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3.5 hours extended pick-up availability

Lockers allow pick-up even when the medical aid centre is not staffed.

25 – 30 %

choose to pick up their aids when the reception is closed.

2.3 days

Average time a medical aid remains in the locker before being picked up. Most are picked up on the first day.

Swedish region delivers medical aids to citizens with StrongPoint’s parcel lockers

At the medical aid center in Östersund, citizens can now pick up their aids easily and conveniently in parcel lockers supplied by StrongPoint. With this technology, local citizens can enjoy a higher level of service with extended pick-up times, as unmanned lockers allow for pick-up even when the reception is closed. The parcel lockers also offer a discreet delivery of medical aid products the users may find sensitive.

The medical aid centre serves the citizens in the region

Jämtland Härjedalen Region is responsible for health, dental and medical care for the 132,000 citizens in the region. Östersund is a central city, where half of the inhabitants live. It is also here that the region’s only hospital is located, and the medical aid centre and central warehouse is right around the corner. Their mission is to serve the entire county with medical aids and consumables. This includes everything from wheelchairs and crutches, to diabetes aids, nutritional drinks, incontinence protection and all other types of aids that a care recipient or facility may need.

Given the large size of the region and long distances involved, the intent is to transport medical aids to residents of the various municipalities, health centres or special accommodations where citizens can pick up what they need. To simplify and offer greater accessibility for the delivery and pick-up, StrongPoint’s parcel lockers have been installed at the medical aid center in Östersund.

Åsa Trolle, Unit Manager, medical aid centre in Östersund Photo: Lena Manneby

Sought to solve deliveries to citizens in a better way

Åsa Trolle is the Unit Manager at the medical aid centre. Together with the central warehouse and the transport unit, a total of about 50 people work here including medical aid technicians, advisors who prescribe assistive devices, customer service agents who receive and issue orders and the warehouse goods reception, which receives and compiles orders.

It was during the pandemic that Åsa came up with the idea of simplifying the delivery of aids to citizens using parcel lockers. ‘How can we make this more efficient? How can we resolve this for the citizens in a better way? I started thinking about it and contacted StrongPoint.’

In May 2022, the first parcel locker was placed at the medical aid centre as a pilot project. This turned out so well that even before the pilot was over, Åsa ordered additional modules to expand capacity.

Superior service and privacy to citizens with parcel lockers

One of the aims of parcel lockers was to increase accessibility and service to citizens. Previously, citizens were limited to the opening hours of the medical aid centre. Back then, users could not pick up their items past 15:30. Now, thanks to the parcel lockers, pick-up is possible until 19:00 in the evening. A change that was very well received, with 25-30% of users choosing to pick up at the extended times. Increased accessibility thus becomes a positive experience for citizens who did not need to stress in order to make the pick-up times.

It was equally important to give citizens privacy concerning their aids. ‘It’s not nice to stand in a room with people running around – admittedly bound to confidentiality – and publicly state: “I’m going to get catheters or I’m going to get incontinence protection.”‘ None of us wants to showcase our illnesses.’

Åsa Trolle, Unit Manager, medical aid centre in Östersund

Now that citizens no longer need to go to customer service and tell a physical person what they want to collect, the pick-up process has become much more private. ‘Citizens have only had positive comments about parcel lockers, they think it works great,’ Åsa rounds off.

Citizens of the Jämtland Härjedalen Region can pick up their medical aids using parcel lockers from StrongPoint. The Lockers can be found in the medical aid centre in Östersund. Photo: Lena Manneby

Staff work becomes more efficient without interruptions

Just as they wanted to make life easier for their citizens, they sought to minimise staff disruption. Previously, all aids were handed out manually, which often took 1.5 – 2 minutes provided that the order was in place. Otherwise, the staff had to pick up the items from the central warehouse, which of course took even longer. Once the citizen had left, the customer service staff would resume the task they had left off.

The overall process is much more efficient now: as an order is picked, it is placed in the parcel locker and the recipient receives an SMS letting them know their aids are available for pick-up. Today, most pick-ups happen through the lockers. It is too early to measure cost savings, but it’s plain to see that staff’s work is more efficient, as they no longer deal with several interruptions a day.

Parcel lockers are very popular

When asked what customers think, Åsa says that the citizens are delighted. ‘Everyone who picks up at the locker thinks it’s great. I haven’t heard anything negative like; “No, I want to pick it up manually, I want to meet a human”. No such comments.’ says Åsa and laughs.

Expanding parcel lockers’ applications

Åsa is absolutely certain that parcel lockers are just right for their business. Swedes are getting older, have greater needs and want to stay at home longer and fend for themselves, so more medical aids will be required at home. The medical aid centre are continuing to expand the use by ordering another locker with slightly larger doors to handle somewhat larger parcels – e.g. incontinence protection.

Likewise, another set-up with parcel lockers has been ordered to be placed at the hospital for further pick-up options. It has not yet been decided what exactly the lockers will deliver but there are many potential applications. For example, both lung and diabetes clinics could hand out products with accessories. And moving forward, there seems to be both the need and desire from other parts of the region – hubs and larger communities – to use parcel lockers too.

‘I have talked about parcel lockers when meeting other medical aid centres and can imagine municipal activities where lockers can be used. I don’t really see any limitations.’ said Åsa.

When asked how Åsa experienced the collaboration with StrongPoint, she answers: ‘I think it has worked extremely well. Thomas (StrongPoint sales rep) and I have had a very good dialogue. And the technical personnel that were here for the installation were great too. I think it has worked perfectly.’ concludes Åsa Trolle.