Pharmacies and doctor’s surgeries are often bustling with activity and people seeking medical assistance. These places serve as critical hubs for healthcare services, and the high volume of patients and professionals contributes to their busy nature.
Within these settings, medical fridges play a vital role in storing temperature-sensitive products such as vaccines and medications.
Correct Medical Fridge Arrangement
Properly organising products within a medical fridge is essential in ensuring the safety and efficacy of these items.
A well organised medical fridge also ensures healthcare providers can locate specific items promptly, optimise refrigerator space, prevent cross-contamination, and adhere to safety protocols. This level of organisation helps streamline operations and ensures that patients receive the correct medication or treatment, ultimately enhancing the overall efficiency and safety of these busy healthcare environments.
Here are some practical guidelines on how to correctly arrange products within a medical fridge, emphasising the importance of organisation, temperature zones, and proper storage techniques.
Organisation & Labelling
Maintaining a well-organised medical fridge is crucial for easy accessibility and inventory management. Follow these tips to keep your fridge orderly:
Categorise: Group similar items together, such as vaccines, medications, blood products, or laboratory samples. This classification allows for quicker identification and helps prevent cross-contamination.
Labelling: All medication should be provided with labelling. If not, clearly label each item with its name, expiry date, and any other relevant information. Utilise colour-coding or barcode systems to further streamline the identification process.
First-in, First-out (FIFO): Adhere to the FIFO principle by placing newer supplies at the back of the fridge and older items in front. Check expiry dates on new-in products as these may still expire before your current stock. This practice reduces the risk of products expiring and ensures proper rotation.
Remove Expired Items: Regularly inspect and remove expired or damaged products from your medical fridge. This prevents confusion and maintains a clutter-free environment. Guidance on this is also provided in the NHS Green Book: “Out-of-date stock should be clearly labelled, removed from the refrigerator immediately and disposed of according to local policies.”
Proper storage techniques play a vital role in maintaining product safety and efficacy. Consider the following practices:
Avoid Overcrowding: Do not overcrowd your medical fridge as it hampers air circulation and compromises temperature control. Leave sufficient space (at least a 1cm gap) between items to ensure proper cooling and to prevent other products becoming spoiled in the case of accidental spillages.
Proper Packaging: All medication should be stored in its original packaging within your medical fridge. This ensures batch numbers and expiry dates are retained. Further guidance on this can be found in the NHS Green Book.
By adhering to the recommended storage capacity guidelines for your medical fridge, you’ll be able to maintain optimal temperature control and prevent overcrowding. Here are some further tips on how to stock your medical fridge whilst adhering to storage capacity guidelines:
75% Maximum Capacity: Medical fridges should be stocked at 75% capacity or under to achieve optimum fridge performance – as recommended by the MHRA.
Do Not Block the Fan: Do not stack products in front or above the refrigerator fan. This could block or restrict airflow around the fridge, leading to wasted products.
Avoid Refrigerator Walls: Avoid stacking products against the internal walls of your medical fridge. This can sometimes lead to products freezing, rendering them unusable.
Correctly arranging products within a medical fridge is crucial for maintaining the safety, efficacy, and organisation of medical supplies. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can ensure that your medical fridge is well-organised, temperature-controlled, and capable of preserving the integrity of medications, vaccines, and other sensitive healthcare products.
If you’d like to speak to a member of our team regarding how best to stock your medical fridge, or would like to enquire about our range of medical fridges, please call 0161 772 5666, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of our team will be happy to help!
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