HealthPatient Room Monitoring Can Benefit Health Outcomes

Patient Room Monitoring Can Benefit Health Outcomes


Environmental monitoring has always been essential for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to keep products safe, protect patients’ health, and facilitate the delivery and storage of essential medicines. Today, many healthcare providers realize the importance of environmental monitoring regarding the rooms, facilities, and physical spaces to which patients are exposed. 

Although environmental monitoring has historically played a critical role in healthcare, many still need to learn its implications in making patient rooms, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities safer. Patient room monitoring has become an area of increased interest for healthcare providers since the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the dangers of respiratory diseases that can quickly spread through the air. As a result, more healthcare providers are researching and implementing strategies for improving air quality to minimize patients’ exposure to harmful pollutants, pathogens, and microorganisms. 

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To understand the importance of patient room monitoring, exploring how environmental monitoring becomes integrated into our healthcare system and the vital role it plays in keeping patients safe is helpful. Let’s explore the broader role environmental monitoring has played in healthcare and the specific part it has to play in patient room monitoring today.

How Environmental Monitoring Keeps Pharmaceutical Products Safe to Use for Patients

Temperature monitoring technology already helps to facilitate the creation and reliability of temperature-controlled supply chains, often referred to in the industry as cold chain storage. Cold chain storage management allows essential pharmaceutical products from manufacturers to pharmacies, hospitals, and even patient rooms. Pharmaceutical companies use various different technologies, including cooling and refrigeration systems, to keep products at sufficiently low temperatures throughout transport and storage. 

Equally important are the tools companies use to monitor the storage temperatures and conditions of facilities that house temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products. To this end, companies use data loggers. Data loggers are small electronic devices that collect environmental data from their physical surroundings, such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and differential pressure. 

Data loggers can use sensors to detect surrounding temperatures at regular intervals and record those temperatures as data in the device’s internal memory. Then, transfer the temperature data to external computer systems, data centers, or cloud-based storage for security and backup

The data can then be analyzed using robust software solutions and formatted. According to Dickson Data, in many cases, this formatted temperature data will have to be submitted to regulators to abide by compliance requirements. Many regulators insist on receiving and analyzing temperature storage data for some pharmaceutical products to prevent these medicines from becoming unstable or ineffective. 

As you can see, environmental monitoring is already an essential aspect of our healthcare compliance procedures. So it follows that regulators would also be interested in ensuring that environmental monitoring techniques ensure safe patient room conditions. 

Data Loggers for Patient Room Monitoring

In the same way that data loggers can help monitor storage facilities, they can also be put to use, ensuring that patient rooms are safe. In addition, some data loggers can be used to measure air quality or detect potential contaminants.  

Humidity is another important metric that data loggers can monitor, which can impact the spread of some respiratory viruses, including influenza. The EPA recommends indoor humidity levels of between 30-50 percent to prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses. However, some researchers contend that influenza has a significantly lower transmission rate when indoor humidity levels are above 40%.

Some research also suggests that COVID-19 spreads more freely in areas with low temperatures and humidity, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. Furthermore, patients and visitors are more likely to spread germs in low-humidity environments. That includes patient rooms with 20% humidity and below. 

Improving Air Quality and Limiting Airborne Pathogens

Data loggers represent a strong trend toward converging IoT and big data technology. However, healthcare providers should also be aware of the environmental dangers of high humidity in patient rooms rising too high. For example, mold grows more quickly in high-humidity environments. Mold can harm patients with a mold allergy and induce symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and wheezing, which might make patients more likely to spread germs. 

As a result, healthcare providers must maintain humidity levels in patient rooms. Moreover, healthcare providers can take steps to improve air quality should they receive data that indicates potentially harmful pollutants or pathogens.

Some healthcare facilities have begun using HVAC and HEPA air filters to mitigate airborne pathogens. A growing amount of research suggests that these air filters can effectively improve air quality and reduce the spread of harmful diseases. Studying air purifiers and air ionizers explores similar beneficial effects, but more research is needed to draw firm conclusions regarding efficacy in patient rooms. 

In summary, environmental monitoring in patient rooms can improve health outcomes and limit the spread of harmful pathogens, contaminants, and illnesses. 

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