Importance of Pneumatic Tubes Systems in The Pandemic

Feb 26, 2024 Reading time : 5 min

A lot of industries came to a halt and shut down after the pandemic. And with almost all sectors affected by the corona pandemic, many businesses resorted to the digitization of services, teleworking, and the protection of staff. The healthcare sector is among the top hit sectors that had to embrace newer systems that give better protection and this is where the pneumatic tube system stands out.

A health care system involves the transportation of items like drugs, prescriptions, standard errands, billing documents, reports, samples, etc. While the majority of hospitals used to rely on Human-Based Transport systems like patient attendants, ward boys, and relatives for spontaneous transports with the pandemic, this is no longer safe. 

With this new technology, hospitals can protect their patients and staff against viruses, especially when transporting specimens and medications. Pneumatic tubes allow the transport of objects in small, cylindrical containers via compressed air in tubes. They can be used in hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies to transport medications, laboratory specimens, or blood bags quickly and safely.

Importance of Pneumatic Tubes Systems in the Pandemic

With a multitude of crucial tasks to be performed with accuracy, hospitals are becoming increasingly automated. To ensure safety and efficiency to enhance the quality of care, pneumatic systems have played quite a role in the pandemic and hospital life. 

The use of pneumatic systems in the healthcare system comes with lots of advantages which include:

Transportation of Specimen

The main use of pneumatic tube systems is transportations and with the pandemic, many hospitals have gained an interest in them due to their effectiveness. To support the measures provided during the pandemic, hospitals have turned to the use of pneumatic systems.

Manufacturers of pneumatic tubes have developed ingenious pneumatic tube systems that can be used to transport blood specimens and medications in hospitals. Some pneumatic systems have a plastic coating that covers the transport containers as they transport samples through the pneumatic tube system thus protecting against viral loads. This also protects the people who remove the containers from exposure to the virus.

Prevention of Specimen Damage

Pneumatic systems provide safe transportation of pathological specimens like the Covid-19 specimen. Due to their adjustable speed, they enable shock-free transportation of samples which require extra care. 

Some hospitals have even developed leak-proof protective carriers to safely transport samples and meet the hospitals’ needs.

High Safety Measures

The Covid-19 virus is a dangerous virus with a high risk of infection. By using pneumatic tubes the hospital life can be made safer for both patients as well as the staff. Usually, infected patients have to undergo several tests and their blood checked several times a day to show if there are any changes.

Every single test is life-threatening due to the high risk of infection. A well-designed pneumatic tube system can be used to transport samples quickly, reliably, and safely since there is reduced human contact when the tube transports the sample directly into a laboratory in a secured pneumatic tube carrier.

A hospital with an elaborate and marked tube specifically for Covid-19 samples allows the laboratory staff to recognize which of the pneumatic tube carriers may contain samples with the virus. In turn, they will take the necessary precautionary and protective actions. The pneumatic tube carrier can also be disinfected and cleaned in the hospital.

Speeding Up Sample Delivery

Pneumatic tubes speed up tasks like sample delivery to a greater extent. They also decrease the median turnaround time. It is as efficient as a fraction collector

Increase the Efficiency of the Workforce

Due to the high speeds in the transportation of objects via the pneumatic tubes, this saves a lot of time, space, and money. It also increases staff efficiency, mostly during the pandemic when hospitals are full, considering that most hospitals often suffer from staff shortages. 

Using pneumatic tube systems hospitals can increase staff efficiency by increasing the productivity of their employees. They also relieve hospital employees of time-consuming tasks and everyday errands allowing them to concentrate on what is important “caring and attending to their patients”.

Better and Cheaper Than Traditional Approaches

Compared to conventional workforce-dependent transport, pneumatic systems are better. They are also economical since most of the components are relatively inexpensive.  The savings from less operational costs and lesser workforce makes the initial outlay for pneumatic systems very economical. Pneumatic systems are durable with lower maintenance costs compared to other systems.

Faster Patient Registration and Service Delivery

Pneumatic systems can be used for patient registration and service delivery in other areas in the hospital like the ER, surgery, blood bank, nurses’ rooms, laboratory, care wards, and the hospital’s pharmacy. All these areas in a hospital can be connected to the pneumatic tube system. Blood samples can be transported faster and those that reach the laboratory within minutes can be tested faster.

The system components are also relatively simple to learn compared to complicated automatic control systems which can take months to learn. You can choose from different movements like linear or angular rotational movement and different operational speeds.


Pneumatic tube systems are known to be very efficient. Though they are by no means perfect and may cause issues including increasing risks of treatment and a decrease in the quality of patient care in some facilities, they remain a better option nonetheless. 

Modern hospitals harness the benefits they provide as they work towards better optimization of hospital logistics. The healthcare system can use them to reduce manual work, improve efficiency and establish a more integrated healthcare system that provides seamless care to the patients.

Alex Smith
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Alex Smith