In the healthcare industry, same-day and next-day delivery services have primarily been used to transport lab specimens between facilities and deliver prescriptions to patients when they need them most. But now, with consumers’ high expectations of same-day services, the pressure is on healthcare provider networks and pharmacies to move highly regulated, time- and temperature-sensitive materials faster than ever before. A recent survey found that 56% of GenXers and 55% of Millennials prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores — and 41% of consumers will pay more for same-day delivery and even more to receive packages within a few hours of the ordering window. As millennials begin to step into healthcare leadership positions, the expectation for rapid delivery has bled into professional expectations.
Setting the Same-Day Delivery Standard
Now that same-day shipping is the status quo, consumers have little patience for delivery setbacks or handling hiccups. It’s one thing for everyday household items to experience shipping delays, but it’s another when lab results are pending, life-saving medications are delayed, and prescriptions costing as much as $30,000 (or more) could go to waste. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right logistics partner who has relationships with small-package carriers, manages professional medical couriers, specializes in regulatory compliance, and ensures deliveries reach their intended recipients on time and in the right condition.
Finding the Right Logistics Partner
Navigating the complicated healthcare supply chain requires a keen understanding of what’s happening today — while also focusing on the future. On top of that, every healthcare sector faces different transport challenges that are uniquely complex, such as cold-chain packaging, chain of custody, delivery integrity, and compliance standards, among many others. Hospitals looking to implement a same-day delivery program should seek out a logistics partner that can provide proactive support and carrier and courier management services, while simultaneously arming facilities with data to gain visibility, identify opportunities and streamline efficiencies for optimizing supply chains.
Leveraging Data to Gain Visibility
The most successful healthcare logistics experts are operational masterminds who are well-versed in complicated deliveries and last-mile services. It’s essential to offer 24/7 chain-of-custody analytics from the delivery route to the final destination — and other assurances that products are delivered safely and not damaged in transit. Tracking and measurement data should be available at a moment’s notice and easily shared with client and vendor networks.
Healthcare logistics experts should also offer industry expertise and consultative services when needed for rapidly transporting lab specimens and patient prescriptions. Partners who do not specialize in healthcare logistics may not consider the complexity needed to move these types of goods, leaving healthcare providers to figure the rest out on their own. At TRIOSE, we help clients reduce unnecessary risks by managing couriers, carriers, and other supply chain complexities, as well as providing operational insights and assistance when any potential exposures are identified. Our customizable shipping platform makes it easy to track packages, ensuring that chain of custody and package integrity is maintained throughout the last mile journey from provider to patient.
As same-day delivery services become more commonplace, the healthcare industry has had to ramp up its operations to meet expectations. Finding the right logistics partner to keep up with these rising demands requires research into logistic candidates’ standard practices and capabilities. Tapping into a professional network for recommendations can speed up this vetting process — word of mouth is a powerful resourcing tool since other leaders in the industry will likely have valuable insights to share from their own logistics programs. The bottom line is this: effective medical transit solutions are out there and finding them will be key for healthcare leaders aiming to join the same-day delivery revolution that is currently unfolding.
Paul Benyo serves as a PharmacyiQ Consultant at TRIOSE, Inc, where he strategically partners with healthcare organizations to successfully scale pharmacy operations. Benyo has more than 35 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical, GPO, and Transportation fields. In his four-year tenure at TRIOSE, Benyo has proven himself to be a dynamic leader who builds collaborative relationships and can expertly navigate complex organizations.