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The Evolution of MCE from Specimen Tracking to Overall Courier Operations
In preparation for the roll-out of MCE 3.0 (which includes improved screen layouts and other functionalities) in 2021, we thought it would be interesting for outreach medical labs to understand how MCE came to be and what can be expected in MCE 3.0.
If you did not know, back in 2008 Taylor Data Systems (TDS) developed Medical Courier Elite (MCE) solely as a specimen tracking system for regional pathology labs. However, the story behind the development, and how it matured into the nation’s premier specimen tracking and courier management system for outreach medical laboratories is interesting and shines a light on the customer-centered culture of MCE.
The Creation of MCE
TDS, a re-seller of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) equipment and a data software development company for manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution industries, learned that outreach pathology labs were experiencing problems with lost or missing specimens. Missing specimens brought with it the issue of patient safety, the possibility of liabilities, and degrading customer relationships. At the time there were paper logs which were an attempt to create some type tracking for specimen transfers, but human error and time consumption did not make paper logs a very reliable or efficient tracking system.
The pathology labs that reached out to TDS were tired of playing the he-said-she-said blame game for placing fault of missing specimens. Hopes were high that TDS’s knowledge of tracking inventory location using mobile applications and barcode data in warehouses could be applied to outreach lab courier operations and specimen tracking.
Next TDS partnered with several pathology labs and other experts in the outreach lab market to make sure they understood the complete process of how specimens were collected and delivered back to lab. They personally rode with couriers on daily routes to understand the collection processes and interaction with customers, they talked with lab and courier managers to learn about administrative hurdles, and they worked with other lab experts to understand the legal ins-and-outs for collecting hazardous materials and HIPPA regulations.
At the time cloud-based technologies were beginning to become the standard for software applications, and TDS was determined to take MCE in that direction to ensure all customers received the most recent upgrades. Furthermore, by moving to a cloud-based system, outreach labs were less reliant on IT as a web-based system did not require system upgrades or compatibility requirements that were so cumbersome with traditional software systems.
Once TDS felt like they had a good grasp on the process, their software developers started the process of putting together a data collection system that could electronically verify what specimens were picked-up and dropped-off on daily courier routes, and quickly notify couriers of any specimens that could not be reconciled. The system would be simple, but very effective at determining where a specimen could be. Once the development was complete, beta testing for specimen tracking began. For months local pathology groups ran routes using the new system and provided feed-back for improvements. Our developers worked out any bugs until TDS felt the system was ready to go to market with the name “Medical Courier Elite”.
The Evolution of MCE
A few years into the launch of MCE and its evident success for preventing missing specimens, outreach labs started inquiring if MCE could perform other tasks to improve courier operations. Requests such as adding capabilities to track specimen type started to trickle in. Customer demand for courier routing, dispatching, and courier GPS tracking increased. Eventually, the desire for supply tracking, phlebotomist routing, and other special requests were made by MCE users.
With these requests in mind, MCE developers worked directly with customers on a case-by-case basis to test and implement new functionalities. As MCE continued to grow and new features were added, our customer base began to grow as well. The word was clearly getting out that MCE was easy to use and was the top system for preventing specimen loss and creating more efficient courier operations for outreach medical laboratories and hospital systems.
Today MCE is a feature rich specimen tracking and courier operations system for outreach laboratories and hospital courier systems. Our features and customization continue to improve and grow as our customer base grows and new requests come in. One thing MCE cannot be categorized as is “stale”. According to MCE founder and president Dave Taylor, “we want our customers to know that MCE is a better product because of their input. We take customer requests for improvement very seriously.”
With all of that said, MCE is preparing for the release of MCE 3.0 in early 2021. The release is more of an update of courier’s screen layout and positioning of tasks to be more in line current standards for design. “We are very excited to roll-out MCE 3.0 to current and future customers.”, said Dave. “Roll-outs like these give us an opportunity to work directly with our customers to make sure everything goes smoothly and find out if there are any additional features they might want to see in the future.”
MCE 3.0 is already being testing by five labs and these early adopters have been pleased with the changes and experience.
Learn more about how outreach medical laboratories and hospital courier systems are using MCE to track patient specimens and efficiently manage couriers using Honeywell mobile scanners and barcodes. Schedule a web demo with us today by filling out our online form 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