Hospitals and Pneumatic Tube System Advancements

Last Updated:
September 30, 2022
Brian Wallace

With the pandemic pressures on hospital systems, the pneumatic tube system is needed now more than ever.  In 2021, nearly all US hospitals and health systems reported challenges in supply procurement.  As accurate testing and dispensing are affected by these supply shortages, speed becomes more essential when transporting labs, pharmaceuticals, and supplies.  Due to these shortages and the delicate nature of medical samples, 16 percent of hospital pharmaceutical inventory is wasted. 


Pneumatic tube systems operate similarly to a subway system within the walls of a medical facility with sensors to ensure each carrier reaches its intended destination.  Carriers move through tubes that run from station to station, floor to floor, and even building to building.  Advanced technology provides seamless transport through these complex networks.  Tube systems can connect to every floor, nurse station, and operating room to critical centralized services or across separate buildings. 


As healthcare systems grow and evolve, tube systems can adapt to quickly deliver medication from central pharmacists, transport tests and samples directly to the lab without a staff courier, prioritize delivery of materials to critical patients in the ER, OR, or ICU, and reduce reliance on human couriers and time lost navigating busy hospitals. 


Furthermore, advanced tube systems significantly reduce turnaround time for emergency testing, helping to reduce time to treatment and patient wait times in the ER.  Pneumatic tube systems allow for material transfer nearly 20 minutes faster than systems without them while ultimately reducing operating costs, alleviating staffing shortages, and improving the quality of care.

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

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