When it comes to logistics, evolution is understanding how technology changes the expectation of both shippers and couriers. Only five years ago, the Domino's pizza mobile app was developed so that antsy consumers could track their pizza to 3 feet within their actual location. Flash forward to now, there are still no protocols or requirements on the level of visibility when transporting medical specimen: blood, tissue, or organs. How is it that we can track a pizza with more information than a kidney needed to save a life?
Nearly 4% of all shipments experience an unanticipated delay of two or more hours.
There are multiple stakeholders involved when transporting an organ. Especially when the organ has to cross the country, and it needs to be ready for transplant in the morning. Logistically, who needs to know?
- The Organ Procurement Organization (OPO)
- The transplant center or surgery center
- The hospital staff (Surgeons, Clinical Coordinators, Nurses)
- Most importantly, the patient
With so many stakeholders involved in the logistics process, no wonder nearly 4% of shipments experience delays of two or more hours. A 2005 study of 100 U.S. hospitals found that an OR charges on average $62 per minute (range: $22 per minute to $133 per minute). That means, if a shipment is delayed for two hours, on average it costs the hospital $7440 in soft operational costs.
By providing real-time data across stakeholders such as an organ's exact location, any expected delays, or updated delivery times, Clinical Coordinators can schedule or reschedule surgeries and restructure staff accordingly.
Watch How Airspace Technologies Automates Time Critical Logistics
With a dozen or more touches between pickup and delivery, there is plenty of room for human error. Providing more visibility into the package's exact location can help combat human error and notify all stakeholders proactively when delays occur.
By keeping everyone informed with real-time data, proactive changes can be made along the shipment's lifespan to prevent the package from being further delayed, the patient comfortable, the surgeon and nurses informed and prepared, and the transplant center aware of the specimen's viability.
According to UNOS, about 1.5% of shipments experience a failure - don't make it to the intended destination. With little room for failure, shouldn't every stakeholder know precisely where the specimen is at all times? Receiving a phone call 20 minutes after the delivery time or after the plane has departed does not cut it in today's world. Just like Domino's pizza, you should be able to track your medical specimen.