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Hospital Logistics – a ’just-in-time’ concept for hospitals
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Hospital Logistics – a ’just-in-time’ concept for hospitals

A main purpose for establishing the Super Hospital Programme was the need for larger and technologically updated hospitals supporting accelerated treatment. In 2020, the average length of stay in Danish hospitals is expected to be less than three days, and the number of outpatient treatments is expected to have increased by 50 per cent since 2007. Just-in-time logistics will be a key enabler for accelerated treatment, allowing health personnel to be able to focus on their core task instead of searching for colleagues or equipment or waiting for lab results.

 

Several Danish companies are dealing internationally with complex logistical challenges.

Experiences from other industries such as shipping and airport logistics are now being used to design the solutions for the future hospital logistics.

 

The national solution concept of the future is dealing with these logistical aims:

  • Fast handling of samples for analyses
  • Provision of services on time and without any errors
  • Just-in-time delivery of equipment

 

The aims are obtained by the use of:

  • Knowledge about the location of equipment, personnel and patients
  • Transparent task management across the hospital 

Service logistics

In ever larger and more complex hospitals, 1:1 communication systems like walkie-talkies and phones have become increasingly insufficient when it comes to service and staff logistics. Resource management in modern hospitals require a high level of transparency across departments, tasks and staff in all functions - from porters and lab technicians to nurses and doctors. Knowledge about the location of resources and transparent task management makes it possible to prioritize tasks based on criteria such as distance or importance, increasing the efficiency of service as well as clinical workflows. Moreover, by having the right information at hand, errors are minimized and quality is increased.

Where is the doctor and the nearest equipment?

Why disturb a colleague, if he or she is busy in an examination room? Then it is better to call a colleague who is available and not waste time searching and disturbing.

 

Why spend time looking for basic equipment, when a quick look at the phone can tell you exactly where the nearest equipment is?

Why run to the laboratory with samples, when they can be delivered automatically from the department directly to the laboratory?

 

These scenarios are ordinary situations that can be solved by systems for locating people and equipment, and solutions for automating basic tasks. More time will be available for patient related tasks. Several different technologies are useful in this regard and different applications can make use of that information.

Patient logistics

Tracking and locating systems are not only useful in terms of locating equipment or personnel. They can also play an important role in optimizing the patient flow by intelligently guiding the patients to the right location on time. By doing this, peak hours are avoided as clinical staff is not wasting time waiting for the next patient. From a patient perspective, such systems also prevent a stressful experience of being lost in a complex hospital environment.