Vaccine Storage: Safe Practice Rules To Follow In Your Medical Practice
Operating a medical office or practice means that you will consistently have the responsibility of keeping various medications on site, including vaccines. Very few vaccines are shelf-stable and can be kept at room temperature, which means to ensure the vaccines you have on site stay safe, they will have to be kept either frozen or refrigerated. You and your staff may know the general keeping rules for vaccines, but it is still easy to do something that causes them to fail. Take a look at a few safe practice rules to make sure you follow with refrigerated vaccines in your medical office.
Use a timer to ensure the refrigerator door is not left open for too long.
When the refrigerator door is held open, it allows warm air inside the refrigerator and it can mean the temperature of the vaccines stored inside quickly rise. To prevent this problem, post signs on the fridge reminding others to close the door quickly. You can even use a small magnetic timer that people can tap on when they open the door so they can keep track of how long the door is open.
Fill empty space in the fridge with water bottles.
A refrigerator that is filled with more contents better maintains a consistent temperature. Because vaccines may not take up a lot of space and it is best to have a refrigerator solely dedicated to vaccine storage, you should do something to fill the dead space inside the unit. Filling the empty shelves and bins with full water bottles is a simple solution and is inexpensive to achieve. Just make sure that all staff members know the water in that particular fridge is not to be drunk or taken out. If you have vaccines to be kept in the freezer, you can do the same thing to fill up empty space.
Make sure vaccines are consistently rotated when restocked.
When staff members are in a hurry treating patients, they will not usually dig around in the vaccine storage containers to find those with the oldest dates. They will need to be able to reach in and grab the closest vaccine package and know this is the one that should be used first. To make this possible, extra attention must be given to rotating your stock of vaccines every time new stock is added. So when you get a new shipment in, check the expiration dates, (which should have longer shelf lives than what you already have) and place these vaccines in the back of a row or at the bottom of the storage container.