An Final Information to Medical Asset Monitoring

Supply chains are difficult; pharma supply chains are even more difficult. But the recent pandemic era has taught us that the most essential thing is better medical asset tracking — transporting the right medical equipment, at the right time, to the right place and people. Nothing is more critical than an oxygen cylinder when a patient struggles to breathe or a perfectly functioning patient monitor when a patient has had a heart attack.The urgency of the requirement itself makes medical asset tracking one of the most essential and challenging tasks to handle in healthcare supply chains. Let us look at how medical asset tracking works and what kind of a system would best work, even in a whirlwind situation.

When dealing with patient safety, time is of utmost importance, even more so when dealing with essential resources like medicines, vaccines, and medical assets like ventilators and oxygen cylinders. When a patient’s health needs urgent attention, every second matters, and that’s where medical asset tracking comes into the picture. It would help if you made sure that the right equipment reaches its destination on time to ensure patient health, and in some cases, survival.
Imagine how much more essential these things become in a scenario where there is an emergency everywhere, a shortage of equipment, and a never-ending count of patients. Moreover, in a situation similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are even ‘pop-up’ hospitals to manage. Let’s look at why it is important to manage medical asset tracking, why it is so challenging, and the solution you need to invest in for a safer future.

Why Is Medical Asset Tracking Important?
A well-managed medical asset tracking system is vital to ensure hospitals get equipment on time from outside and make sure they’re well-organized and available in the hospital premises. There are cases when mobile assets like patient monitors and ventilators are unavailable when needed the most. It’s like losing a TV remote, or car keys, except those aren’t life-threatening situations. Additionally, losing such equipment comes with considerable costs to replace them, sometimes urgently, at a higher price. When operational costs are already soaring, all this could affect the ROI and, more importantly, patient health.
When dealing with patient health, losing visibility on the equipment would be the last thing a hospital wants. Not knowing the correct location and availability information on the equipment would make asset utilization even harder. A list of medical equipment that every hospital always needs to have ready would comprise ventilators, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, defibrillators, stretchers, patient monitors, surgical lights, beds and a lot more.
What Makes Handling Medical Assets Challenging?
Every year, hospitals at a global level lose hospital equipment like wheelchairs & sterilizers and face the unavailability of expensive life-saving equipment like oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and ventilators when needed most. Hospital logistics managers face more challenges than just handling medicine and vaccine distribution, one of the biggest being hospital equipment management, especially during times like the current pandemic.
Medical asset mismanagement has been observed as one of the common causes for lower output efficiency in most healthcare operations. Tracking assets is not only hard when they’re being transported to the hospital in a shipment but also within the hospital premises.
Let us look at what exactly makes it essential to have a well-managed medical asset tracking solution:
1. Human Error in Traditional Asset Tracking Methods — Tracking medical devices and equipment through manual processes like maintaining spreadsheets or keeping manual registers makes the system error-prone, inaccessible, and unnecessarily time-consuming.
2. Inventory Mismanagement — Most hospitals overstock inventory due to potential loss and prior experience of missing equipment. Wrong inventory estimation due to an improper tracking system could lead to more inventory management problems, thereby adding costs.
3. Replacement Costs — Replacing the lost or stolen equipment adds a lot to the overall costs since there are heavy spends on new equipment to replace the lost ones.
4. Cost of Lost Person-Hours — The time spent searching for lost equipment ultimately adds to monetary loss — loss of person-hours and wages due to hours spent searching lost assets.
5. Impact on Patient Experience — Missing equipment directly means delays in treatment, reduced patient safety, more wait time, and an overall bad patient experience. Imagine a delay in an operation because the patient couldn’t be treated in time due to missing equipment!
6. Patient Life-Endangerment — In situations where missing equipment could mean delayed treatment or, worse yet, loss of life, hospital assets become irreplaceable. For instance, nothing can replace the functionality of a ventilator for a patient struggling to breathe. This is especially true in situations like a serious COVID-19 patient with weakened lungs.

Transparency by drug corporations, scrutiny by journalists, very important in vaccine information

Pfizer’s chairman and CEO proclaimed in a Pfizer company news release: “Today is a great day for science and humanity.” In that PR news release – but only in that format – Pfizer announced early results of “a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose.”
That’s about all we know – what Pfizer says about its own vaccine.  The data have not been published or publicly released – only that 90% number.
Regarding safety, the Pfizer company news release stated, “no serious safety concerns have been observed.”  Because no raw data have been released, we don’t know how “serious” was defined.
Pfizer did project: “We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
In an early story, STAT did a good job covering caveats and limitations. Excerpts:
“…key information about the vaccine is not yet available. There is no information yet on whether the vaccine prevents severe cases, the type that can cause hospitalization and death.
Nor is there any information yet on whether it prevents people from carrying the virus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, without symptoms.

