Vaccines save countless lives. The Measles and Rubella Initiative and the World Health Organization are responsible for saving an estimated 17.1 lives since 2000 by vaccinations. If you have a medical grade refrigerator, there are things you can do to to keep everything in good shape. Here are a few of them:
Take care with the placement of your medical grade refrigerator. Medical refrigerators and freezers need more care when placing them than the refrigerators and freezers people have in their homes. There are three kinds of pharmacy grade refrigerators: stand-alone units, those that are built-in, and compact units.
- Stand-alone units are also referred to as freestanding units. You have to make sure you place it in the right place. They should never be placed under a counter or where they will be flush with the counter. If you put one there, it will not be able to function properly. These units need at least two to four inches of space around them for proper ventilation. If you are unsure of how much space your medical grade refrigerator needs, you should talk to the manufacturer.
- Undercounter medical refrigerators are also called built-in. Their ventilation system is in the front of the unit. Any heat created by the compressor is expelled through the kickplate in the front. This configuration is what makes it possible to put the unit under a counter. These also take up a lot less space in your business.
- Compact units are usually stand-alone units. They are not meant to be placed under a counter and need space around them to get the air they need to function the way they are supposed to. Some businesses find success when these medical grade refrigerators are put on top of cabinets or counters.
Once you have the medical grade refrigerator in the right spot, you need to stock it properly. It takes less energy to cool any kind of refrigerator when it is full. When you have a medical grade refrigerator, you will have a better experience with it if you keep it well stocked. If you take care to always keep it at least 30% full you will have a more consistent temperature inside the unit. If you find that you do not have enough to fill it to this point, you can put in gel packs or bottles of water to get it to 30% full.
In addition to keeping your pharmaceutical grade refrigerator filled to the right level, you should be careful about where you place the items inside the unit. All refrigerators have warmer spots inside. Some people assume that because their units have fans inside them that they will not have warm or hot spots. Items that need to be kept colder should be placed towards the back. If you have items that do not need to be as cold, they can be placed towards the front. Also, the items at the front have more exposure to the outside air as they are closer to the door. If you have items that need a more consistent temperature, they should always be put in the middle of the unit.
It is important to test the temperature of your medical grade refrigerator from time to time. The majority of units on the market today have an opening through which you can add your own equipment to monitor the temperature on the interior of the unit. To get readings that are as accurate as they can be, the equipment you add to keep track of the temperature should be set in the center of the unit. Never place the thermometer in the unit’s door, on the back wall, or the lower section of the refrigerator. Temperature probes should always be put in the middle of the unit.
There are a number of medications that need to be kept at the right temperature in order to stay effective. Vaccines, in particular, are very sensitive to changes in temperature. It may take some effort and time but doing this will keep the medication and life-saving vaccines safe and sound in the medical grade refrigerator at your pharmacy.