A lot of automation has been planned for the workflows at Nyt OUH. Here, it is the kitchen robot Rob-Otto that empties the food carts and places trays and containers at the washing machine.
Progress is being made with the construction of New OUH, Region Southern Denmark’s super hospital. The same goes for the automation solutions, which will make flows more efficient and work procedures gentler for the employees.
At Nyt OUH, they have chosen to gather all service functions for the hospital in the so-called Service City. The Service City will house the many service departments that help ensure that patients and employees at the hospital itself have everything they need to make treatments, operations, wards, and everything else work smoothly.
In the Service City, the project management at Nyt OUH has looked at how to create the most efficient and gentle work procedures for the benefit of everyone. Here, automation solutions are the answer. And two of the automation solutions have now reached such a stage that they are either already running or have reached the programming phase.
The kitchen robot Rob-Otto
The kitchen in the Service City is already in operation. The kitchen is currently supplying food to the current Odense University Hospital until the new super hospital is ready.
In the kitchen, many of the previously manual flows have been automated. Therefore, the employees do not have to, for example, drive food carts from the washer room to the cold room. And they do not have to empty the food carts themselves either; a one-sided and repetitive process, which can cause crooked twists in the body.
That task has been taken over by Rob-Otto, the kitchen robot. The food cart is delivered to the robot, where sensors register the type of the food cart. After this, Rob-Otto makes sure to empty the food cart. The robot starts from the bottom and moves upwards until a tray is detected. Suction cups hold the tray in place while the robot lifts the tray over to the washing machine. Here, the trays are placed at the top of the washing machine, while food storage trays and the like are turned upside down and placed on the conveyor belt into the washing machine itself.
The logistics system is being tested
A logistics system must both connect the individual departments in the Service City and also ensure the transport of material from the Service City to the respective departments in the hospital.
The logistics system in Servicebyen is now installed and ready to be programmed. The system consists of approximately eight kilometres of roller conveyors and is integrated into over 30 building parts. It is, for example, waste, linen, goods and operation equipment, which must be transported from the hospital and to the correct department in the Service City – for example, the Central Sterile Supply Department – or internally in the Service City; for example from the goods reception and to the laundry.
Automation benefits employees and patients
Automating workflows can seem complex, and there is also a good deal of preparatory work before the system runs as it should.
But the benefits of automating outweigh the work involved.
Many of the repetitive work tasks that wear out the employees’ bodies are removed. Twisting, lifting and undesirable working postures; for example with the hands above shoulder height for a long time when trolleys have to be pushed around.
Instead, the employees can use the time to solve the patient-related tasks, quality control or solve the tasks where it is an advantage to have a set of human eyes and hands. For example, in the Central Sterile Supply Department, where instruments must be checked to ensure that they are still functional.
In addition, workflows become more efficient. The robots and the other automation solutions do exactly the task they are programmed for. They do not go for a lunch break or suddenly leave to attend to another task. This means that there is a continuous flow in the work so no bottlenecks are created.