Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
The pneumatic tube system (invented in the 19th century) is now a vital part of patient care. Advanced technology makes them faster and more reliable than they once were. Unfortunately, the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have strained the hospitals’ supplies.
Testing and dispensing accurately are affected by these shortages. With forty percent of ER patients being there principally for COVID testing in 2021, there were delays in testing for other respiratory diseases and illnesses. Last year, almost all hospitals reported acquisition problems of vital materials like reagents, pipettes, and sterile water.
Pneumatic tube systems move carriers through routes of tubes with compressed air. Sensors ensure the supplies are on the right track as they travel floor to floor and building to building, Traffic Control Units store up to six carriers from the Express Lines, and Transfer Units allow routes to be changed. The advancement of this technology allows for efficient transport. In medicine, time is of the essence.
The tubes adapt as health systems evolve. Multi-carrier carousels stamp out wait times. Special inserts inside of the carriers keep samples from being damaged or contaminated. Delivery stations slow down for smooth arrival. Other system advances include particle filters, RFID transponders, and security features to ensure that only authorized employees can access these supplies. All of these promotions are to streamline the tube systems and limit lost time, especially in emergencies.
Organic materials like blood are prone to be temperature-sensitive, and generally, if not correctly stored, materials may have to be discarded. These blunders prompt sixteen percent of pharmaceutical inventory in hospitals to be wasted.
Data supports the claims that pneumatic tube systems are vital. The turnaround for emergency serum sodium testing is nineteen minutes faster than without a tube system and ten minutes faster than standard tube systems. CBC-count testing is done twenty-five minutes faster than without a tube system and eleven minutes faster than traditional tube systems. Finally, Troponin I testing is done twenty-two minutes faster than without and eleven minutes faster than the run-of-the-mill tube systems. The tracking oversees each order and can lower errors from nearly twenty to zero.
Two thousand three hundred hospitals in America use Pneumatic tube systems. These systems are made to handle over 10,000 transactions a day, approachable stations with graphic user ports and reduced traces, surveillance, and preventative maintenance. These networks are quintessential for facility management, hospital planning, in-patient pharmacy, laboratory, and nurse wards.
Source: Swisslog Healthcare
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked