Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Philadelphia Courier Dispatchers – Servicing Medical Labs by Going Above & Beyond

Keeping pace with the aging of our country’s population has spawned considerable growth among the medical industry in general, and medical laboratories to be specific.  In turn, the companies servicing this industry have experienced increases in their work loads and have inspired creative changes in their delivery options.

When considering changing their standard overnight deliveries to commercial evening flights, one national company specializing in dialysis deliveries calculated that they could have specimens to their labs a full six hours earlier than usual.  This would reduce the pressure and congestion for the morning shift workers and put lab results into clients’ hands much sooner.

With focused determination, this laboratory began searching for the country’s top-notch couriers with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) certification to partner with them in handling the local routed pick-ups and airport deliveries in a wide array of markets.

In a simplistic model of the courier business, driving parcels from Point A to Point B is all it takes.  This really doesn’t define the work of a courier, the details and precision involved, especially for handling medical specimens.  Prior to delivering their first specimen, TSA-certified American Expediting drivers are extensively trained in both OSHA and HIPAA regulations.  They also learn the customized methods required by each client for handling of packing and medical specimens. In the case of overnight blood specimens the drivers are following a specific protocol which includes packing of ice packs in a specific manner and also separating cultures.

The behind-the-scenes operational dispatch crews are following the progress of each specimen from pickup to delivery.  Their tasks entail but are not excluded to confirming specimen counts, alerting drivers to traffic conditions, periodic client updates on delivery status, and confirming out-going flight departures. 

Of course, there are exceptions, instances when circumstances are beyond the couriers control that result in delays, such as the email alert shown below from our Philadelphia dispatch team, and the corresponding testimonial applauding those who went above and beyond to help when an airline cancelled their evening flight.  

SUBJECT: PHL to FLL flight 1201 cancelled

We received a call from Terry at Airline cargo PHL @ approx 17:45 letting us know that flight 1201 had been cancelled.  When pressed as to why flight had been cancelled, we were told "weather".  It was later determined that the reason was "air traffic control."

Airlines next available flight departed PHL @ 06:15 5/30.  We immediately began calling all other airlines for any flights direct or connecting to FLL. 

No flights available to FLL from the following airlines: Airline A per Jackie. Airline B per Cheryl.  Airline C per Chris. Airline D per Debbie.  Airline E- no answer, but I was not able to find any flights online.

We determined that the best routing at this point would be our backup plan, National Overnight Delivery Company. We then notified our Westville, NJ office as they also use Airline #1201, and instructed them to ship National Overnight Delivery as well.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Thank You.

PHL Dispatch

Now, the client’s acknowledgement of the extra measures taken by the Philadelphia-based dispatch team:

Nice work. I really do appreciate the extra effort.

This is how it's supposed to be done !

You took this as far as it could be taken.

This is exactly the kind of dedication and excellent service I expect from all of my couriers, and it's nice to receive it. I wish all of my couriers were to put this kind of effort and thinking into action. With your permission, I would like to forward this example onto the rest of the courier teams that service National Dialysis Laboratory Company  in hopes that the 'light will come on"

Thank you again.


Thank you Philadelphia Dispatch team!  You make us proud.  You help us to  stand out.