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Going mobile: A new wave of transport logistics management

December 27, 2016
Mobile Imaging
From the December 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Gregg Timmons

Managing transportation logistics throughout the health care industry is more than delivering a package from points A to B. Instead, it factors in several components which can severely impact an organization’s business and, ultimately, patient care. Health care delivery technicians are tasked with providing patients with the materials needed, as well as installation, and potentially teaching customers how to properly use the devices, all while reviewing and collecting signatures to meet compliance regulations. This leaves providers searching for the best solution to perfectly balance improving business efficiencies while not compromising patient care.

For years, the post-acute care industry has lagged behind other industries in adopting mobile delivery solutions, due to expensive, single-purpose handhelds and applications not tailored to their needs. From poor driver transparency to costly, overwhelming paper processes, regulatory compliance and reduced reimbursements, companies tend to struggle to maintain viability for their patients.

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However, with the vast technological advances our world has made throughout the past several years, providers are finally beginning to realize the answer to this daily balancing act: leveraging mobile technologies for the last mile. Mobile logistics solutions use cloud-based software that can be deployed on any handheld device, including iOS and Android tablets and phones.

Since the hardware is inexpensive and widely used by the general population, there is little to no time and cost associated with training employees to learn the nuances of a new device. Additionally, with real-time updates, managers can oversee and streamline almost every aspect of the delivery process. While there are countless motives for providers to be catching on to and riding the wave of mobility, the five aspects outlined are reason enough to convince anyone managing transport logistics to, at the very least, consider switching to a mobile platform.

Driver visibility
Keeping up with delivery drivers and monitoring their daily progress can be a daunting task. Although the majority of current logistics solutions utilize GPS tracking, outdated software can provide inaccurate accounts of a technician’s whereabouts and the status of deliveries. This leaves managers having to trust that their drivers are truthfully optimizing and accounting for their time in the field each day.

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