Transporting medical specimens, documents, and other sensitive materials must be done safely to protect patients, couriers, and the facilities responsible for said materials. The best way to ensure your medical courier is up for the job is to evaluate their safety standards.
For starters, every medical courier must be HIPAA certified and trained on Bloodborne Pathogen Awareness. We discuss these two safety standards in detail in our blog: Fundamental Safety Certifications for Medical Couriers.
The risks associated with transporting medical materials don’t stop there, however. Here are two advanced safety standards that demonstrate your medical courier is more than qualified to handle your sensitive materials.
Formaldehyde awareness is an OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.1048) that protects workers against exposure to formaldehyde gas, which is commonly used in medical labs and mortuaries. Acute exposure to the gas can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat; cause severe allergic reactions; trigger asthma-like respiratory problems, and potentially lead to cancer.
The standard sets permissible exposure limits for formaldehyde in the workplace. Medical couriers who handle formaldehyde must be aware of these limits and equipped with a sensor to monitor the concentrations of formaldehyde in their vehicles.
What Am-Tran does to uphold formaldehyde safety standards
- Vehicles are equipped with sensors to monitor formaldehyde concentrations
- Sensors are tested regularly
- Drivers must undergo safety training on the subject
- Drivers must use PPE whenever handling specimens with formaldehyde to limit exposure to the substance
Chemotherapy (cytotoxic drugs) handling and transportation
Direct contact with cytotoxic drugs may be linked with adverse health risks. As such, handlers must be aware of safe handling and transportation practices to reduce the possibility of exposure.
Medical couriers with employees who transport cytotoxic drugs must have a standard handling and transportation protocol to which all drivers must adhere. That standard should include safe packaging, storage, transport, pick-up and drop-off procedures, spill management, exposure treatment, and incident reporting.
What Am-Tran does to uphold cytotoxic drugs safety standards
- Couriers must pass a proficiency test and competency exam before handling any cytotoxic drugs deliveries
- Drivers must use PPE whenever handling cytotoxic drugs to limit exposure
- Packages are carefully inspected before transport to ensure no leak or spillage and labeled with purple cytotoxic warning labels, a description of the nature of the contents, and sender/recipient details
- Vehicles are equipped with separate sections for cytotoxic drugs that are securely fastened and away from the driving cabin area
- Couriers are trained to respond properly in the event of a spill, including safe clean-up and incident reporting, and vehicles are equipped with cytotoxic spill kits