Case Study

Building a Data-Driven Hospital Logistics System from Ground Up

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Overview

When a major hospital network urgently needed to find a new logistics provider, it turned to USPack to ensure uninterrupted and efficient service. 

This case study details how USPack swiftly intervened, maintaining essential deliveries and critical patient care without a hitch. During this crucial transition, USPack not only achieved a 98% on-time delivery rate but also greatly improved operational efficiencies and compliance standards. The collaboration facilitated the introduction of advanced tracking technologies, significantly boosting the reliability and effectiveness of the hospital network’s logistics operations. Over the years, this partnership has flourished, with the hospital system’s final mile logistics capabilities becoming increasingly sophisticated through the ongoing support and expertise of USPack. 

Because of the hospitals’ multiple departments and locations, coordination and communication  were vital to success.

Challenge

The USPack team worked quickly to take over the hospital’s massive courier scope: tens of thousands of scheduled deliveries and over 4,000 call-insper month among the system’s three hospitals and many interconnected private physician groups. That’s approximately 13 routes a day, with 50-60 stops per run, not including STAT requests. Furthermore, the hospital required dedicated drivers to deliver to hospice care patients at their homes across three cities. 

With life-saving medications, lab work, and medical equipment at risk, there is no room for error. The logistics provider for a hospital system must be able to deliver on time, every time, as late deliveries jeopardize quality patient care Hospital logistics providers must also comply with strict temperature, handling, and documentation requirements for lab specimens and certain pharmaceuticals. 

A large, thriving hospital system always needs deliveries, from sterilized equipment and hospital room and office supplies to banking and mail. Each department has its own specific priorities, and balancing the needs of each and ensuring smooth coordination is no small task. 

Beyond these challenges, USPack needed to: 

  • Scale up in just two weeks. Typically, USPack can implement courier service for large hospital networks within 30-60 days. But when the hospital system’s previous provider gave them just two weeks’ notice, USPack ensured there would be no gaps in service. Missed deliveries could have devastating consequences for patients, labs, and any department that couriers serviced. 

 

  • Create optimized routes without any prior data. The hospital system’s previous logistics provider left no templated routes or route data. USPack had to craft routes from scratch.  

Solution

With just two weeks to map out every route, USPack  got to work immediately and put boots on the ground. While most think vehicles are the backbone of logistics, the true foundation is people and data; USPack made a concerted effort to retain the previous provider’s drivers. To create optimized, templated routes, USPack collected data, shadowing each driver while they worked through their daily routes, mapped them out, then noted areas for improvement.  

USPack’s study revealed that scheduled delivery routes were 8-10 hours long but often interrupted by 5-20 call-in STAT requests. This system delayed important deliveries, and negatively impacted those at the end of routes. Armed with these data-collected insights, USPack split these large routes into two smaller routes each and removed sub-optimal routing, eliminating delays across the board and, in some cases, saving thousands of dollars in expense. 

What’s more, our implementation team took time and care to orient all drivers on their updated routes and new procedures. Before USPack, the hospital system had no technology or data platform for final mile logistics. To that end, USPack set the hospital system up with our cutting-edge Adaptive Delivery Driven Intelligence Platform (ADDI). As a technology-first provider, USPack equipped drivers with handheld scanners so they can upload time-stamped documentation of specimens and pharmaceutical pick-ups and drop-offs. Pick-up times automatically fed into USPack’s ADDI platform to collect insights into hospital workflows and staffing needs.  

For sensitive deliveries such as lab specimens and pharmaceuticals, drivers began uploading digital photos of drop-offs, which serve as a second layer of proof in the chain of custody. Combined, these procedures enable accurate real-time tracking and an audit trail for delivery requests, both of which were absent with the hospital’s last logistics provider.   

Because of the hospitals’ multiple departments and locations, coordination and communication are vital to success. Along with providing the hospital system access to critical KPIs through USPack’s ADDI portal, USPack also embedded a proactive on-site coordinator responsible for communicating delivery dates, holding quarterly meetings with groups to examine performance metrics, and staying ahead of any potential issues. 

Results

The hospital group was wowed by USPack’s ability to ramp up operations so quickly and effectively. Since 2016, the hospital and USPack’s relationship hospital has continued expanding in scope as the hospital system grows. The technology and structure USPack provided has greatly expanded the hospital system’s courier capabilities, giving its team access to delivery tracking, KPIs, and planning tools they didn’t have before.    

With USPack’s as its logistics partner, the hospital system is realizing significant benefits: 

Consistent on-time deliveries

On-time delivery percentage of 98% and 100% integrity. 

Improved workflows

Templated routing makes it easy to identify the most efficient way to add or subtract stops as hospital needs and processes shift. Plus, the presence of an onsite coordinator and a centralized platform for delivery requests streamlines cross-department communication. 

Cost savings

The hospital system relies on USPack’s expertise to identify cost savings whenever possible. For instance, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Covid test results for hospital staff needed to be turned around very quickly. The USPack team found a creative solution to shift test sample deliveries from STAT to scheduled, reducing costs while still getting the specimens where they needed to be on time. 

Better patient care

Patients appreciate the ability to track their deliveries in real-time, allowing them to plan ahead, be home if a signature is needed, and have peace of mind knowing a crucial medication is on its way.. 

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can tailor solutions to your order servicing and delivery challenges.

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