For those in the medical sector, a partnership with logistics professionals could have a significant impact on how life and death decisions are made. This could include moving medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, or biological samples for analysis. Although saving lives is always our top priority, there can be risks associated with the transportation process that could affect the reliability and quality of the goods.
Although there are many risks to doctors’ lives by efficiently transporting artificial organs and medicines, the risk of medical equipment being damaged or lost during the transportation is not as great. Even a single piece of medical equipment could cost millions. These matters can be handled by the most reliable and trustworthy logistics companies.
Better organizational practices are key to ensuring the safety of costly pieces of medical equipment. Cloud-based enterprise solutions can play a significant role in simplifying the management of medical equipment inventories and allowing for lightning-fast internal communication to advance concepts like:
- Stocking locations
- Packaging and handling instructions
- Instructions for temperature control (if applicable)
- Real-time tracking
- All medical equipment will be delivered electronically with a delivery confirmation
Not only will it give credence to the capabilities of the logistics company but it will also allow them to save money and time for their customers.
Creating an air of complete transparency
It is vital that customers can see exactly what medical equipment is being shipped. This is just as important as it is for other parts of the supply chain. Customers can also access the same cloud-based systems that are used internally. Any internet-capable device can be used by customers to access information about their shipment, including tracking status, scheduled delivery times, and who signed for delivery. Logistics companies make it easy to ensure that their clients feel at ease by providing the best digital solutions.
Response With Adaptability
Handling medical equipment should be treated with the same care as handling temperature-sensitive chemicals. Some pieces of medical gear, such as x-ray machines and MRI devices, are very sensitive to problems like:
- Vibrations and jostling in transit
- Dust and dirt
- Oxidation or corrosion
Also, healthcare logistics companies offer packaging assessments because even small transit problems can cause medical equipment to need to be calibrated or become unusable. There are several options for packaging. These include floating bases and bumpers, which can cushion equipment correctly, as well as adequate crating and weight distribution. These, along with precise dimensions, weights, valuations, and photos, will make it possible to properly handle even the most delicate pieces of equipment.
What goes into the warehouse?
These goods are not included on any production bills of materials and have a simplified release and check. They are not often assigned an in-house lot number, although this can vary from one company to the next.
- Non-production consumables (non-GMP material), e.g. toilet paper, stationery
- Producing materials used in processing, e.g. Filters, lubricants
- Laboratory reagents (e.g. buffers, chemicals
These items will often have their own QC approval process.
These goods will always be on any production or packaging bill. Each one is subject to GMP quality control procedures and release procedures. Each lot number will be unique for all these goods.
- Chemicals and starting materials for manufacturing
- Packaging components, e.g. Packaging components, e.g., blister pack film, bottles, and caps, vials, and seals
- Print matter, e.g. Labels, cartons, inserts/leaflets, and pre-printed tubes
Method for receiving materials into the warehouse
The warehouse is responsible for receiving starting materials when they arrive at the facility. There are many ways to treat different types of materials. Materials used in production must be registered and checked to ensure that they are approved as a supplier or grade (pharmaceutical, medical). However, each material may not require a unique identification number. Make sure you are familiar with your Standard Operating Procedures.
Start chemicals that are used in product formulation will need to be inspected to ensure they work properly.
- Sourced from an approved supplier
- Do not damage
- Correctly labeled and identified with supplier’s lot number.
- Are given a unique in-house lot number
- Added to inventory
- Then, the samples are taken for release testing.
Some chemicals can also be damaged by heat so they should be kept at controlled temperatures or frozen.
A typical layout for a warehouse
Warehouses are usually classified according to the type of material they hold, such as raw materials, packaging materials, and intermediate or bulk products.
One typical warehouse may contain all or some of the following areas.
- You can store goods in Quarantine until they are inspected and tested. Materials kept in Quarantine can’t be used or released until they have been approved by QC.
- To ensure safety, some warehouses have Dangerous Goods Storage Areas. This area could be used to store flammable goods like ethanol. Here, special storage conditions like flame-proof cabinets are used.
- Some warehouses contain a locked area that can be used to store restricted goods such as drugs of addiction and poisons. This area is only accessible to authorized personnel.
- There is a separate area to identify defective or recalled goods and ensure that they are not sold or issued by mistake.
- Reject area for batches that have been rejected.
- The cool room is usually operated at 2degC – 8degC so temperature-sensitive materials (e.g. Vitamins do not deteriorate
Regularly check that the temperature in your cool room is within acceptable operating temperatures. The cool room typically has a quarantine area and a release area.
- The first place that chemicals are opened is the sampling booth. The sampling room must have air controls that prevent outside air from entering and contain dust from sampling to protect the material. Also, sampling instruments must be cleaned before each use.
Pay special attention to air control systems, gowning, and safe handling chemicals in this area.
- This is an area that has been released for batches that have been tested and approved for use.
- Quarantine is a place to store goods that haven’t been tested or inspected yet. Materials kept in Quarantine are not allowed to be released or used until they have been approved by QC.