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LTC Pharmacy Delivery Stops are More Complex than Rubik’s Cube

Mar 30, 2015

A Rubik’s Cube is a three-dimensional combination puzzle invented in 1974 to solve the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart.  When a Rubik’s puzzle is scrambled, the potential combinations to solve is over 43 quintillion.  This insurmountable task has caused me to hide my scrambled Rubik’s Cube in my desk drawer.

Prescriptions that require same-day-delivery causes many LTC Pharmacy manager to hide their courier delivery expense in their desk drawer and hope to avoid discussions with caregivers and their CFO. I have come to believe that same-day-delivery is more complex than a Rubik’s Cube because delivery requires detailed prescription preparation processes, multiple packages per patient and location, and service level agreements (SLAs).  Excellent patient care is the goal, but the potential combinations to same-day-delivery resemble a Rubik’s Cube.

I have discussed this issue with many LTC Pharmacy manager and they have to implement In-house or Outsourcing programs but both have failed to solve the issues that surround same-day-delivery services.

The In-house option (employee courier drivers or clerk delivery at the end of shift) gives the pharmacy manager control over same-day-deliveries but patient care suffers, documentation is lost, the chain of custody problems, high lights the use of under-utilized resources (which CFO love to identify), insurance issues, and increases fixed costs.  In-house delivery increases the cost of dispensing. 

Pharmacies that Outsourced same-day-delivery reduce overall delivery costs, but this impacts patient care.  Discussions with LTC Pharmacy Managers and CFOs seem to point to couriers as the problem because they feel that couriers ‘fake’ same-day-delivery services.  I had one pharmacy manager state that courier repeat the function over and over again, however, delivery costs continue to rise while caregivers complain about patient care.

I have engaged LTC Pharmacies to audit their same-day-delivery expense, and we have success at identifying overbilled transactions, lowering costs, streamlining invoice approval and providing information for delivery analysis. However, auditing addresses activity after the event and it does not solve the pharmacy manager’s Rubik’s Cube. 

Supply Chain Finance recommends that a solution include our methodology and algorithms to manage deliveries and control same-day-delivery expenses.  We have created Self-Invoicing tools and Route/Stop Optimization solutions that enable pharmacy managers to control over their same-day-delivery activity, to optimize their stops and delivery mileage, and to impact prescription dispensing costs.

Supply Chain Finance enables the pharmacy manager to take same-day-delivery activity out of their drawer and use our service to analyze pharmacy operations and provide patient care.

Stat Delivery Process