After the prolonged surge in demand for COVID-19 testing, clinical laboratories now face the challenge of unpredictable testing needs as the pandemic evolves. In addition, as the fall season approaches, labs are making plans to test for other respiratory illnesses along with COVID-19 and variants that continue to emerge. Combined with a long-standing shortage of medical laboratory personnel, laboratories must cope with many challenges now and in the coming months.
Because of shifting demands and the constant pressure to do more with fewer staff members, cold storage equipment that is unreliable or that may not support compliance is the last thing a lab should have to worry about. Fortunately, there are cold storage solutions that can maintain precise temperature ranges, perform reliably, and even consume less energy than conventional models.
Reagents must be stored within the manufacturer’s specified temperature range to maintain their integrity and ensure compliance. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) All Common Checklist provides guidance on how these items should be stored. All reagents and media, for example, should be stored and handled as defined by the laboratory and following the manufacturer's instructions. If a reagent manufacturer specifies a required temperature range, the temperature must be monitored daily.
GX Solutions from Helmer Scientific support compliance by maintaining tight temperature uniformity throughout all storage locations within the cabinet, ensuring clinical products are stored within the required range. In addition, GX Solutions are designed to recover quickly after frequent or prolonged door openings, which are common in a busy laboratory environment. The temperature is constantly monitored with high and low temperature alarms that activate if the temperature exceeds or falls below the alarm limits.
All Helmer products are designed and built to ensure they last for the long term, to limit downtime and disruptions to workflow. During the design process for GX Solutions, thorough Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) was conducted to ensure reliability.
ALT identifies and addresses possible issues before equipment is released for general use. It exposes units to very high levels of stress to challenge the system and ensures the unit’s design can withstand the rigors of daily use through a 10-year life.
ENERGY SAVINGS & SUSTAINABILITY
In addition to excellent performance characteristics, GX Solutions support environmental sustainability. They utilize natural refrigerants that have no impact on ozone depletion and extremely low global warming potential (GWP).
GX Solutions also reduce energy consumption. For example, GX Solutions freezers are 35-45 percent more energy efficient than conventional medical-grade freezers and are ENERGY STAR® certified. This helps facilities reduce electricity costs and lowers the total cost of ownership. They also eject less heat, limiting impact on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
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Visit GX Solutions from Helmer Scientific for more information on the performance and benefits of professional medical-grade cold storage. To learn more about frozen storage designed to support compliance while keeping your reagents safe, download our Best Practices Guide for Selecting Laboratory Freezers.