Accuracy and precision are of the utmost importance when using any device for monitoring a patient’s vital signs. Temperature measurement is critical to understanding a patient’s condition as an increase in body temperature can be an early warning sign of infection. Therefore, an accurate device is critical to reduce misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a patient is diagnosed incorrectly with a condition that they do not have. This can lead to minor discomfort or a waste of time and money in the best case-scenario or even death in the worst-case scenario.
Missed diagnosis is where a healthcare professional fails to recognise the signs and symptoms of a condition that a patient is suffering from . Missed diagnosis can have significant repercussions, leaving the patient with a condition that is untreated.
Thermometers are used on every patient, in every ward, in every hospital in the world as a basis for diagnosis. Therefore, a very important element of a thermometer designed for nurse use in hospitals is the need for a robust device.
Hospitals are fast paced; therefore, nurses need devices that they can depend on to deliver continuous high quality patient care. Research carried out by TriMedika shows that on average 10 contact thermometers are being disposed of in hospitals due to breakages or theft every week equating to in the region of 520 devices per year. TRITEMP™ is a robust device specifically designed for clinical use, has a two-year warranty and a breakage rate of less than 0.5%, the investment of TRITEMP™ provides value for nurses for the longer term.
Nurses are under constant time pressures to deliver the same level of care to every patient. Clinical devices that can save a nurse time and increase patient care should be implemented. Certain methods of temperature measurement are more efficient than others. For example, tympanic thermometers require a disposable cap to be replaced with every reading. This increases the time to take a temperature reading but also increases the number of plastics being disposed.
Medical grade non-contact thermometers such as TRITEMP™ can provide an accurate core temperature reading in under 5 seconds and requires ZERO plastic consumables. TRITEMP™ gives back real time savings and allows nurses to focus on other patient facing activities.
There are a number of factors that make a device medically graded. It is essential that if a thermometer is to be used in a medical or clinical setting the device must be certified. All medical devices, including thermometers, must comply with several regulations and guidelines. This ensures the device is robust and provides accurate information which enables healthcare professionals to make medical decisions or diagnoses.
In the EU, medical thermometers much have the appropriate CE marking (EU Directive 93/42/EC). This demonstrates that the manufacturer has ensured the device meets EU safety, health and environmental requirements and is an indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation. Any digital thermometer that gets put on the market must comply with the ASTM E1965-98(2016) standard stating that a device must be accurate within a tolerance of +/-0.2°C. These are a few regulations that make a thermometer suitable for clinical use.
Nurses Use TRITEMP™
- Nurses use TRITEMP™ because it is suitable as a medical-grade non-contact thermometer. It is CE marked for quality meaning it is accurate to +/-0.2⁰C and is manufactured by an ISO 13485 accredited company in TriMedika.
- TRITEMP™ is robust to keep up with busy hospital wards, with battery life of approximately 20,000 readings.
- Regarding time saving, TRITEMP™ takes an accurate core body temperature reading in under 5 seconds, compared with axilla approximately 4 minutes and tympanic approximately 60 seconds. One 150 bed hospital in Dublin, Bon Secours, said they saved over 500 hours in a year by switching to TRITEMP™. Improving productivity by 5 minutes per shift could save the NHS £280m, so saving 500 hours has saved a significant amount.
- TRITEMP™ is medically graded, it is on the Supply Chain framework for the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) healthcare systems.
- As above mentioned, TRITEMP™ doesn’t disturb patients as it never touches the patient. If in a ward where there are sleeping patients, silent mode can be activated, meaning a higher level of patient care is achieved.
- Internal Case study – TriMedika.
- Health Service Journal, February 2016: https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/interview-hospitals-must-take-fate-into-their-own-hands-says-carter/7002157.article