Hospitalar 25/10/2023

Integrated Hospital Automation - the CHDN success story


Safe integration is possible: the case study of the North Luxembourg Hospital Centre

Robotic solutions for drug management are implemented in logistics centers or hospitals with the integration and evolution of the existing work processes and IT tools through technical modifications and developments that contribute to the safety of the process and provide complete drug traceability, from production of unit doses to the distribution to wards.

In the case study carried out by Hind Bounami and Patrick Millot, published in the International Journal of Health and Medical Engineering in 2020, the North Luxembourg Hospital Centre (CHDN) has been examined for the study of risk management in the implementation of automation systems in hospitals.

The Hospital Centre, with more than 350 beds, has been using Sinteco Healthcare solutions for drug management in the hospital pharmacy since 2009, with machinery for the production and storage of the unit dose and for the distribution of personalized therapies.

The case of North Luxembourg is an important reference for Sinteco Healthcare and is considered successful for a safe and efficient implementation of automated systems for drug management in hospitals and healthcare centers, thanks above all to the collaborative relationship established between Sinteco and the Hospital Center.

Sinteco Healthcare solutions for drug management in the North Luxembourg Hospital Center

Pegasus system for unit dose management

At the time of the installation of the Sinteco automated solutions, the hospital pharmacy needed to manage the drug and the unit dose in various aspects such as:

  • the distribution of different types of drugs in the original or processed form
  • the traceability of the unit dose in all management phases
  • the control over different levels of the drug distribution process
  • the preparation of the therapy according to the given prescription

The installation of Sinteco automated solutions has been carried out since 2009 with a progressive integration of the drug distribution systems and with the implementation of new technologies and machinery over time.
Thanks to the installation of Sinteco automated distribution systems, the hospital has seen a significant growth in the production of unit doses of approximately 50,000 units per year (Graph 1). For the distribution of unit doses and therapies to the departments, the progression was almost linear for approximately 100,000 units per year. (Graph 2)

Grafic 1 - unit dose production

Graph 1 - Evolution of unit dose production in the North Luxembourg Hospital Center from 2008 to 2018

Grafic 2 - unit dose distribution

Graph 2 - Evolution of the distribution of unit doses to the departments in the North Luxembourg Hospital Center from 2008 to 2020

With the implementation of automation systems in the hospital pharmacy, 57% of drug distribution activities were completed by automated machinery, such as managing different batches of drugs at the same time, tracking the unit doses produced, replenishing the drugs in stock systems, the creation of an automatic inventory. Also, an additional 29% of medication handling tasks were found to be dependent on the safety and performance of the robots. (Graph 3)

Grafic 3 - Percentage of drug management activities completed by the automation systems

Graph 3 - Estimate of drug distribution activities carried out by automated solutions in the North Luxembourg Hospital Center

Thanks to the continuous post-installation collaboration between the hospital and Sinteco, improvements have been implemented for the safety and performance of the machines in relation to the needs encountered.
To this end, out of the total operations carried out by the hospital, approximately 30% were technical innovations carried out by Sinteco (Graph 4) including the increase in the types of drugs that can be managed by the automation system, the development of a system without storage intermediate and the optimization of the production speed of unit doses.

Grafic 4 - Post-installation activities made on automated machines

Graph 4 - Estimate of the activities carried out for the performance and safety of drug distribution in the North Luxembourg Hospital Center

Why is the Nord Luxembourg case a success story?

For hospital automation projects, the case of North Luxembourg can be considered a successful story considering that more than 80% of the pharmacy's activities are carried out by automated systems and also because thanks to this implementation the hospital center has seen an ROI in a few years for the economic advantages found in the more correct management of the drug and in the concentration of human forces in more complex tasks.

The most noted benefits were related to the reduction in the economic impact of the annual cost of stocks and the optimization of drug management for expiries and returns, with an estimated economic return of around 4 million euros in 11 years.
Furthermore, it was highlighted how the implementation of an automated system for drug management led to an improvement in the speed of production of unit doses and in the assembly of therapies based on changes in prescriptions and new arrivals.

North Luxembourg is one of the success cases of Sinteco Healthcare that can prove the ability of our automated solutions to bring many benefits to healthcare centers in terms of efficiency, quality and safety in drug management.
Our Healthcare Team is ready to answer all your question and at your disposal to examine other success stories of Sinteco automated solutions for unit dose management.