The healthcare industry is a vast and confusing mixture of moving parts. Typically, the word “healthcare” conjures images of doctors, nurses and surgeons in a daytime drama setting, but there are other important aspects of the medical industry that don’t resemble McDreamy and his cohorts. Under this list of medical careers that aren’t directly hospital-related lies medical couriers. This week, we’re talking about the responsibilities that come with a career as a medical courier.
What do Medical Couriers Do?
To put it simply, medical couriers transport medical supplies and other healthcare-related items to and from hospitals, medical offices, labs and even patients’ homes. The items couriers deliver can encompass a wide range of things including—but not limited to—oxygen tanks, immunizations, surgical equipment, hazardous materials, histology samples, specialty medications, medical records and pharmaceuticals. Typically, medical couriers work on-call to ensure time-sensitive shipments can be attended to quickly and correctly.
Are Medical Couriers HIPPA Certified?
All professional medical couriers are HIPPA certified. Because medical couriers often deal with private patient information, it’s crucial they are aware of all the best practices involved in keeping that information confidential. Without HIPPA certification, medical couriers have no obligation to safeguard patient data, so HIPPA certifications not only keep patient information safe, but also keep medical organizations safe by ensuring patient data never gets into the hands of unqualified individuals.
One of the most common HIPPA violations medical institutions find themselves a part of is the failure to enter into a HIPPA-compliant business associate agreement with all their vendors. Because of the large patient settlements, erosion of patient trust and bad public image which accompany HIPPA violations, making sure medical couriers have proper HIPPA certification is vital.
What Constitutes Secure Transport?
Transporting medical supplies and equipment require both experienced drivers and an astute dispatch team. Real-time tracking of drivers is the norm in our industry, because getting stuck in a construction zone just isn’t acceptable when you’re delivering life-saving medications and equipment. Having an updated ETA for every leg of the journey helps medical providers and patients stay up-to-date about their product delivery. Timing is especially crucial for temperature-sensitive deliveries.
Secure transport also means respecting and keeping a secure chain of custody. Every shipment a medical courier delivers should have an unbroken chain of custody from pickup to drop off. That means every person who was in control of the items in a shipment—even just to transfer them—has signed proper documentation as evidence of their part in the transport. This helps ensure traceability in the event of improper transport, wrong shipments or missing items (all rare occurrences in our industry).
What are the Administrative Duties of Medical Couriers?
Just like any other career in medicine, there’s a lot of paperwork involved. Organization is key because medical couriers must fill out detailed logs regarding each of their deliveries. Sometimes they’re also in charge of things like restocking lab and medical supplies at the medical facilities to which they deliver, so calculating costs and order volumes can be a courier’s responsibility as well. These are all just as important as the main responsibility of medical couriers—driving safely to make deliveries on time.
How do Medical Couriers Facilitate Patient Care?
Yes, patient care is a part of every medical courier’s job. While we’re not conducting annual checkups and giving diagnoses, we are crucial in keeping many Americans healthy and safe when they use their equipment. Often, medical couriers are the ones who go into a patient’s home to set up equipment like hospital beds or oxygen tanks and teach patients how to use them to ensure correct use. It’s not just dropping the items off and wishing a person luck figuring it out. Drivers spend ample time explaining the intricacies of equipment to patients so they can properly use what is often life-saving equipment.
If you’re a medical facility or hospital looking for a reliable medical courier, look no further than ProMed Logistics. Our experienced team can provide the peace of mind you need regarding your medical supply and equipment transportation.