Best Practices for Medical Couriers

August 19, 2020

Medical couriers transport important materials every day, some of them necessary for patient life and health. These may include supplies, prescription medications, paperwork, specimens, equipment, or lab work. The delivery must be fast, and it must be safe, and the patient’s privacy must be protected. Very strict regulations are in force to ensure that medical deliveries are secure and that chain of custody is protected. In this article, we will delve into the best practices for medical transport and discuss their importance at greater length.

Medical couriers should all have HIPAA certification. HIPAA is federal legislation that protects medical patient privacy. These regulations require organizations like insurance companies and medical facilities to carefully regulate who has access to medical information, and also enable patients to have greater control over access to their information. Without HIPAA, there would be no firm rules in place to safeguard patient data. Breaches of this law can carry stern penalties and large fines, so HIPAA certification is a must.

Most HIPAA violations are the result of inadequate employee training, of a courier (or other employee) not being sufficiently aware of the regulations. The violations consist of things like employees mishandling records or disclosing confidential information, lost or stolen devices with sensitive medical information on them, unauthorized parties having access to patient files, or releasing personal information without written consent from a patient.

Transportation Practices
The link between courier and dispatch is crucial to the privacy and security of a medical shipment. The dispatch team should be able to monitor and communicate with a driver at every step of the itinerary, something only really possible if GPS technology offers real-time location information. That will allow patients, providers, and dispatch to calculate the ETA with ease, ensuring the safest and fastest possible delivery.

Further, chain of custody must be established by having couriers alert providers with email notifications and soliciting signatures after a delivery has been completed. This enables both parties to verify that the delivery was made on time and in good condition.

Other Considerations
Medical couriers must comply with a welter of state, federal, and professional regulations, including those established by agencies such as the Air Transport Association and the Department of Transportation. They must be able to deliver outside normal business hours, and their vehicles must have refrigeration capabilities.

Most importantly, the courier must make a solemn institutional commitment to putting the patient’s welfare first. They must be cordial and professional at all times when dealing with patients and their families, and try to understand the enormous stress the situation they are laboring under. After all, keeping patients alive, healthy, and happy is what medical delivery is all about!

Medical transport is worth taking seriously, and should be entrusted to companies with the knowledge and integrity to ensure compliance and the welfare of patients. To learn about Reliable Couriers’ expertise in this area, call 888-415-1781.