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Intelligent and integrated hospital logistics
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Intelligent and integrated hospital logistics

The New Odense University Hospital (New OUH), which will be ready by 2025, is constructed with an ambitious vision for the hospital supply logistics: The new logistic solution will dras-tically reduce the hospital’s operating costs and reduce the physical layout of the hospital and thereby ensure large clinical areas with short walking distances and a floorplan that prioritizes clinical and patient related functions. 

"Hospital Logistics is intelligent when the overall logistics system allows clinicians to ensure efficient, smooth and safe patient progress. Thus, intelligent hospital logistics is IT-supported logistics. The planning of logistics is carefully coordinated with operations in the new hospital with emphasis on patient flow and architecture. In this way, it is possible to ensure that the construction of the new hospital is based on the requirements for future patient flow." - Lars Pilekjær, Project Manager, New OUH in 2017.

The New Odense University Hospital plans to implement a new storage concept, which eliminates the need for decentralized depots by integrating

storage space in the walls of the new hospital. The concept is based on a network of conveyor belts and lifts that connects central production support functions such as pharmacy, laboratories, Central Sterile Service Departments, depots, stock delivery, and kitchen with automated storage shafts at each department. The shafts are located for every 25 meters in the building and this physical network is combined with a small fleet of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) as well as a pneumatic tube system. 

”Hospital Logistics is intelligent when the overall logistics system allows clinicians to ensure efficient, smooth and safe patient progress.”

This fully automated storage solution can make just-in-time supply a reality in the new hospital because hospital staff can make orders on their tablet for immediate pick-up at the nearest storage shaft. It is expected that frequently used or frequently ordered

items will arrive within a minute and items seldom used on the ward can be delivered from other parts of the hospital within 5 minutes. 

The system can address up to 90 pct. of the internal logistics tasks. Supplies, goods, and equipment no longer take up expensive storage space on every ward in the hospital; instead supplies will be available throughout the hospital from any ward when and where they are needed. Staff no longer has to keep inventory on the ward and manage storage facilities. Time spend retrieving, ordering, transporting, and handling supplies can be reduced considerably, which give staff more time to focus on patient related tasks. 

The new concept is expected to reduce stock levels because the complete storage content will be accessible across the hospital - allowing supplies to be shared between departments and wards. 

Short and easy access to supplies outlets is expected to shorten walking distances for the clinical staff.

: New OUH logistics and supply system 

Makes supplies available throughout the hospital from any department when they are needed and where they are needed. 

Significantly reduces risk of cross-contamination and infections by separating clean from unclean, encapsulating materials during transport and storage and restricting access to storage space. 

Reduces time and resources spend finding, ordering, transporting, and handling supplies by automating logistics and allowing clinical staff to focus on patient related tasks. 

Improves working environment by reducing need for manual lifting and handling of supplies. 

Can be used for almost all types of supplies that can fit in the transport boxes – replaces the need for several transport and storage systems with one shared transport and storage system. 

Reduces storage space needed by utilizing the full building and floor height for storage. 

Reduces waste by providing an always up-to-date inventory of all stored supplies and allowing older supplies to be used before they reach expiration date. 

Is reliable, redundant and robust in its design supporting hospital operations and emergency procedures. 

Reduces stock by making the complete storage contents accessible from any department allowing supplies to be shared safely between departments.