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Track and Trace in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

When Tracking Packages in the Medical Industry, Accuracy and Security are Imperative

Every day, surgical teams in hospitals all around the world wait for extremely important medical shipments, including life-saving organs from hospitals in other cities. These organs need to be delivered in a timely manner in order to ensure their viability for the patient receiving the transplant. In these instances, the success of the operation depends not only on the skilled medical and surgical staff, but on the ability of a medical courier to deliver the organ safely. In scenarios like this, accurately tracking packages becomes a matter of life or death.

For this very reason, medical couriers have become a critical part of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. It is their responsibility to move important medical materials and information, whether for delivery or for further processing; in these cases accuracy and timeliness are of the utmost importance. The mishandling, tampering, theft, or diversion of a delivery results in much more than a damaged television, or a book delivered to the wrong address. The implementation of a track and trace solution is absolutely necessary in order to exercise the control needed to ensure the safe delivery of these packages, and to overcome the following challenges commonly faced by these couriers:

Ensuring Accuracy and Timeliness

If medical or pharmaceutical deliveries do not successfully arrive at their intended recipient, there are severe implications. Imagine that a sample of tissue from a patient’s tumor is being transported to a nearby lab for testing. A track and trace solution would ensure that it arrives at the correct location, in a timely manner, and that the results are returned as soon as possible so that the medical team can proceed with the patient’s treatment.

In this case, accurately tracking packages becomes as important to the medical procedure as the transportation vehicle and the equipment used to keep organs, tissues, and blood stored at optimal temperature. Tracking packages provides real-time visibility and allows medical professionals to access essential information, and to track a delivery right down to which desk it has arrived on.

Supply Chain Security

In the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, chain of custody is essential for ensuring security and compliance with laws and regulations. For medical couriers, proving chain of custody is a matter of reporting shipment details every step of the way, from when it was collected, to who has handled it, and where it has traveled.

In the pharmaceutical industry specifically, there is growing pressure to adopt effective track and trace systems for product traceability and authentication. An electronic pedigree, or ePedigree, is a term used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing supply chain to describe an auditable electronic record to track and trace every step taken by prescription drugs in their journey to the customer. Not only can tracking packages mitigate the threat of counterfeit drugs, but it can ensure standardization compliance, brand integrity, and patient safety, and improve efficiency and reduce costs. Ensuring that products are tracked and managed through the whole supply chain, all the way to the point of administration to the patient, has the potential to solve many problems commonly faced in the industry.

With track and trace, scanning technology can be leveraged to deliver this detailed information, and to prove chain of custody. Scans can be performed at multiple points as the shipment travels from point A to point B, including scan date, time and location. Tracking packages ensures that pharmaceutical products and patients alike are kept safe and managed correctly.

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