Many hospitals are still utilizing outdated systems to track inbound shipments. This includes old-fashioned manual logs as well as inefficient receiving dock systems. This very unproductive dock-to-delivery tracking process is frequently paper-based, which will lead to a variety of issues, starting at the receiving dock. An automated package tracking system will increase your effectiveness and improve your hospital’s dock-to-delivery process, virtually eliminating the problems that plagued you with the outdated methods of old.
You may be wondering how an automated package tracking system will help your hospital.
Automating your package tracking will change the way you do business for the better, and to properly illustrate how it will improve your systems, let’s look at the some of the ways your old-fashioned manual tracking hindered your hospital’s dock-to-delivery process. The comparison between the two will make it abundantly clear which is the most efficient way to track your hospital’s packages.
Automated Package Tracking Gives You Proof of Delivery
If your hospital doesn’t have a system in place to automatically check in and record every package dropped off at your facility’s dock, you or your employees might have to depend on delivery records from the driver. The problem? This system offers you no proof that a package was actually delivered. If a package should disappear, or if it wasn’t delivered in the first place, your options are very limited, and you’ll be burning valuable staff time attempting to track down a package that might not even be there!
An automated package tracking system will give your facility a systematic process and framework to count and record each package that arrives at your receiving dock. What does this mean? If a package should go “missing” or if it doesn’t arrive at all, it’s very easy to track down. A good system will create an audit trail, so receiving and delivery staff at your hospital as well as your customers can view a package’s status and check for proof of delivery.
Record Packages with Efficiency
The inefficiency associated with traditional manual tracking doesn’t just stop at receiving; that outmoded system requires more manpower to record and address the packages as well as more time spent per package, which can eat into your staffing budget. Additionally, handwritten records are a recipe for error. Between illegible handwriting and transposed numbers, delivery will be difficult at best and impossible at worst.
A computer-generated package label is not just faster to create, but it takes fewer people and it’s also easier to read. Automated package tracking will streamline the process of package recording and reduce your staffing costs; that’s going to make your bottom line look better than ever.
Improve Your Notification Procedures
When a package arrives at your facility, and the recipient has requested to be notified upon it’s arrival, what’s the procedure for notification? Is there a procedure at all? If your hospital is like most, it’s likely that the recipient calls the mailroom, the person who takes the call records the request on a small piece of paper, and the paper is lost in the shuffle no sooner than it leaves the message-taker’s hands. How likely is it that the recipient will get a call when the package arrives? We don’t like the odds.
One of the many advantages of automated package tracking is the ability to create a system that will notify the recipient immediately upon the delivery of their package. This will go a long way in eliminating the “Where’s my package?” calls that you and your staff know so well.
Effective Addressing Methods
Your manual tracking system will not just require you and your staff to address packages by hand, but it doesn’t allow you any method of retaining internal addresses. This can result in missing or misrouted packages; when the vital details that pertain to the packages are simply taped on, the possibility of misdelivery is more likely than ever.
The stickers generated by the automated package tracking system are firmly affixed to your packages, and they’re printed neatly, ensuring that you and your staff will be able to read the address with ease. Additionally, the automated system can keep all of your internal addresses in one convenient location, so you can address a package with the click of your mouse. It will be a huge timesaver, and you can guarantee that the address will be correct every time.
Streamlined Delivery Processes
It should come as no surprise that delivery is more time-consuming with a manual tracking system. After the tedious processes that got the packages ready for delivery, your staff will scramble to get the deliveries made in a timely fashion. It’s so important that your staff has a dependable record of the details of every package as well as the package’s history; without this knowledge at the tip of their fingers, lost or misrouted packages are bound to happen.
The beauty of the automated package tracking system lies in its efficiency; the speed with which your staff can receive the packages, record the necessary data, and address them will ensure that they’re ready for delivery earlier than ever. The convenience of hand-held devices with all of the history and the details of each package will further enhance the speed with which deliveries can be completed.
Our automated package tracking system brought the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center into the 21st century; according to Mark Burch, the center’s Materials Operations Manager, they were dealing with lost or misplaced package calls on a far-too-regular basis.
“Before Vuetura, ‘Where’s my package?’ calls were a nightmare. First, we couldn’t prove whether or not we had received the package. We also had to go through hundreds of pages of delivery forms in the day’s file to find the form for the package in question. Often, that was made exceedingly difficult due to illegible signatures. These calls often took up to 30 minutes, and, even if successful, rarely resulted in a satisfied customer.”
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center improved receiving dock operations using our package tracking system. Taking the step to adopt an automated package tracking solution for your hospital or clinic will assist you in eliminating calls from dissatisfied staff members.
Up-To-Date Record Keeping
Attempting to locate specific information about a package your facility received more than a month (or worse— year) ago is a nightmare with manual tracking systems. It involves reams of paper, which is probably not organized in a clearly discernible manner, and it will take you far longer than the time you’ve allotted for the task. Additionally, there’s no good way to run a report that would track your operation’s productivity, making it tough to track the competence of your staff.
An automated package tracking system will enable you to search for information about any package with ease; all of the data is held within an easily accessed database. You can also run reports that will give you a good handle on the operational productivity of your facility as well as your staff’s efficiency.
Manual tracking isn’t just inefficient, but it’s also very wasteful; consider how many staff hours and extra costs, such as paper, ink, and square footage for storing old (and difficult to obtain) records, you’re wasting line items in your budget on. Unfortunately, this cost isn’t just detrimental to you—it’s also taking its toll on the environment.
Implementing an automated package tracking system might sound like a lot up front, but when you factor in the reduced costs, you really can’t afford not to convert your facility to this new and efficient method.
If you take an informal poll among your employees, it’s likely that you’ll find that they’re dissatisfied with the old-fashioned manual tracking system you’ve been using for decades. It wreaks havoc on your receiving area, causes chaos in your hospital’s chain of custody, and leaves your employees feeling like they’re never able to catch up as they’re frantically trying to finish their deliveries AND troubleshoot issues that have popped up on their route.
As you can probably imagine, your employees would happily incorporate an automated system into their day-to-day operations. Not only will it keep the receiving area neat and tidy, but it will make their job easier than ever. They can finish their work with time to spare, allowing them the time to tackle special projects that have been on their agenda for ages.
As you can probably see, an automated tracking system can resolve a litany of issues within your facility’s receiving area. Not only will this software increase your hospital or clinic’s efficiency, but it will significantly cut down on the dreaded “Where’s my package?” calls that you and your employees spend so much of your day fielding. With the software in place, you’ll be able to pinpoint where, precisely, in the process any package is at any time, and when the caller can expect to get it. If this is appealing to you, we’d love to talk with you about modernizing your systems today!
If you’re now looking for an automated inbound tracking system for your health facility and have additional questions, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today and tell us what you need.
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