Reference story : The Hospital District of Southwest Finland (VSSHP)

The Hospital District of SW Finland handles all material orders with Abakus Order Management solution – excluding only medicines. Almost 2000 users within the hospital district manage product ordering process electronically with a web-based user interface, handheld devices and Voice technology. “All orders, item usage and product inventories are handled with Abakus – quickly and easily – now we can concentrate on our actual work, nursing”, explains System Specialist Hanna Jääskeläinen, the Hospital District of SW Finland. The Hospital District of Southwest Finland has implemented several solutions delivered by Optiscan: Abakus order management, voice in warehouse and product identification with barcodes.

Voice offers our users a possibility to keep their eyes focused on the on-going activity and work with hands free for moving and carrying the items. The solution guides you through your tasks, supports you and tells you what to do next. Voice has enhanced ergonomics in our warehouse, increased productivity and significantly diminished picking errors.

Mika Leivo, Logistics Manager, Hospital District of SW Finland

Abakus Order Management

With Abakus it is possible to let the system create product or item orders automatically. Automated orders require that a responsible person has predefined product-specific margins to stock, and when there is only a certain amount of products left in the stock, the order is sent to logistics center automatically. An order can also be created manually either through the web-based user interface or with Android handhelds by using barcodes.

The users, for example healthcare logistics specialists, are able to place an order to Abakus system with Voice technology, which enables hands free working in a warehouse. Ready-made customizable order templates mitigate work load when making orders manually. Every order can be saved as a template. “With Abakus we have productive, quick, ease-of-use and flawless ordering system,” emphasizes Outi Kalske, Purchase and Logistics Director in the Hospital District of SW Finland.

Department stores in control

Usage of all products and items is registered to Abakus with the web user-interface, with Android handhelds or with Voice. Stock is always precise and most importantly material expenses are correctly registered to the right user organization. Product information such as stock margins and balances are managed with the web user-interface. “Orders, usage and inventories are easy and fast, now we can concentrate on our actual work, nursing”, explains System Specialist Hanna Jääskeläinen, the Hospital District of SW Finland.

“With Abakus we can also see the department stock inventories in real-time”, explains Mika Leivo, Logistics Manager, Hospital District of SW Finland. “Integrated inventory tool helps us to manage inventory more efficiently than before and the amount of errors now are close to zero, continues Mika Leivo. “Abakus also assists us when following the floating assets tied up to our warehouses and department stocks”.

Material orders are entered in over 2 000 locations and they are channeled from Abakus system through hospital district´s ERP to logistics center warehouse system for picking. Warehouse picker then picks the products on the order using Voice.

Development plans on the way

Abakus system is on the way to be extended to platform tracking. At the logistics center platforms are either trolleys or plastic boxes identified with unique barcodes. The used platform is scanned at the dispatcher area and when the platform arrives to delivery address, it is scanned again. “As we now know where exactly the platforms are, we can enhance the utilization rate and decrease the tied-up capital. In the future we can see whether the platforms are returned to logistics center, and, if necessary, we can send an invoice afterwards”, tells Mika Leivo.

Voice directed solution

Voice directed solution from Optiscan guides the users on their daily tasks and enables monitoring operations in real-time. Material and information flows are managed efficiently with Voice.

“When our new logistics center was completed in 2009, we began to offer hospitals and healthcare centers besides purchasing also warehousing and delivery services”, explains Outi Kalske, Purchase and Logistics Director, for the Hospital District of SW Finland.

More efficient support services with Voice

“When it comes to warehousing and deliveries it is extremely important that the systems and operations are reliable. To rationalize these processes we were the first Finnish healthcare district to implement voice-directed system in our warehouse during spring 2012. The main objective for the voice-directed picking solution from Optiscan Oy was to enhance productivity. The goal achieved by paperless picking and by updating the warehouse control system. Paperless picking is carried out with voice-directed technology that improves operations, enhances picking accuracy and enables batch picking i.e. picking multiple orders at the same time”, explains Outi Kalske.

“Using Pick-by-Voice solution offers the operator a possibility to focus their eyes on their actual work, picking, and working hands free to handle the items. The system guides you through your tasks and tells you what to do. Voice improves the ergonomic conditions, enhances efficiency and significantly decreases picking errors”, describes Mika Leivo, Logistics Manager, Hospital District of SW Finland.

“Another objective is to safe nurses valuable time and transfer the responsibility of the department stock item orders to the logistics service staff. Aalso, in near future we have plans to deploy Voice to our department item logistics”, states Outi Kalske.

“If there is a shortage of the product or extra items are picked this information is immediately transferred to the system and it also goes directly to the delivery documents and stock balance”, explains Leivo. We handle around 8 000 order lines per week. We have 14 employees in our warehouse and they all are trained to use Pick-by-Voice. Beforehand Pick-by-Voice was presumed to be the most challenging part of the whole development project, but due to precise planning and scheming the deployment was easier than expected. Thorough testing and training phase was the key to success”, points Mika Leivo out.

The article is written by Eini Kettunen and was originally published in magazine Sosiaali ja kuntatalous.

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