Medical Despatch UK deploy PODFather across bike couriers

19 January 2009

Greenford, Middlesex-based Medical Despatch UK Ltd is a specialist courier company providing medical institutions across the UK with a fast and efficient service in transporting medical samples, pharmaceuticals, imaging films and reports.

With many small hospitals not having in-house pathology laboratory facilities, Medical Despatch collects and delivers blood samples and specimens to larger hospitals for analysis  

This is no ordinary courier company. The demands on their service can literally save lives and Medical Despatch adopts procedures that set it apart from other pick up/drop off companies.

Its fleet consists of specialist courier bikes with fully sealed and secure boxes for transportation. Biological and Histopathology samples are carried in specially designed containers and blood products are transported in according to the guidelines set by the National Blood Bank.

The role of safely transporting urgent medical samples without delay or damage are key factors in maintaining the integrity of samples during transportation. This provides clients with the most cost effective means of achieving the highest degree of consistency and reliability, as Farhan Arif, Sales and Distribution manager explains.

"Because of the specialist nature of our business, all our courier bike riders undergo rigorous training and assessment in a host of health and safety issues. Some samples are more time-critical than others and it is vitally important that our riders understand the effective management of transporting medical samples.

“Many of our staff members have worked in pathology laboratories, so we fully appreciate our customers’ needs. Our couriers establish good working relationships with hospital staff and ensure that items are delivered accurately and the correct procedures followed.”

Coordinating all this is an administrative support team which ensures a smooth implementation of Medical Despatch systems. And sitting at the core of this intensive operation is PODFather maintaining the effectiveness and high standards of the company’s operations.

PODFather, devised and developed by Edinburgh-based Valley Technology, is the most integrated Proof of Delivery (POD) system on the market, seamlessly capturing time-critical data, enabling job details for couriers to be instantly sent to them via handheld PDA devices.

Farhan adds, "Every one of our bikes can be allocated up to 20 jobs a day, but our administration legacy system was paper-based and invariably not that reliable. We are a 24/7 operation, working 365 days a year and as such, we need to flawlessly execute every aspect of our service.

"We identified PODFather as the solution to enable us to migrate away from our complex paper trail to a system that provided us with integration and seamless transparency across every aspect of our collection and delivery service. Following a series of trials, all the vehicles in Medical Despatch’s fleet have been equipped with hand-held PDA's and jobs are now uploaded, signatures captured and invoices promptly issued.”

"Thanks to the PODFather, the administrative burden has been significantly reduced, efficiency levels have increased and it makes the courier company’s working practices and processes more productive."

In the office, Medical Despatch’s personnel can enter jobs into PODFather manually or upload them from an existing system via an XML interface. They can be viewed instantly in the office and on the road. Allocating them to a courier is easy with a drag and drop system. Once a delivery is complete, the signature is promptly captured using a 3G or a GPRS equipped handheld PDA and Proof of Delivery (PODs) can also be sent to customers via fax or email.

Farhan readily acknowledges that medical courier work is a very competitive environment. Now, with the service expanding across the UK to collect and deliver to and from hospitals and pathology labs, PODFather will help Medical Despatch UK Ltd achieve even greater levels of service.

 

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