Many modern healthcare facilities are still using old-fashioned manual systems to track inbound shipments. This inefficient dock-to-delivery receiving and delivery system, typically paper-based, can lead to a host of problems, beginning at the receiving dock. An automated receiving and package tracking solution will not only increase your efficiency, but it will improve your facility’s systems and accuracy.
Are you wondering how manual dock-to-delivery tracking will hurt your healthcare facility?
Well, there are a number of ways it can wreak havoc. We’ve got them listed here!
No Proof of Delivery
If your facility doesn’t have a systematic method of counting and recording each package received at your hospital or clinic’s dock, it’s possible that your staff could start to depend entirely on a driver’s delivery records. While this solution could work sometimes, it offers you no proof of delivery. Should a package go missing at your facility, or if it never arrived at your facility at all, you have no recourse, and your staff will spend precious hours attempting to track the package down.
Inefficient Recording of Packages
Unfortunately, the inefficiencies don’t stop at the receiving dock. If your healthcare facility has a manual tracking system, recording and addressing packages requires more manpower, as well as additional effort and more time per package. Recording the packages by hand is full of potential for error; unfortunately, numbers can be transposed, or handwriting is sometimes illegible, making delivery more difficult.
Poor Notification Procedures
What’s the procedure when someone at your facility needs to be alerted when there’s a delivery? Most likely, they’ll call the mailroom or receiving center and the staff will record the call on a slip of paper and place it on someone’s desk, or even tape it to the wall. What’s the likelihood that this will result in the caller being notified when the package is received? We wouldn’t hold our breath.
Ineffective Methods of Address
Not only will a manual tracking system require you to address the packages by hand, it gives your staff no method of retaining internal addresses, leading to misrouted and missing packages. Also, in many cases, crucial package details are just taped to each box; what happens if the box is damaged? Should those details fall off, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to make the delivery.
Disrupted Delivery Processes
After all the time-consuming, inefficient processes that proceed it, it’s not surprising that delivery takes longer than it should when you’re depending on a manual tracking system. Once they’ve spent so much time jumping the hurdles to get the packages ready to be delivered, your staff will struggle to get the deliveries to the intended recipients in a timely manner. Across the chain of custody, it’s vital for your staff to know the details as well as the history of each package they touch. With a manual tracking system, it’s very difficult for them to have this knowledge at the tips of their fingers, leading to lost and/or misrouted packages.
As you probably know all too well, all of these issues can lead to the dreaded “Where’s my package?” calls. What do these calls lead to? An endless search, a search that wastes time, money, and precious man-hours.
Prior to adopting our automated receiving and delivery system, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s lost or misplaced package calls were a huge issue. In fact, Mark Burch, the Center’s Materials Operations Manager had this to say about the problems they encountered using a manual tracking system.
“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.”
Purchasing an automated receiving and package tracking solution for your hospital or clinic will help you avoid those painful “Where’s my package?” calls.
Not convinced? Here are a few more issues you will most likely run into with a manual tracking system.
Antiquated Record Keeping
You’re probably aware of the limitations of a manual tracking system, particularly when it comes to record keeping. Manual tracking records usually involve a big file cabinet, overstuffed with delivery sheets. With a paper-based system, there’s no automated system to run reports that wold allow you to monitor operational productivity as well as the competence of your receiving staff.
Not only is this form of record keeping inefficient, but it’s also incredibly wasteful. It leads to wasted hours and unnecessary costs—the cost of paper and ink as well as the cost of the square footage required to store years of records. When you tack on the cost to the environment, can you really afford not to get an automated receiving and package tracking solution?
If you want happy, productive employees in your receiving department, you must have an efficient work environment. Manual tracking systems often lead to a disorderly and stress-filled receiving area. The inefficiencies and holes in the chain of custody will cost your facility in ways beyond monetary; your staff will continually be struggling to complete deliveries and fix each issue that crops up from such an inefficient system, leading to dissatisfaction and potential high turnover.
If you’re concerned, you probably should be. However, you’re in luck—these problems have a very simple solution: implement a state-of-the-art automated receiving and package tracking solution. This software will not just streamline your processes, it will increase your efficiency and decrease those terrible “Where’s my package?” calls that take up so much of your staff’s time and energy. Imagine being able to track any package at any point in the chain of custody, so you can tell a caller precisely where the package is and when they can expect to receive it. If this sounds good to you, contact us. We’d love to have a conversation about bringing your systems into the 21st century.
Manual dock-to-delivery tracking will hurt your healthcare facility. Don’t let it.
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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