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Swisslog and St Olavs Hospital carry on with logistics excellence


St Olavs University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, a leading healthcare institution in Europe, has commissioned Swisslog to install two PillPick automated drug management systems.

These pharmacy robots are automatically linked with the pneumatic tube system for the delivery of items to the wards, making for a premier case of integrated logistics solutions in the hospital sector.

Taking another step in logistics excellence, Mid Norway Hospital Chemists have decided to install two PillPick systems worth approximately €4million at St Olavs University Hospital.

The Swisslog pharmacy robot automates the packaging, storage and dispensing of tablets, capsules, ampoules, vials, cups and syringes in unit doses. Together, the two PillPick systems will supply more than 13 000 unit doses on daily basis. Over 10 000 of these unit doses will be tablets.

Each PillPick system is similar to the one already delivered and functional at the new Ahus hospital outside Oslo, Norway, but the duplication gives significantly higher capacity and reliability, suitable for the larger number of patients. The PillPick systems will be operational in fall 2010.

PillPick: efficient and economical
The PillPick system will reduce potential medication errors and cut down on waste caused by out-of-date medicines. Moreover, it will reduce the work needed for handling medicines on the
wards, freeing up valuable time for patient care. St Olavs will benefit not only in terms of quality, but also economically:

“This type of advanced system requires that the hospital has a
certain size, but we estimate a payback time of less than 10 years for the drugstore. For the hospital, this is profitable from day one,” says Gunn Fredriksen, Managing Director for Mid
Norway Hospital Chemists.

The order includes a newly developed transfer unit for. In a fully automated process, this unit places the rings that carry the patient-specific, 24-hour medication orders into pneumatic tube carriers. These bar-coded rings (“PickRings”) are transported by the pneumatic tube system directly to the relevant ward, ensuring a fast and safe delivery of the medicine to the patient.

The transponet pneumatic system installed by Swisslog comprises about 170 sending/receiving stations, making it one of the largest in Europe.

Long-term business relationship
Since 2001, Swisslog has been equipping St Olavs with automated in-house logistics systems. The implementation of the pneumatic tube system was followed by an order for an
automated guided vehicle system for the containerised transport of meals, laundry, sterilised items and waste.

“We are proud that St. Olavs University hospital continues to rely on Swisslog as partner for all main logistics systems. From an integrated logistics perspective, this innovative hospital clearly represents state-of-the-art,” says Charlie Kegley, President of Swisslog’s Healthcare Solutions division.


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