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Lab Outreach Courier Management: An Easy Automated Solution
When we think of real-time delivery tracking with maximum efficiency, most of us think of big e-commerce and parcel delivery companies that bring goods to our doorstep. But medical courier pickups and deliveries are even more important because the speed and accuracy of transporting specimens can be the difference between saving a life and a catastrophic delay or medical error.
However, many laboratories and hospitals sadly don’t have tracking systems that compare with the visibility and performance we see every day from e-commerce and parcel delivery systems.
It shouldn’t be that way, which is why our team at Taylor Data set out to change things by creating a solution that allows specimens to be tracked from pickup to lab delivery in real time and with complete accuracy, traceability and accountability.
Our solution is called Medical Courier Elite (MCE), and it’s a cloud-based software application that runs on TC56 handheld mobile computers from Zebra Technologies.
MCE uses GPS tracking, barcode scanning, simple software workflows and signature capture to allow lab managers to track couriers and deliveries in real time with complete accuracy and traceability. It’s an ideal way to replace paperless, inefficient or error-prone systems with a completely automated and reliable system that improves efficiency while ensuring full traceability and compliance.
Medical Courier Elite: An Overview
Here are some of MCE’s key capabilities and how you can use our software to optimize the specimen collection and delivery process:
Real-Time Tracking & Management
- Track pickups, deliveries & routes in real time
- Add additional sites seamlessly
- Instantly notify couriers of new pickups
Reliable Traceability & Accountability
- Define specimens & capture signatures seamlessly
- Meet compliance requirements with comprehensive tracking
- Provide proof of delivery with signature capture
Improved Courier Performance & Efficiency
- Optimize courier routes
- Decrease courier drive time
- Meet time-sensitive needs
Cloud-Based Software Solution
- Replace outdated systems with paperless technology
- Access dashboard reports for courier status & management
With MCE, lab managers and couriers get all the tools they need to make specimen deliveries as timely, efficiently, and accurately as possible. Managers can locate couriers at any given time, view route history, driving speed, stops, and length of stay at pick-up. They can also issue alerts and notifications simultaneously to each Zebra mobile device while couriers are in the field.
Because MCE is a cloud-based system, updates to client information or routes in the office will be reflected on mobile devices. Couriers will have the most accurate and relevant information at their fingertips for the best possible customer service.
MCE and Zebra’s TC56 mobile computer also captures GPS coordinates, signatures, photos and more, so labs and couriers can ensure location accuracy as well as complete proof of delivery. Along the way, MCE tracks and traces every step in the process. Maintaining an electronic record, it can provide status updates and automatically report on the location of each specimen.
Ultimately, everything from pickups to last-mile delivery is fully automated, documented and traced. Managers or dispatchers can easily set up, configure, and manage multiple couriers and drivers from one interface. And detailed delivery and pickup information is sent directly to a courier’s Zebra mobile device, where they can remotely update information as needed.
MCE’s automated traceability helps ensure that specimens are delivered safely and on time, and that they’re never lost or never pass through the wrong hands. Our software also includes tools to optimize courier routes and re-route deliveries using GPS tracking and real-time data to save time and boost efficiency.
Importantly, the solution is easy to use with an intuitive mobile interface that minimizes training and helps get managers and couriers up and running fast. As a software solution, it’s accessible via the cloud on any Internet-connected device and is hosted on secure servers to protect all your related data.
Static and Dynamic Routing and Optimization
MCE’s Static Route Optimization module maximizes courier efficiency by generating intelligent routes for daily routes that don’t change. Using GPS data, the Route Optimization module plots the most efficient course for the courier, removing the guesswork of determining optimal courier routes. Using their Zebra mobile computer, couriers move between customer locations seamlessly.
You can easily import addresses from Excel, set location time-windows for pickups, choose optimized routes, and manually change routes to meet time windows.
MCE also supports dynamic routing, especially since some outreach laboratories and hospitals have couriers or phlebotomists that are not set up on static routes. These workers have routes that change daily based on customer demands. MCE’s Dynamic Routing module is designed for managers of medical couriers or traveling phlebotomists to quickly enter daily routes.
