At the recent 2023 Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, ParcelShield executives highlighted the need to leverage performance delivery data with technology to improve medication delivery performance. The session, titled “Leveraging Technology To Improve Medication Delivery Performance,” shed light on the costly issues of disbursing patient medication due to shipment delays and lost packages during the delivery journey faced by specialty pharmacies and how the benefit of historical performance delivery data can help the industry to reduce cost, improve patient engagement, and increase revenues for specialty pharmacies. 

The Business Challenge

Specialty pharmacies grapple with lost revenues, increased resend costs, and negative patient experiences due to supply chain-related challenges, sometimes resulting in patient medication delivery delays or even lost packages. These operational challenges often result from environmental conditions like weather, temperature, or in-transit logistical delays, which can pose significant threats to the specialty pharmacy business. Over the last several years, with the addition of COVID, it’s clear that it was very challenging for all of us, including carriers, to help us to deliver patient medication on time consistently. Specialty pharmacies need better visibility and predictability in the delivery of patient medication to grow their business and enhance patient engagement.

Typical business challenges to consider:

  • Specialty pharmacies need help knowing what geographic zones or carrier routes will be affected by weather events before packages are shipped.
  • Specialty pharmacy overhead increases exponentially as they hire more people to keep up with the growing number of medication packages.
  • It is more expensive to scale people than technology.
  • For every 500 additional packages shipped weekly, consider how many resources must be needed to manage the growth.
  • Specialty pharmacies miss out on efficiency and productivity gains. Manual, time-consuming processes executed by people are not efficient.

The Industry Needs Increased Visibility Into The Delivery of Patient Medication and Better Insights

Specialty pharmacies should adopt a parcel tracking solution combined with historical delivery data and predictive analytics to deliver insights. Such a solution can significantly improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and enhance patient outcomes. These daily business insights allow specialty pharmacies to refine their operational processes before an order is scheduled.

Examples of daily monitoring and insights maybe include:

  • Real-time dashboards that track total packed shipped
  • Dashboard to identify packages with issues
  • Track any late packages
  • Monitor carrier service levels inconsistency
  • Access Daily/Weekly/Monthly management reports

Technology & Data Can Help Specialty Pharmacies Solve Their Business Challenges

The specialty pharmacy’s ability to track the patient’s medication in real-time across the supply chain delivery journey can improve on-time delivery, eliminate delays, reduce patient anxiety and enhance patient engagement. 

Specialty pharmacies should consider the following:

  • Implement parcel tracking technology to monitor real-time package delivery.
  • Leverage tracking data to ensure on-time delivery.
  • Access predictive analytics and insight to increase operational efficiency and improve patient outcomes.
  • Utilize insights to improve your operational process, which typically happens on the front end before the order is scheduled.
  • Better insights to minimize distressed packages and enhance patient satisfaction.

Ensuring Medication Arrives On Time – Regardless of the Carrier

Specialty pharmacies need better tools and rich data to enable their operations to quickly identify patient medication delivery issues, proactively communicate with patients utilizing digital tools, and implement systems and processes to support this. 

Digital tools can help pharmacies to:

  • Reduce patient inbound calls to your pharmacy
  • Improve patient communication & experience (Net Promoter Score)
  • Safeguard therapy adherence and drive patient and prescriber loyalty
  • Effect on patient wellbeing, adhere to compliance.
  • Eliminate the reshipping of medication and reduce costs.

The Role of AI and Predictive Analytics

AI and predictive analytics tools can assist pharmacies by identifying weather threats, accessing historical and real-time parcel carrier performance data, assessing pharmacy logistics, and understanding which states and zip codes are associated with consistent delivery levels. This, in turn, can help prevent reships/resends of medications and reduce product losses.

Multiple data sources are available today to identify better delivery routes and service levels across the supply chain. 

Examples of data sources include:

  • Identify weather elements
  • NOAA weather alerts and historical weather data
  • Access historical & real-time parcel carrier performance data
  • Pharmacy logistics
  • Demographic data

Leverage Predictive Analytics to Protect Patients

Today, Artificial intelligence is used to identify delivery risks and help make better and more informed decisions. Artificial Intelligence can perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. Machine Learning is an application of AI that allows computer systems to “learn” independently with little or no outside guidance. 

Predictive analytics helps to: 

  • Protect against unanticipated losses
  • Extract significant amounts of information from historical tracking of data and turn it into something meaningful — and actionable.
  • Understand which carrier service’s delivery levels are more consistent in certain states and zip codes.
  • Prevent reships and resends of patient medication before shipping is initiated with better data.
  • Reduce product losses, reduce costly product write-offs and improve customer experience.

Invest in Technology with Real Time Medication Monitoring

ParcelShield executives stressed the importance of investing in real-time scheduling decision support, intuitive scheduling dashboards, and minimal workforce investment to avoid impacting call center handle times and the need for classroom training. Leveraging technology, such as AI and predictive analytics, can significantly improve medication delivery performance, benefiting specialty pharmacies and their patients.

Enhance Your Tracking & Monitor Medication Delivery​

  • Get real-time patient medication delivery status.
  • Be notified when medication packages are at risk.
  • Reduce late deliveries or reships

Leverage Digital Tools To Proactive Patient Communication​

  • Provide patients with package delivery information right on their mobile phones.
  • Reduce inbound patient calls to your pharmacy, wondering where my medication is.
  • Enhance patient engagement.

Access More Data, Better Reporting and Analytics​

  • Improve visibility across the medication delivery journey.
  • Understand carrier delivery performance.
  • On-day delivery of medication.
  • Proof of Delivery documentation to support audits.

Get Access to Historical Delivery Data to Reduce Product Loss and Avoid Costly Write-Offs

Specialty pharmacies spend millions of dollars yearly for medication resends due to carrier-related delays or lost packages resulting from mechanical, weather or in-transit delays. Regardless of the cause, carrier-related delays contribute to lost revenues, increased resend costs, negative customer experiences, and challenges to adherence compliance. Carriers need help, and specialty pharmacies need protection. Leverage parcel tracking technology with data and predictive insight to increase operational efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Utilize insights to improve your operational process on the front end before the order is scheduled to minimize distressed packages and enhance patient satisfaction (Net Promoter Score).