Keeping Your Cool

Cold storage means much more to the end consumer than it means to your company. Sure, you could face costly fines from failed audits. That’s true. Unrecognized excursions, though, mean the end consumer is at risk. Spoiled food can cause food poisoning, leading to hospitalization or worse. Frozen vaccines can often mean a failed inoculation. And, in cases like those that occurred in March where multiple fertility clinics had equipment malfunctions, it can mean expiration of stored embryos.

On two separate occasions, less than a week apart, fertility clinics in Cleveland and San Francisco saw storage equipment fail. Eggs and embryos were lost in both cases. In some of the affected tissue, the damage was unknown leaving potential parents in the dark about whether or not their eggs and embryos will remain viable in the future. That’s because the damaged tissue would need to be completely thawed to determine their viability. Unfortunately, once thawed, they cannot be refrozen.

"At this point, we do not know the viability of all of the stored eggs and embryos, although we do know some have been impacted," said Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, in a video response that was posted to Facebook. "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority."

Not only did the failure of the machinery potentially mean the loss of stored tissue, according to at least one parent who’d had been a customer of the facility, the faulty equipment could have a negative impact on the fertility market

A continuous monitoring solution, like DicksonOne, is the best choice for ensuring every excursion is recognized and cared for as they occur. Custom alarms for each individual monitoring point can be set up to notify you any time the area is outside of the desired temperature or if the power in the facility has gone out. It can deliver notifications via phone, text, or email to whomever at your facility is best equipped to address the issue and can even be escalated to other employees should an alarm go unanswered.

Those notifications can be used to track temperature, humidity, or differential pressure within chambers, cold storage, or even large-scale facilities and manufacturing plants. With a system that’s scalable, you’re able to buy devices in a manner that allow you to monitor a single piece of equipment or thousands across hundreds of locations around the world. That may sound intimidating, but our system is built to grow with your company.

What makes it most equipped to scale is the software itself. You’re able to categorize and organize the entire system as you see fit. Have a lot of refrigerators in a single room? Put them in a shared folder and name it appropriately. Have a dozen locations, each with their own numerous monitoring points? Put your refrigerator room folder, into another folder custom for the location. Like the system itself, how you organize your data scales too.

With a system that’s built to hold limitless data, information overload could easily become a reality. The DicksonOne reporting suite is built to reduce that possibility. You can build custom reports around each device or channel, around all of your data, or even around your system’s calibration needs, and have them delivered to your email, automatically, on your schedule.

Is construction going on in one of your warehouses and you need to ensure daily compliance? Set up a daily device report for the area. Looking to do a monthly deep dive on the safety of your goods and services? Set up a monthly tabular report to see everything at once in order to understand how the data changes over time. The reporting suite is built to serve you.

Together, these features can help fertility clinics avoid the loss of the stored embryos and eggs. It means avoiding the potential of costly fines and lost tissue. It’s these kinds of results that help you maintain compliance and makes us the experts.