Delivery Notes

What to know when hiring a medical courier

Posted by Karen Hales on Apr 25, 2016 1:30:00 PM

QCS Logistics has provided dependable medical courier services in the Greater New Orleans region for more than 30 years. QCS’ medical courier services include emergency and routine routed delivery 24/7, diagnostic and infectious specimen delivery, tissue transport and pharmaceutical, medical record and x-ray film delivery. We also provide daily scheduled delivery of medical lab specimens and samples, including packaging, delivering and shipping specimens overnight directly from Louis Armstrong International Airport to out-of-town labs.

The transportation of critical medical items is a vital component of the total healthcare delivery system as it directly affects the level of optimal care that patients, partners and medical staff require and expect on a consistent basis. The healthcare industry is dependent on courier companies to move its fragile, confidential medical specimens, samples, blood products, instruments, supplies and pharmaceuticals according to their timetables and specifications.  Because of the nature of medical deliveries, it is necessary to have trained and compliant couriers to handle them.

QCS screens all applicants using an outside company that is a member of the National Association of Background Screeners to perform extensive background checks, including:  criminal background, motor vehicle driving records, national and state sex offender registry, social security trace, I-9 employment verification and drug testing. QCS drivers are uniformed with identification badges and undergo certification training on industry best practices. QCS sets the standard by providing courier delivery that abides by stringent OSHA, DOT and USPS regulations, including bio-hazard exposure and air transport of dangerous goods, and ensures all delivery specialists are trained in proper specimen handling procedures, safety regulations and the confidentiality required when transporting medical cargo. We equip our drivers with two-way radios, scanners, spill kits (including personal protective equipment), medical totes, and manifests.

Getting what you need when hiring a medical delivery company:

Proper Documentation and Chain of Custody - In the health care and medical product delivery services industries, documentation translates to trust and peace of mind. Medical delivery is a critical component of maintaining optimum operations whether a lab, clinic, hospital, blood bank or medical processing center, and every medical delivery is a priority at QCS. That’s why we maintain constant communication with the courier using the latest temperature monitoring, GPS monitoring, and barcode scanning and signature capture technology. We maintain communication with customers via real-time and detailed electronic manifests that can be viewed at the route level (macro) or the stop level (micro) to ensure our customers know exactly where their delivery is and when it will arrive. 

"Exposure Control Plan” -  If a leak or spill occurs away from a laboratory, the courier will have to clean it up wearing latex gloves and using either a commercial clean-up kit or bleach. All materials (including gloves and paper towels) must be safely packaged and labeled. To be safe, all spills should be treated as if it were infectious. 

When choosing a service provider, ask: “Are the company’s vehicles equipped with spill kits and DOT coolers for specimen transport? Does the driver training keep drivers up-to-date on the latest HIPAA, OSHA, DOT, FAA and IATA regulations?”

Insurance - Medical couriers need to plan for the foreseeable aspects of offering their service and also prepare for the unforeseeable.  Is the company you are considering insured and bonded? Ensuring the transportation services company has proper licensing as well as adequate insurance from a trusted company that covers all drivers is paramount when selecting a medical courier.

Training -  OSHA requires that medical courier companies institute a bloodborne-pathogen awareness program and that all couriers participate in the program. Training for medical couriers must be provided as follows: at the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place; and at least annually thereafter for all employees.

  • The training must be conducted by a knowledgeable individual at the initial assignment, within one year of commencing medical courier services and when changes such as modification of tasks or procedures or institution of new tasks or procedures affect the employee's occupational exposure.
  • Training must include administrative requirements, OSHA compliant record-keeping, medical definitions, H.I.P.A.A., transportation guidelines, specimen integrity, incident plan and OSHA Guidelines pertaining to the medical courier.

Independent contractors The advantage of the independent contractor (IC) model is that it allows the medical courier company to handle peaks in volume with maximum flexibility. Using this model, QCS has proven its ability to supply sufficient drivers for the unpredictable and time-sensitive on demand business in multiple markets.

The training that independent contractors receive, while not required by OSHA, is considered "best practice" in the industry. QCS Logistics’ independent contractors performing medical courier deliveries undergo training at the beginning of their medical courier assignment as well as within one year of initial training. This not only ensures the safety of specimens and couriers, but gives the courier company that uses that independent contractor additional assurance and professionalism and provides the IC a highly marketable skill.

Quality Control - Receiving quality service on a consistent basis is the goal of the RFP process when selecting a medical courier services company. What is the company's Quality Control Program?QCS_Logistics_medical_courier_guide_specialized_delivery_services_New_Orleans_Gulf_South_logistics_0-004010-edited.jpg

At QCS our project manager reviews each area on a weekly basis and submits a weekly report to our general manager. We provide our medical courier customers a monthly report that measures: driver performance, QCS operational performance, customer service and service trends.

The QCS Advantage

One of Southeastern Louisiana’s premier providers of medical delivery services, QCS offers an integrated transportation solution that helps medical facilities consolidate and streamline service requests, provide transparency and accountability, and continuously improve their operations through on-going review and evaluation of performance metrics.

Call 504-940-6262 or email Jason to review your transportation services and find out more about the QCS Advantage.

Join our e-mail list to stay informed of the latest information, technology and service offerings available from QCS Logistics.

Topics: Medical Courier Delivery

Best Practices of Selecting a 3PL Provider