4 keys to safe and speedy specimen shipping

Critical lab shipments need critical care. See how one lab focused on four key points to enhance their lab logistics processes and set their business up for success.

A gloved hand removing a lab specimen from a freezer.

The market for clinical lab testing is experiencing huge growth overall. And point-of-care diagnostics, specifically, is predicted to reach $50 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights, Inc.

However, MyGenetx had a point where they faced a barrier to growth. The company was often at the mercy of logistics providers who delivered late morning. This meant delayed test results for doctors and potential delays in beginning treatments.

MyGenetx also faced a business problem: unpredictable deliveries made it difficult to take on more clients and ensure they had enough staff to process the specimens. Fundamentally, their reputation was at stake.

To better compete, MyGenetx knew they needed a logistics provider who could deliver quickly and reliably and had service offerings that could help maintain the all-important specimen integrity. They knew the provider needed to be experts in specimen logistics and provide smart tools that increased visibility in the lab's inbound pipeline.

That's why they chose UPS Healthcare, which stepped in to provide all that, and even set up automated shipment processing for the lab's customers.

The results were particularly fruitful. In just four years, MyGenetx went from processing 1,500 tests per week at one location to nearly 10,000 specimens per week in 20 locations.

Following are four keys that can help any lab diagnostics company in their path to growth.

1. Reduce turnaround time

The sooner specimens can get from doctors to the lab, the faster the overall turnaround time. And processing specimens earlier means getting results to clinicians sooner, which can help to ease their patient's "anxiety time."

UPS Healthcare, which specializes in lab specimen logistics, offers earlier delivery by providing pre-dawn extraction services that reliably gets shipments to labs long before regularly scheduled delivery times. This allows diagnostic labs to test specimens earlier, even providing some test results to physicians the same day.

2. Choose durable packaging

Speed is irrelevant if the specimen leaks in transit, possibly damaging the entire shipment. In fact, 37 percent of healthcare logistics executives surveyed by UPS said they were not successful when it came to the challenge of preventing product damage and spoilage. Which is why it's critical that your packaging is rugged, easy to use, and designed exclusively for specimens. Durable UPS Healthcare lab packaging solutions, for instance, add an extra layer of protection for biological substances, helping to protect specimens in transit.

3. Keep close track of specimens

Not knowing when a package is arriving, or whether it's delayed, was a serious issue for MyGenetx. It's also unacceptable for any lab. An experienced 3PL logistics provider will make sure your lab has visibility into inbound shipments.

Online visibility tools, like UPS® Premier, helped MyGenetx to get a handle on the volume of incoming shipments – allowing them to make sure staff is on hand when needed.

4. Take full control of the process

By working together, labs and their clinical customers can improve service for their customers. The UPS® Lab Specimen Pickup Point program can help to coordinate the collaboration. It provides a set pickup time and a standard pickup location within the clinical facility, so staff always know where to leave specimen shipments. A UPS driver scans each package upon pickup, meaning near-real-time visibility for labs. This process can help deliver greater convenience for physicians, as well as consistency and reliability.

As labs work to meet new demands, enhancing your specimen logistics processes may seem low priority. But keeping it top-of-mind and partnering with a specialized logistics provider can help provide a clear, competitive advantage.

For MyGenetx, working with UPS enabled them to ship specimens faster, safely, and with lower risk. The move has made a big difference: MyGenetx is able to process specimens at a rate that helps drive its rapidly growing business.

Learn more about UPS Healthcare lab diagnostics solutions here. Or, contact us if you’d like to discuss how we could help you optimize your lab logistics.

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