The convenience and ubiquity of today’s digital commerce solutions has permanently lifted consumer expectations for all types of home deliveries—particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. A 2022 study published in the National Library of Medicine stated that home medication deliveries account for 25% of total pharmacy sales, but also cause 9% of errors like poor patient counseling and medication therapy management. As pharmaceutical deliveries have increased, so has the importance of last mile logistics in supporting better patient outcomes.
Issues around pharmaceutical deliveries can often be attributed to suboptimal final-mile delivery arrangements:
- Pharmacies lack the coverage to dynamically fulfill prescriptions throughout the day because pharmacists are inefficiently staffed to meet a large carrier’s rigid parcel pickup times.
- Parcels are handed to general carriers inexperienced with handling sensitive pharmaceuticals—increasing the likelihood of losses, mis-deliveries, and damages.
- The cost of in-house drivers is prohibitive, loaded with vehicle fleet maintenance costs and large chunks of idle time while drivers wait to make deliveries.
- Delays occur because carriers don’t provide patitent prescription delivery ETAs so they can be home to sign for them. Pharmacies are caught in a bind between not completing a delivery or facing regulatory violations for not providing comprehensive chain-of-custody data.
The result? Negative patient care outcomes at a scale that can swiftly impact your organization’s reputation and customer relationships. Your goal is to provide stellar home deliveries, but doing so is challenging and riddled with unnecessary costs when you lack logistics industry experience and expertise.
Partnering with a final mile provider that’s highly experienced in the healthcare sector and HIPAA compliance, like USPack, can help your pharmacy improve staffing and operations, mitigate unnecessary costs, and harness data analytics to drive efficiency. Here’s how:
Staffing and operations—optimized
When working with more traditional couriers, you’re forced to staff your team to align with just one or two pre-set pick up times during the day. Of course, pharmacists balance numerous daily tasks throughout their shift, so it’s not always feasible to prepare every parcel in time for the pick-up. Some pickups and deliveries that could be made at night are instead relegated to the following day. The result for the patient is twofold: added stress from worrying about when their medication will arrive or, worse, not receiving their prescriptions when they need it. For you, that’s damage to the customer relationship and possible regulatory violations.
Working with a last mile logistics provider that understands and caters to the healthcare community affords you more flexibility to schedule pickups at more times throughout the day, and when they make sense for your operations. So, rather than clustering all your staff in the limited pickup times convenient to standard couriers, you can tailor your staffing shifts to accommodate your work flows and arrange pickup times that match your realities. In doing so, you can ship more parcels more frequently during the day and more holistically run your departments.
Unnecessary driver costs—eliminated
With a final mile delivery partner that provides everything you need—drivers, vehicles, training, and pharmaceutical transportation experience—you’re alleviated of having to operate a driver fleet and maintain vehicles. In turn, you eliminate a litany of costs that add up quickly—from recruiting and onboarding of drivers and driver managers to fuel, vehicle upkeep, and insurance.
Freed from these costs, you can increase spend on the operational domains that drive your business. Suddenly, you have more leeway to invest in additional employees, new equipment, and supplies—factors that go a long way toward improving patient care outcomes (as well as your ROI). Drivers trained in and experienced with pharmaceutical delivery are also more capable of handling parcels with delicacy and sensitivity, thus lowering the risk of costs from losses, damages, and insurance claims.
Insights from data analytics—delivered
As you work to provide critical healthcare services to your patients, it can be powerful—and vital—to have up-to-the-minute data analytics. But building and deploying a proprietary software platform that can analyze and report on everything from logistics to chain-of-control regulations at the scale your business requires can be prohibitively expensive.
A platform like ADDI from USPack affords your team visibility into ETAs for outgoing deliveries and incoming specimens and samples. Empowered with this real-time information, you can make more informed staffing plans, whether that’s pharmacists to prepare medications or lab technicians to analyze samples.
Similarly, once parcels are given to a driver, you can provide your customers specific delivery ETAs. When a prescription requires a signature, customers can plan to be home at the delivery time provided to them, thereby avoiding delivery delays. For packages that don’t require signing, the benefits of delivery notifications are just as impactful: knowing when a package will arrive helps the recipient take measures to prevent damages due to parcels being left in locations where they’re exposed to the elements or theft.
As part of the healthcare ecosystem, you’re also challenged to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the tracking and storage of contact points for each parcel. Your logistics provider’s data platform can be a source of truth for all chain-of-custody data, giving your organization a secure line of verification against regulatory probes. Logistics data can even compare your final-mile partner against customer satisfaction levels to understand how patient care outcomes are being impacted—so you can hold your provider to the quality standards your customers need and deserve.
Deliver better patient care outcomes with USPack
With the prevalence of rapid speed delivery and real-time notifications across all sectors of the economy, your healthcare customers’ expectations for fast delivery and quality are rising. Equip your pharmacy and lab to meet demand with a final mile provider experienced in healthcare and medications. From day one of your partnership with USPack, you’re assigned a dedicated account manager, who will assess your business and work closely with you to tailor last-mile services for your customers’ needs and your operations. Trusted by leading healthcare organizations across the country, USPack enables you to efficiently staff, lower costs, leverage robust analytics and insights–and, importantly, focus on supporting patient care.
Contact USPack to learn more about how we can help you be a valued partner in better patient outcomes.