You can easily import addresses, load stops and make changes as needed, and rapidly create routes each day, leaving more time for additional stops. The entire process is streamlined without compromising route optimization.
Using both the Static and Dynamic Routing modules, you can also message one or more couriers in route, require messages to be acknowledged, and send emergency alerts to managers, pinpointing couriers’ GPS locations.
Supply and Medication Tracking
Since many medical couriers are responsible for much more than just specimen pickups and deliveries, MCE also provides supply, equipment, medication, and paperwork tracking capabilities as well.
Using our Supply Tracking module, you can track the transport of equipment and supplies, prescription medications, lab work, confidential paperwork, and other items.
MCE provides base-level tracking of non-specimen items to verify delivery, receipt, and reportable data for greater visibility into usage levels, trends, and what’s going out the door.
Couriers can scan the pickup of virtually any non-specimen item, make notes about important related information, then track and verify the delivery of that item.
Recommended Hardware for MCE
We strongly recommend running our MCE software on purpose-built enterprise-grade mobile computers as opposed to consumer-grade smartphones or tablets. The initial cost of enterprise-grade devices may be higher, but their total cost of ownership is often vastly lower because their ruggedness provides much greater protection against drops, tumbles, spills and screen shattering that often requires expensive repairs or replacements of consumer-grade devices.
Enterprise-grade devices also have higher-performance scanning engines that scan barcodes faster and more reliably than smartphones or consumer-grade tablets, even when barcodes are smudged, scratched, damaged or poorly printed.
Enterprise-grade mobile computers also provide much longer battery life, and their batteries can quickly be swapped out to keep your workflows running. In busy scanning-intensive courier operations where pickups and deliveries are being made all day, a smartphone or other consumer-grade device often provides only a few hours’ of battery power at best.
For these reasons and many others, our team recommends deploying MCE on Zebra’s TC56 mobile computers. These Android devices run our software beautifully, provide ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity as well as seamless voice and data, built-in barcode scanning, e-signature and image capture.
All of these features are delivered in a rugged yet lightweight device built to withstand drops to concrete, tumbles, spills, extreme temperatures, and many hazards that wreak havoc on other devices.
Zebra’s Android devices also feature powerful security via Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx). These extensions convert Android into an enterprise-grade operating system with complete control over every device, app, user and connection. And with Zebra’s LifeGuard for Android, you can also get up to 10 years of guaranteed OS and security updates, so you don’t have to worry about your operating system becoming unsupported or unprotected.
A Turnkey Solution with Professional Development and Support
At Taylor Data Systems, we understand that IT teams are overwhelmed with supporting hardware and software systems, so we created MCE to be a turnkey solution that has little or no impact on your IT staff.
Once your mobile devices are activated through your cellular provider, we take ownership of all support needed to operate your system.
There is no configuring MCE for your local network or installing cumbersome software on your lab’s network. All you need is a browser to access our web portal and you can manage your couriers, create routes, and track specimens.
We also offer 24/7 professional support, an online help desk, mobile device management, and device repair services to take care of your solution so you don’t have to.
MCE also has a proven track record as a reliable turnkey solution, having been used by dozens of laboratories and hospitals for automated and end-to-end specimen tracking.
MCE is developed and maintained by our software engineers and medical tracking experts, where we’ve been creating and implementing successful data collection and management solutions for over 30 years.
Schedule a Web Demo of MCE
We hope this article has provided a helpful introduction and overview of Medical Courier Elite for end-to-end specimen pickup and delivery tracking.
But the best way to evaluate our software is by arranging a web demo and seeing it in action. To learn more and schedule a demo at your convenience, contact us now at 877-331-7427 or through the contact page on our website at https://medicalcourier.com/contact/.
Let Us Know How We Can Help
Thanks for your interest in Medical Courier Elite! If you're interested in learning more about our solution and how it can help your business, we'd be happy to schedule a demo, provide a quote or answer any questions you may have.
181 East Evans St. | Florence, SC, 29506
Phone: 843-656-2084 or 877-331-7427