What is logistics?
Logistics, to start with, is the transportation of goods to customers whereby equipment and staff are at the needed location at the correct time. Firms are dependent on logistics to provide top-notch services to customers at the right time, thereby achieving their goals in the long run. That is why logistic solution providers like Freight Logistic Solutions are so vital due to their network of transport fleets and real-time data that allows companies to track their goods.
Medical logistics is the second most expensive element after staff costs in the medical field. Medical relates to doctors and nurses performing their duties, particularly the treatment of injuries and diseases. Medical logistics, thus, is the transportation of medical, surgical, and pharmaceutical goods, including medical machines, lab, and medical equipment. In addition, there are some products and small pieces for aiding doctors, veterinarians, dentists in performing their duties.
Difference between other logistics and medical logistics
Compared to other logistics, say for construction equipment or factory machines, medical logistics consider the reliability of the service. This type of logistics is quite crucial because people’s lives depend on it directly. Late deliveries can result in deterioration in patients’ health or, worse, death. For a medical institution to function correctly, the necessary equipment should be delivered to them before it’s needed; to provide a suitable working environment for the medical employees and serve society.
Logistics as part of the supply chain
A supply chain comprises parties that take part in the delivery of a product to the customer. This means from the start, making the product to transporting the final product to the client. Supply Chain Management (SCM) manages the movement of products and services, from making the item to getting it to the customers. Medical logistics companies nowadays are embracing supply chain management aspects to cut costs.
Efficiency and effectiveness
For logistics firms, efficiency and effectiveness are topmost priorities. Efficiency concentrates on how functional they can provide their service, putting in little effort and minimising waste. This, primarily, is one of the concerns for companies looking to make maximum profit. Effectiveness, however, is about ensuring the set goals are achieved, or the expected outcome is realised.
For medical logistics, effectiveness is the primary concern because it has everything to do with people’s lives. You can’t put money before innocent lives; medical and pharmaceutical logistics delays can cause certain death. Hospitals and health institutions need the services of smart solutions transportation companies to deliver the healthcare products and equipment on request. In addition, they have to be familiar with the regulations and understand how to handle each shipment.
Challenges and solutions of Medical Logistics
Supply series security
In recent times, blockchain has been used to back the security of shipments globally. In particular, health logistics companies can adopt this system because it works to their benefit following the unique code assigned to each shipment. This mark helps track and trace it as travel continues.
This level of security and tracking aids regulator companies in determining an authentic product, its identity, and where it is headed. Medical companies require a flawless chain of supply to avoid being flagged by the regulators.
Clients should be able to check and follow their shipments’ whereabouts as transportation commences.
Introduction of new medicine developments
Every day, new technologies emerge; therefore, new medicine developments have escalated. A few years back, there was mass production of medicines based on the patient’s condition and other aspects like age, medical history, and gender. Nowadays, therapies are custom-made to suit the patient, based on their genome or genetic condition causes.
This is a stride forward in the medical field, but for medical logistics, a downside. This is because previously, logistics companies could pick up pharmaceutical and medical products and ship them to pharmacies and hospitals in bulk. With this invention, companies have to obtain direct contact with the patients to take medicine to them. This calls for flexibility in health logistics to provide their services widely.
Pharmaceutical products, both solid and liquid medicines, should be put in controlled temperatures to preserve them for use. This includes even during transportation. In the past, temperatures for products used to be checked just before loading and unloading. On delivery, the possibilities of not getting what you ordered were high because, during transportation, the temperatures may fluctuate.
Modern technology, smart packing, wireless technologies, and tracking machines based on real-time enable the shippers to control the temperature during transportation to deliver them in good condition. Improperly preserved medicine may not perform its function as expected; therefore, preservation is essential.