The Medical Subway: Pneumatic Tube System
To prepare for the future ahead, medical facilities need operational technology more than ever. To elaborate, the technology needed for hospitals to be more efficient is using the pneumatic tube system paired with today’s advanced technology which may be the solution to a long-standing problem of material waste. In a study by SwissLog, they reported that on average 16% of pharmaceutical inventory is wasted. A prominent reason for this waste is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since hospitals prioritized speed when it came to transporting pharmaceuticals and supplies, Many materials couldn’t be stored properly and thus had to be discarded. With the pneumatic tube system, materials are moved faster and waste is reduced.
How these tube systems work is like a subway system for materials within the walls of the medical facility. Materials are transported into carriers and will reach their destination by sensors. This tube system is versatile because it can be integrated into all parts of the medical facility so you can move materials between floors or buildings. Moreover, the pneumatic tube system aids in correct medication management with the help of real-time tracking. SwissLog tracked the number of medication errors in a hospital over four weeks. After that time, the hospital with the tube system has zero medication errors as opposed to 16 errors without it. Tube systems reduce operating costs by eliminating the need for human couriers thus mitigating staff shortages.
Source: Swisslog Healthcare