system to give an accurate and exact temperature reading. Most units will also have external temperature monitoring devices that allow employees to check the temperature without opening the refrigerator door and compromising the internal environment. This also makes it easier to record and keep an accurate history of your products’ storage temperatures, allowing you to keep a closer eye on your materials. In addition to these features, most pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and lab freezers also contain an audio and visual temperature alarm system. This notifies employees when the internal temperature fluctuates too high or too low, letting you know as soon as possible if your materials are at risk.
Protect Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines, and Other Products
A precise and vigilant temperature-monitoring system isn’t the only way pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators work to protect your products and materials. Features such as magnetically sealed doors, high-density insulation, and more help create a stable environment for your temperature-sensitive materials. Most pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and lab freezers also have a rapid cool-down mode that kicks in after someone opens the unit door. This helps maintain a steady temperature and protect products as employees work in and out of the fridge. Why does your facility need this kind of protection? The materials medical laboratories, clinics, or hospitals work with are both valuable and expensive. If you lose samples or products due to poor storage techniques, it can deal a massive financial blow to your facility. You may not have room in your budget—or in your schedule—to replace the materials you lose. In addition to protecting your pharmaceuticals and other materials, proper cold storage also preserves them by extending the shelf life.
Backups for Emergency Power Failures
Even with proper temperature control and monitoring, your products and materials can still be at risk in the event of a power outage or other emergency. While you should equip your facility with a backup generator for such an occasion, it’s always a good idea to have a backup power source on the cold storage units themselves. This is another perk of pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and lab freezers. Most medical cold storage units come with a backup battery or similar hookup that preserves your products even during outages or other power failures. This allows you to keep your products at the correct temperature without having to transport them to an alternative facility. However, you should still take caution even if your pharmaceutical-grade unit has a backup battery. Keep a second backup on hand and remember to perform regular tests to make sure both batteries are functional.
Better Air Circulation
5 Benefits of a Pharmaceutical-Grade Refrigerator Pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators come with air circulation systems to create a more stable and uniform internal temperature. Powerful fans force circulation while wire shelves allow the air to flow throughout the entire unit. Compare this to the glass shelves of a household refrigerator, which protect food items but prevent air from flowing in an even, uniform manner. When it comes to safely storing pharmaceutical supplies, a consistent and uniform air circulation system is superior. Like with temperature control, medical-grade refrigerators include an alarm system that will alert employees whenever a door is ajar or airlocks have not sealed correctly. This helps you create and preserve a stable, even airflow within the refrigerator. It’s also important to stock your pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator in a manner that doesn’t affect air circulation. Do not overfill your refrigerator or freezer and prevent air from flowing throughout the entire unit.
Improved Inventory Organization
When you have a safe and secure place to store your materials, you can focus your energy on creating a thorough and organized inventory management system. For example, you will need to keep your products and materials organized within the unit so your employees can find what they need quickly without keeping the door open and risking the internal temperature. This means you will need to keep materials labeled, sorted, and easily accessible within the refrigerator. The longer shelf life and reduced risk of contamination or degradation in your materials also make it easier to keep track of inventory since you don’t have to account for as many material losses or replacements. When you install a pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator or freezer in your medical facility, you are also making a commitment to best practices regarding the handling, storage, and use of your inventory.
No matter where you are or what kind of important work you’re doing, your medical facility can benefit from a pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator or freezer.K2 Scientific has the products you need to equip your laboratory, clinic, or other facility with a dependable cold storage unit that goes above and beyond the standard. Check out our units today to bring high performance and quality to your own medical facility.