New OLOL Children’s Hospital features advanced pneumatic tube system to make facility more efficient

OLOL Children’s Hospital features new pneumatic tube system expected to improve efficiency

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital officially opens Saturday, Oct. 5. The state-of-the-art facility has the latest technology to make patient care more efficient. One system in particular is mutually beneficial for its staff and patients.

The new freestanding children’s hospital is full of amazing things, one of them being a Swisslog Pneumatic Tube System. It’s placed at the hub of the new hospital, and it’s much like what you would see at the drive-thru of a bank. Whether its life-saving medication, blood components, or samples that need to be tested, the system now gives the Lake the ability to get materials to the lab in a minute or less.

Staff members at OLOL are excited about using the new, efficient tube system.
Staff members at OLOL are excited about using the new, efficient tube system. (Source: WAFB)

Jim Teague is the senior director of laboratory services at OLOL. He and his team have been testing the system, making sure it’s perfect before the grand opening.

“So we can send these pneumatic tubes throughout the entire hospital to any station like this. There’s a tube station at every nursing station. There are two in the emergency department. Central supply has one so they can send supplies up. The pharmacy has one so they can send medicines and narcotics through the tube system and it prevents lots and lots of movement through the hospital, so it’s a great time saver,” Teague said.

The system saves a lot of time. In fact, it takes about 20 seconds for a tube to get to the emergency department and an average of about one minute for a tube to reach the top floor.

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“We expect to save millions of steps a year because of the tube system," said Teague.

Currently at the regional medical center, nurses and staff have to walk up and down the stairs to get certain specimens to the lab.

Each nurse's station station will be equipped with a tube receptacle.
Each nurse's station station will be equipped with a tube receptacle. (Source: WAFB)

“The nurses are now our best friends because they’re not going to have to make all those steps to come down to get their blood components," Teague said.

But not just anyone has access to the Swisslog. Only certain people can scan their badge to send and receive tubes. Even then, users need a designated PIN.

“Actually, now that we can verify who picked it up on the other side, send it through the tube system, and if they don’t pick it up, since it can’t be out of the refrigerator an extended period of time, it will come back to us and then we can put it back until they’re ready to get it,” Teauge said.

The system makes things more efficient and safe for Louisiana’s children to get life-saving medicine. The big opening day is Saturday, Oct. 5. That day, staff will move patients from the regional medical center to the new children’s hospital.

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital opens Saturday, Oct. 5.
Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital opens Saturday, Oct. 5. (Source: WAFB)

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