Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y., has increased patient safety and staff productivity by integrating automated temperature monitoring with a tissue and implant management system.

The wireless temperature-monitoring system, made by DocuTemp Wireless LLC, Bedford, Mass., utilizes radio technology coupled with resistance temperature-detection sensor probes. The sensors monitor the temperature of storage devices and transmit the temperature readings via wireless network access points to the database.

If temperature in any location — whether ambient, refrigerated, frozen or cryo-preserved — strays out of range, an e-mail automatically is sent to a list of managers, directors and assistant vice presidents to initiate the appropriate response, says Stephanie Romero, R.N., manager, perioperative materials management and charge capture team.

Doug Hartley, CHFM, director of engineering at Winthrop, says the system incorporates a prewarning alarm that assists facility management in making a quicker repair response. The new system frees the nursing staff to handle other patient-related duties by eliminating slower methods of checking and recording temperature data.

The monitoring system offers a number of report options as well as color-coded gauges so parameters for bone or tissue storage can be ensured. The department can print hourly temperature reports of each location being monitored in grid or graph format and provide a monthly report utilizing the same details.