While medical couriers’ jobs are similar to other couriers in the sense that they deliver items, medical couriers need to have a lot more training and be skilled in a number of areas to ensure they are responsible in their roles and are able to ensure medical supplies are kept safe during transit.
What do medical couriers do?
Medical couriers transport medical items to places like hospitals, clinics, labs, and other healthcare facilities. The medical supplies could be lab samples, medical specimens, life-saving drugs, medical equipment, healthcare facility supplies, confidential paperwork, and more.
In addition to picking up items and delivering them, medical couriers send invoices to medical clients. They also need to be competent to ensure medical deliveries are transported safely. And in times of medical emergencies, they need to be able to transport deliveries quickly.
Other responsibilities of medical couriers include:
- Making sure medical deliveries are securely stored in the delivery vehicle.
- Making sure all documentation corresponds correctly to each item.
- Being punctual in picking up and delivering items.
- Using route optimization software to get traffic updates in real-time and to arrive at destinations on time.
- Making sure receipts are obtained once items are dropped off and verified.
- Logging mileage and maintenance information.
Also, in the US, medical couriers need to perform all duties within HIPAA regulations. Therefore, they need to be HIPAA-certified. Couriers in other countries will need to follow other regulations to ensure sensitive patient information is protected.
How much do medical courier services cost?
If you are looking to use a medical courier service yourself, you will want to know how much it costs. The price will depend on numerous factors.
For instance, the cost will vary depending on the distance that needs to be travelled, as a local courier service could charge £80 for delivery while a national company could charge, say, £250 for a cross-country delivery.
Other factors that affect the delivery rate include the size and weight of the items being transported and the urgency of the delivery. Check out this helpful article to learn about medical courier service rates in more detail.
How are medical deliveries kept safe and secure in transit?
While every package that any courier is delivering needs to be kept safe and secure, it is even more important that medical items are protected in transit. For instance, it is critical that life-saving medication is stored in the right way.
Here are some of the key ways in which medical items are kept safe during transportation.
- All items are packaged correctly. Every deliverable is packed in the right container to ensure its safety. All items should be packaged in protective materials that have enough shock absorbency to withstand issues like vehicle collisions. And fragile items should be packed even more securely, in thick and tenacious containers.
- Items are temperature controlled. Some medical deliveries, such as important medications and lab specimens, will need to be kept at certain temperatures. So, medical couriers need to ensure they follow temperature control procedures. That means doing things like using gel packs and dry ice and testing the temperature upon picking up and dropping off. Using a variety of temperature monitoring and reporting equipment, the temperature of shipments can also be monitored during transit. All medical couriers are trained on correct cold-chain standards to ensure the proper temperature control of the items they are delivering.
- All items are labelled appropriately. Medical deliveries are also kept safe by being correctly labelled. Because many medical deliveries are fragile and sensitive items, it is crucial that an extra level of care is taken. Therefore, additional signage like ‘handle with care’ needs to be used appropriately so that couriers can ensure the items are handled properly.
Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.