Anesthesia cart challenge

Nurses at Södersjukhuset see a need to improve their work environment in the operation theater and procedures concerning the anesthesia cart.

The ultimate goal is to have a more efficient system which makes the preparations for the anesthesia procedure quicker and less time consuming, without compromising access to all the materials and drugs needed. At the same time, there is a need to follow hygiene regulations, and ensuring no excess waste is being produced.

The challenge is a part of Openlab's Masters Course Challenges for the Emerging City. Read more in full description.

Anesthesia cart challenge

Nurses at Södersjukhuset see a need to improve their work environment in the operation theater and procedures concerning the anesthesia cart.

The ultimate goal is to have a more efficient system which makes the preparations for the anesthesia procedure quicker and less time consuming, without compromising access to all the materials and drugs needed. At the same time, there is a need to follow hygiene regulations, and ensuring no excess waste is being produced.

The challenge is a part of Openlab's Masters Course Challenges for the Emerging City. Read more in full description.

Read more +

The current work environment, including the anesthetic cart, is not efficient in the regard that it tends to create excess waste and that it causes the nurses to spend a lot of time on logistics, and at times compromise with hygiene.

It is of course paramount that hygiene protocol is kept at all times. We also think that remaking the cart could potentially reduce the work load of the nurses and save tax payer money by reducing the amount of waste produced at the hospital.

This challenge is a part of Openlab's Masters Course Challenges for the Emerging City. Students in the course will suggest solutions and present them to the challenge giver. Feel free to participate in the challenge by sharing your ideas or give feedback to the students' solutions.

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Ideation

The Magic Button

There is a problem at Södersjukhuset with how to inform the next shift of what has not been done. Therefore the original purpose of the magic button was to improve communication between shifts.

The idea was to introduce an app or other form of digital communication in which a nurse could signal to the next shift which tasks had been completed and which had not. From feedback from the nurses it was realized that this app could be expanded to include more things such as enabling the ordering of materials directly to the operation theater rather than to the unit storage.

An app like this would be an improvement in efficiency and free up time for the nurses to work with their core responsibilities. More time to do your work would mean less stress and that the nurses have more time to focus on the details such as hand hygiene and keeping the work environment clean.

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Vending Machine Concept

This is an idea developed by the openLab team sleeping clean beauty, and one of three which were presented on concept delivery on the 15th March. Based on the challenge presented to us, and the material gathered during the emphasize phase, we have constructed a concept with goals on what we wanted to improve with the existing anesthetic trolley.

The goals we have with the vending machine concept are (without internal order);
1) easy access to products
2) reduce waste
3) maintain hygiene protocol

From observations and conducted interviews, we discovered that one of the key elements of the trolley are the plastic top drawers. Today these drawers are packed with syringes, and designed in a way which by reaching for one syringe, another easily drops to the floor by mistake thus contaminating the material as well as the hand that has to pick it up.

So if we look at the existing trolley of today, instead of these top plastic drawers, we want a design which reduces the risk of syringes falling down to the floor when reaching for a product. To solve this problem we were therefore inspired by two design concepts, which has similar goals of use but in another setting.

The first one is the function of papers towels, which are designed so that only one paper towel at a time is supposed to leave the container, while the rest remain clean and untouched.

The second design is the selecta machine, usually found on train platforms, and from which the product you buy is delivered one at a time through the turning of a tube on which the products have been placed on.

Our proposal is to make a dispenser that releases one product at a time. Such a dispenser would replace the plastic boxes that are currently placed on top of most of the anasthetic carts. For example if one needs 2 syringes, one would press a button to release first one and then a second. We visualize the dispenser having a see-through surface which makes it possible to spot when the stack of products are running low. For example we could place a red marker on the side of the dispenser, which tells the user that once the syringes reaches this level there are only for example 10 left.

The vending machine concept is based on solving usage problems for the plastic top drawers, by providing easy access of material and thus reducing unnecessary waste and also to avoid placing the user in need of extra sterilization of hands and materials. This is only as rough concept, in which we see potential and possibility to add other designs.

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Chinese trolley

We were inspired by a cart we first saw used in China, hence the name for the concept. This cart is primarily used for narcotics. It functions by having a computer with a webcam on top that requires you to log in whenever material is taken out of the cart. The log-in in this Chinese version uses fingerprints for logging in. This also means that all materials leaving the cart is logged and can be used to better supervise how much articles are being used in certain areas of the hospital.

This type of trolley has primarily been used to make sure that nurses are not stealing narcotics, which is an unfortunate reality that hospitals have to account for.

Our concept is to expand upon this system and make it into a fully functioning anasthetic work space. This concept trolley would include spaces for sterile and clean articles that would not need to be strictly controlled, but could potentially still be logged in the system and thereby make the question of storage more easily managable. Our hope is that such a system could replace the current system in the unit storages where stock has to be taken manually and cards with barcodes have to be placed on the wall for the hospitals central storage to come and scan.

Our challenge is therefor mostly based around how one would go about integrating other articles than narcotics in the design of this cart, thereby making it a proper work space for the anasthetic team.
For example; it seems like the space used for narcotics in the cart currently used is not very big. This opens up the possibility of using the upper drawers for narcotics that would require the nurse to log in with a password or a fingerprint, but the rest of the drawers could be easily accessed from the UI by simply clicking on a button on the screen. Logging all articles like this would negate the need for the central storage personell to go to the wardstorage units and scan the barcodes. We imagine that this information could be shared with the central storage automatically. The time saved by this concept could be used to establish teams from the central storage to go up to units twice a day to re-stock the storage.

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