Automation solu­tions are always tailored to each specific hospital, but ergo­nomics are inevi­tably improved.

Can robots, automation solu­tions, and ergo­nomics be combined? If you ask us, it is unavoi­dable to improve ergo­nomics and the working environment when you invest in robots and automation.

You are likely consi­dering an automation solution for your hospital because you want to streamline some work processes. But what if we told you that improved ergo­nomics come as a bonus?

Of course, it’s not the robots and automation them­selves that are ergo­nomic or perform work ergo­no­mi­cally. Ergonomics are improved because robots take over tasks that can otherwise be poten­tially non-ergo­nomic, or because they help perform tasks in ways that are less physi­cally demanding.

All processes and solu­tions are, of course, tailored to the specific hospital and its needs, but the benefits remain the same.

Here is how some automation solu­tions improve ergonomics:

Adjustable work­sta­tions
You are probably familiar with common manually adju­stable height desks. But it is possible to get work­sta­tions where both the height, brigh­tness, and possibly other para­meters adjust when an employee logs in with their ID. This way, you can ensure that the height is always suitable and that the brigh­tness is suffi­cient and angled correctly.

Wheel conveyors for case cart transport
Case carts with goods, supplies, bed linens, and other items can be heavy to push. On routes that the case carts frequently travel, wheel conveyors can be installed to handle the transport back and forth. If there are multiple wheel conveyors, they can be programmed to prio­ritize carts and place them in the front if needed.

Robots that open and unload case carts
Opening and unlo­ading case carts of mate­rials is a necessary job, but it can also involve non-ergo­nomic posi­tions such as arms above shoulder height or body twisting when opening and closing doors. The entire process can instead be managed by one or more robots that open the cart doors, possibly scan the contents, and unload the case cart. Wheel conveyors can handle the transport to and from the robot.

Robots that load case carts
Just as a robot can unload a case cart, it can also load the case cart with mate­rials further along in the process. This could be trays with clean dishes in the kitchen or containers with sterile surgical instru­ments in the Sterile Processing Department.

Mobile robots for inter­de­part­mental transport
While wheel conveyors are often used for transport within a department – and for larger case carts – mobile robots can be used for transport between depart­ments or smaller items within a department. This could be, for example, washing racks in the Sterile Processing Department or delivery of goods from the goods reception to the respective depart­ments. If needed, mobile robots can commu­nicate with a system that calls elevators for them, allowing them to move between floors.

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