Medical Waste Reduction from an Unlikely Place

Waste reduction rarely comes off as a sexy or exciting idea in day to day conversation. Matters of efficiency are undeniably important, but tend to take the backburner to the topics they are creating efficiency for. Why talk about the efficiency of the medical system when the medical system itself is such an interesting topic of discussion?

The main reason? Hospitals and the medical system at large are struggling. Even before COVID, shortages and mistakes were common, but following COVID 99% of hospitals report procurement problems. 80% of physicians even say they have trouble obtaining the drugs they need for their patients.

This lowers the quality of care and makes workers and patients lives alike harder. Even when hospitals have the resources, 16% of pharmaceutical inventory is wasted. So what are hospitals doing in response? One ancient answer has come to the forefront with renewed utility, pneumatic tubing.

Pneumatic tubing systems use compressed air and electrical control units to get a tube from one station to another. It works much like a subway, with rails being shifted to move tubes to the right place, and comes with a giant set of benefits. First and foremost, pneumatic tubing reduces error, these tubes touch less human hands, move throughout the system faster, and have less of a risk of being lost.

On top of this, pneumatic tubing opens options few consider in a medical context. Directly connecting labs, pharmacies, and hospitals for example. This keeps samples fresher, gets drugs to patients faster, and generally creates a smoother experience for the buildings involved. 

Pneumatic tubing has been around for decades, but its proper utilization has really started to help the medical trend towards efficiency. While COVID has left the medicinal system in an overworked and overstressed place, it is changes like these that will start to bring things back to normalcy, and even make them better than ever before.

Medical Facilities Need Operational Technology More Than Ever
Source: Swisslog Healthcare

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