“If that headline really number really holds up, that is huge. That is much better than I was expecting and it will make a huge difference,” said Ashish Jha, the dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University. He cautioned, however, that it is always difficult to evaluate science via press release and that researchers will need to see the full results. He noted that side effects are something to watch, because even if there are no serious long-term complications, people feeling sick for a day or two could lead some to be hesitant to take a vaccine.

The story of how the data have been analyzed seems to include no small amount of drama. Pfizer, seeing an opportunity to both help battle a pandemic and demonstrate its research prowess, made decisions that were always likely to make its study the first of a Covid-19 vaccine to produce data.
The New York Times reported:
Pfizer…released only sparse details from its clinical trial.

Independent scientists have cautioned against hyping early results before long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected. And no one knows how long the vaccine’s protection might last.

(A senior Pfizer VP) sought to distance the company from Operation Warp Speed and presidential politics, noting that the company — unlike the other vaccine front-runners — did not take any federal money to help pay for research and development.
Vox was clear to include important caveats even with the limitations of a Twitter post:

Pfizer and BioNTech reported Monday that their Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in an early analysis.
Caveats:—The results came in a press release, not a study—They’re based on just 94 cases—The clinical trial isn’t complete
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 9, 2020

That level of scrutiny, especially with one of the first news stories out of the gate, is crucial. Not everyone met that standard.
When BuzzFeed headlined, “Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective, early data says,” journalist Paul Thacker suggested a repair for that headline – “Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is More Than 90% Effective, Says Incomplete Data That Has Not Been Validated By Independent Experts.” The story twice used the phrase “extremely promising.” Strunk and White, in The Elements of Style, suggested eliminating unnecessary words.  “Extremely” is unnecessary.  And “promising” is one of my longstanding seven words you shouldn’t use in medical news.
CNN had no independent perspective in its first story.
Fox News overpromised, stating: “FOX Business takes a look at the key data points investors and consumers should know.”  But there were no key data released – only the Pfizer announcement of “90% effective.”
Of course, much of the second wave of news already celebrates the leap in Pfizer stock, and in the stock market in general, in response to the Pfizer PR news release.
Scientist James Heathers tweeted:

I’ll believe plague vaccine news when it is accompanied by granular data. Press releases over the last seven months have not exactly worked out for us.
— ?James Heathers ? (@jamesheathers) November 9, 2020

Just last week, professors Jennifer Miller, Joseph Ross and Michelle Mello published on STAT, “Far more transparency is needed for COVID-19 vaccine trials.” Their concluding line:  “Transparency will help ensure this achievement is trusted.”  You be the judge whether today’s Pfizer PR news release met those trust and transparency standards.

You might also like

Distinctive Distribution Challenges of COVID-19 Vaccine Name for Distinctive Monitoring Method

Distributing the COVID-19 vaccine will be unlike previous vaccine distribution efforts due to its scale and urgency.The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine will leverage new distribution approaches, so monitoring its physical integrity through the supply chain from manufacturing to point of use will also require fresh thinking. With a lot at stake for all parties involved such as states, regulators, pharmaceutical companies and the general population, the margins for error in delivering a vaccine promptly and with uncompromised efficacy have never been tighter.

Leveraging Chilly Chain Logistics Visibility for COVID-19 Vaccines

Let’s explore the logistics case study of one of the world’s largest pharma companies, the story of how this US-headquartered, globally present pharma giant improved teamwork in their logistics and is now confidently shipping COVID-19 vaccines using cold chain logistics visibility.

The Journey of a Vaccine in Pharma Chilly Chain from Manufacturing to Syringe

The ultimate goal of any pharma company is patient well-being, which it cannot achieve without a tight, lean, and reliable pharma cold chain. When dealing with vaccines for epidemics like the Coronavirus, the pharma cold chain logistics must be planned to maintain a balance between the vaccine reaching safely and on time.Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is here, the objective is to keep it safe and intact through the last mile of its journey and incorporate these best practices to gain control over general vaccine supply chains for human and animal health. Let’s look at how a vaccine travels in the pharma cold chain and how vaccine cold chain monitoring helps make this journey successful.
A vaccine’s journey is more complicated than other pharma products because it is very susceptible to temperature changes, heat and light exposure, and breakage. The COVID-19 vaccine needs an exceptionally reliable cold chain — transport and storage in specific cold temperatures, ambiance control, and impact control to protect from damage — since any deviation may drastically affect the vaccine efficacy and deter on-time, in-full (OTIF) deliveries.