The Pony Express might have been a major innovation in the 1860s, but now, in the 21st century, sending messages by mail is as outdated as the Walkman.
We can fully access anything we need at the palm of our hands with technology; so why are medical recalls still confined by paper mail? Hospitals and doctor’s offices are filled with supplies and devices that are utilized to save people’s lives every single day and just like cars, that equipment gets recalled. So would you trust that equipment to save your life with a medical recall process that is almost solely reliant on paper mail?
We all know the pain of having to wait weeks for our packages; now imagine that kind of delay on important recall notices for life-saving medicines. The recall system needs to evolvewith the times. Having to wait for those notices to be packaged up, processed by the mail service and then delivered to each buyer, plus, the added time it takes for hospital staff to weed through all the mail they receive puts lives at stake.
If using paper can be dangerous then why is it still the industry standard? It is because, as humans, we are creatures of habit who stray away from change any chance we get. The medical recall industry is following what they are used to and are struggling to take that plunge into the 21st century for fear that it will be costly and inefficient.
Almost every business utilizes some form of digital communication and the medical recall industry should follow suit. No longer do hospitals and other buyers need to wait around for weeks for the mailman to deliver a recall notice nor do they need to hunt through the numerous notices that pile up on their desks to determine what is and is not safe to use with the internet. All steps in the recall process can be streamlined into one platform for both buyers and suppliers.
The FDA requires numerous steps to be taken by both the buyer and supplier to remedy a medical recall which entails a line of communication between all parties: the FDA, buyer and supplier. This communication is significantly slowed down by the Pony Express, which compared to the advanced technology we have today, moves more like a retired pony. The FDA also allows for companies to utilize email, but just like paper mail, emails can pile up and go unread. The internet and a single platform or webpage would take away the need forpiles of paper and the flooding of inboxes, saving the supplier a tremendous amount of timeand money.
Medical recalls are an essential industry that needs to hit the update button and finally employ more technology throughout the entire process. We need to transform the medical recall process into an easy, one-stop-shop for both suppliers and buyers to make the process safer, more efficient, and cost-effective.