It’s not often that a system has as many direct positives as pneumatic tubing does for the medical system. An ancient system that’s been readapted in modern contexts, it helps with efficiency, waste, and opens up options that don’t typically exist. It does this all by using a pressurized air system, sending tubes full of cargo from one place to another.
Looking at specifics, this has the easily noted advantage of reduced human contact. This is not only a positive on a health level, but less humans interacting means less error. Sending a tube from one station only requires someone to send it and receive it. In contrast, a normal transfer of hospital materials will take more time and go through more hands to reach its destination.
This directly ties into the next point, waste. In a hospital with floors with and without pneumatic tubing, over four weeks the floors with tubing suffered zero errors while the floors without had 16. This is a sizable difference, especially over such a short period of time. It takes less resources to move these tubes and it’s a more secure process.
Finally pneumatic tubing offers one distinct quality that is not often considered. Scope. Pneumatic tubing systems in some areas have been installed to work across hospitals, pharmacies, and labs, meaning resources can move between the three almost instantly. This means that prescription drugs can be delivered instantly, lab tests can be sent over with no delay, and records can move freely between the three no problem.
These are the wonders of pneumatic tubing. Hospitals are in an overstaffed state with a resource deficit. It’s changes like the installation of pneumatic tubing systems that can start to bring it back down to neutral. COVID put the medical field as a whole in disarray, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be put back together.
Source: Swisslog Healthcare