Imagine if you were unable to access medicines that kept you well and free from illness, because they had not been dispatched in time from the warehouse. Logistics companies that deal with healthcare supplies have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, as some patients’ lives depend on the safe delivery of drugs and other medical supplies.
Bespoke services that are flexible and reliable
Professional logistics firms can offer such a wide variety of flexible services that it is difficult to imagine the health service running smoothly without them. Primary Care Trusts and Health Boards across the UK are able to take advantage of bespoke logistics packages that are tailored to their specific needs.
Reliability is key when it comes to storing and delivering drugs and other medical supplies, and many logistics companies train their staff to understand the vital role they are playing in serving the nation’s health.
Storage and distribution facilities
When providing third-party logistics solutions in relation to healthcare, there are certain specific requirements that need to be met:
- Temperature-controlled vehicles and storage facilities for certain drugs and medicines
- Careful monitoring of stock levels and accurate record-keeping
- Secure storage of expensive prescription drugs
The security aspect of storing prescription drugs is important in order to prevent theft or misuse, and accurate record-keeping is vital to prevent any such occurrences.
The availability of storage facilities around the country makes it easy to distribute medical supplies at short notice, and allows Primary Care Trusts and Health Boards to take advantage of this type of cost-effective, flexible service.
Discreet delivery to patients’ homes
In addition to delivering medical supplies to hospitals and health centres, healthcare logistics also involves delivery direct to patients in their own homes. This often necessitates discreet delivery to maintain patient privacy, and logistics staff are usually trained to understand the requirements and legal issues that surround patient confidentiality.
When taking on new staff a CRB check should be carried out before allowing the new member of staff to deliver medicines to patients’ homes, and guidance should be given as to how to maintain patient confidentiality when carrying out deliveries.
Healthcare-related logistics is a complex function that should be placed in the hands of experienced and reliable logistics professionals. It needs to be delivered with great care and accuracy so that vulnerable people do not suffer unnecessarily due to a late delivery, or because they have received the wrong medication.
Written by David Hamer, this is one of many articles on professional logistics.