Volume to Value
In the highly-competitive and regulated world of mail-order pharmacies, a pharmacy that can guarantee shipments reach their intended recipient at the lowest cost, even during the holiday rush, has an edge against the competition. Independent Health Services, Inc. (IHS) has that edge with the help of TRIOSE Inc.
Serving more than 300 correctional facilities, from city jails to large private prisons and detention facilities, IHS Pharmacy depends on their
prescriptions reaching their intended recipients on time – with no exceptions. It’s no small task. IHS Pharmacy fills 3,000 prescriptions daily
and more than 5,000 on Mondays when weekend orders are included. Those numbers add up to about 200 packages sent out nationwide daily, each of which contain medications for multiple inmate patients and are intended for next day delivery. Their packages contain prescriptions that, if missed, could result in life-altering consequences for their patients.
“If that box is delayed, it’s not usually just one person affected; it could be a hundred or more people without medication,” explains Shipping
Manager Derek Maness. An undelivered package also means skyrocketing costs, as staff pharmacists must contact local pharmacies to fill the missing prescriptions. For correctional facilities in remote locations, the local pharmacy may be an hour or more away. Local pharmacists are often uninterested in filling what amounts to two to three days’ worth of medication and these requests, if honored, are three times more expensive than IHS’s prescriptions and are a low priority. Additionally, in these instances, clients must pick up their prescriptions themselves. These costs all come back to IHS, says IHS Administrative Supervisor, Dana Clements.
Shipping Manager Derek Maness also explains that oftentimes when mail order pharmacies, such as IHS, fail to make their deliveries on time, clients opt to use local pharmacies instead. If they can’t stick to their specified delivery schedule, IHS could lose clients when it comes time for contracts to be renewed.
The need to keep deliveries on time combined with the need to lower costs were primary concerns for IHS Pharmacy, and these needs ultimately led them to choose to partner with the active and engaged logistics management team they found at TRIOSE Inc.
TRIOSE Inc., a healthcare supply chain company, offers solutions that deliver high quality service, cost savings, and strategic relationships to pharmacies like IHS, ensuring that their deliveries arrive on time all year long. These capabilities are crucial because IHS Pharmacy takes missed shipments very seriously.
IHS Pharmacy had a strong existing carrier relationship that was strained by continual delivery exceptions. The transition to the TRIOSE program ensured that IHS could still use their carrier of choice while increasing the percentage of on-time deliveries, improving shipment visibility, and reducing costs accrued by wasted man-hours. “[The] savings were a whole lot greater and we would have to change nothing…and support catered more to us. That was one of the big selling points,” says Maness.
TRIOSE has made a difference to IHS Pharmacy – and it benefits everyone. Here is just one example: One day, a delay in Tennessee caused an early morning delivery to fail to reach its destination. That’s when TRIOSE stepped in. Normally, this interruption would require at least four
hours of phone calls, messages, and call backs by IHS Pharmacy staff to solve. With TRIOSE, the package was pulled and delivered later that day after just one conversation with their dedicated Client Performance Representative.
“TRIOSE has a lot more pull than we ever had,” says Maness. He further explains how crucial their impact is for holiday deliveries. Most of the facilities IHS serves are governmental entities, and the assumption has long been that no deliveries are made on holidays. However, this is no longer the case with TRIOSE. “Since we started with TRIOSE, we have gained an extra level of support, allowing our holidays to be a whole lot better than they used to be,” explains Maness. In the past, a typical holiday would end with IHS Pharmacy having 30-40 packages undelivered;
now, that number is down to single digits.
The partnership between IHS and TRIOSE Inc. impacts both direct and indirect costs – meaning that IHS clients don’t need to turn to alternate pharmaceutical providers, staff are able to enjoy their holidays with friends and family, and costs are kept down. For that, Maness and crew are thankful.