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By Cheryl Flury

As healthcare organizations work to deliver care cost-efficiently, and new stand-alone facilities seem to open daily, managing the supply chain gets even more complex. With the growth of these sites, we’ve also seen an increase in the movement of packages – containing everything from specimens to supplies – from point-to-point within healthcare systems. 

Specimens taken at clinics must be picked-up and delivered to a lab at a hospital for testing. Supplies in one location are needed in another, and they must be moved in ways that are trackable. The scheduling, pick-up, delivery and routing of packages is complex, and it is essential for supply chain efficiency that systems track the flow of these materials.

Today, health systems using their own couriers are often missing the tools they need to manage and track the intersite movement of packages. Currently, they’re relying on manual, paper-based processes to schedule pick-ups and deliveries, and keep track of what’s moved from Point A to Point B to Point C. What’s missing is a solution that would create more efficiency and visibility, and allow better tracking and management of packages throughout the system.
Improving these processes brings benefits:

  1. The National Private Truck Council estimates the cost to operate a vehicle at around $3.00 per mile. Reducing the total miles driven each day can result in significant savings, for example, a hospital system with 10 couriers driving 2,000 miles per driver per month, which makes a 5 percent reduction in miles driven, could save approximately $34,000 per year.
  2. Moving from manual, paper-based processes to a cloud-based software solution supports a healthcare system’s green initiatives and reduces the cost of buying, printing and storing paper, as well as reducing the carbon footprint.
  3. Staff members get more visibility to materials coming into and moving throughout their facilities without spending hours on research.
  4. An accurate chain of custody is created for every package, from pick-up through final delivery, enabling a complete electronic audit trail and eliminating loss.

We recognize that as healthcare systems grow in complexity, with more types of care settings becoming part of the larger organization, efficiently tracking materials is a lynchpin of supply chain efficiency. Check out InnerTrack, which now supports the transit of packages from point-to-point within an organization, helping meet the need for greater visibility. Add in the additional benefits of lower costs and increases in productivity, and InnerTrack becomes a vital component of a hospital’s supply management processes.