250 times around the globe in the name of customer service
Patient-ready parcels are delivered in accordance with patient needs
11 February 2019, To what lengths would a pharmacy logistics and delivery company go to ensure that South Africans receive their chronic medicines in good order and on time, every time? Those who are on chronic medicines will no doubt understand just how important this is to the maintenance of their good health.
Fortunately, as is evident from the combined mileage recorded in the drivers’ logbooks of one local pharmacy logistics service, MediLogistics ― whose drivers travelled close on ten million kilometres across the length and breadth of the country ― some companies will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that South Africans are able to reliably and safely access their chronic medicines.
“The distance our drivers travelled in 2018 is equivalent to circumferencing the Earth some 250 times,” observes Werner Busch, Operations Manager for MediLogistics. “Put in this way, it becomes evident just how remarkable their achievement was this year,” comments Busch.
“MediLogistics is immensely proud of this record and we believe that it demonstrates our unwavering commitment to ensuring that our precious clients receive the chronic and other medicines that they desperately need. It also supports our vision of improving access to medicines for all South Africans.”
According to Busch, MediLogistics is ever mindful of its need to play its part in maintaining the highest standards of patient-centred care that is so important to healthcare professionals and their patients. To this end, the company places an emphasis on understanding patient preferences and values in order to ensure that their exact medicine delivery needs and requirements are met.
“Our research suggests that our clients greatly value their time and convenience and want to be able to access their medicines from a location and at a time of their choice. They also expect the greatest attention to detail, and a quality and timeous service on an ongoing basis.
“We therefore strive to ensure that patients receive their much-needed chronic medicine timeously no matter where they may be situated, including Lusikisiki just north of Port St Johns, or Bitterfontein in the Western Cape, to mention but a few far-flung areas to which we deliver medicines.”
MediLogistics dispatches and delivers medication to patients through 19 branches that are situated countrywide. The pharmacy logistics company receives the parcels from Medipost Pharmacy, from where it is distributed to the central distribution branches in either Cape Town or Gezina in Pretoria. From there, the medicine parcels are dispersed to Gauteng, the Eastern and Western Cape branches, North West, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
Busch says that the whole medicine delivery process, from receipt of the parcel from Medipost Pharmacy, to delivery, takes two working days. Parcels containing medication that is marked as being urgent, such as oncology medicines, are given particular priority and are delivered before 11h00 the following day.
Busch explains that MediLogistics drivers, who are at the frontline of providing customer service, are well equipped to enhance the customer experience for patients: “We continuously invest in our staff through training to ensure that the necessary procedures and processes are in place to ensure an internationally-comparable service.”
“For some patients, the option of a delivery to their door is not always practical and they therefore prefer to receive their medicine parcel from a safe and secure collection point. This is where MediLogistics stepped in with our dedicated doctor collection points,” he explains.
“The medicine parcel is sent to the practice of a doctor where a patient can collect their medication at a time that suits them. To ensure a totally reliable service, our doctor network collection points are audited and a service level agreement is signed to guarantee absolute compliance.”
MediLogistics has more than 1 500 approved doctor collection points in South Africa. With the aid of 156 vehicles and 41 motorcycles, as well as the use of advanced technology and cold-chain logistics, tamper-proof and patientready parcels are delivered to approved collection points on time, every time.
“Our warehouses are temperature monitored and our vehicles and containers are insulated to ensure that the cold-chain is maintained throughout the delivery chain so that it reaches the destination in optimal condition. We are at present finalising the installation of an automated sorter at our Gezina operations, which will ensure that we will be able to further improve our turnaround times.
“With end-to-end control of medicine parcels, which includes the careful monitoring of parcels and document routing, we are able to further increase client satisfaction levels and improve their overall customer experience, while at the same time maintaining and adhering to delivery compliance requirements.
“Apart from the many benefits this holds for the patients themselves, the network of doctors that MediLogistics serves are also empowered to improve the adherence of their patients to medical treatment and outcomes,” concludes Busch
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of MediLogistics
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster Telephone: (011) 469 3016