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How to Start a Medical-Courier Business

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Medical couriers transport medical products and specimens for hospitals, labs, doctors' and dentists' offices, pharmaceutical companies and other medical facilities. They must follow correct standards issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for the safe collection, labeling, handling and transport of medical specimens. They must also observe patient privacy regulations as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Starting a medical-courier business requires planning, training and attention to detail.

Developing a medical courier business

Research the local medical market and OSHA standards for transporting medical specimens.

Develop an exposure-control plan. This is the written plan that outlines how you plan to limit or eliminate employees' direct exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

Hire drivers and dispatchers. Drivers and dispatchers with a medical background are better because they will already know the terminology and the challenges of handling and transporting medical specimens.

Train the drivers and provide them with the required access to hepatitis-B vaccines. OSHA requires yearly training of all employees handling medical specimens. OSHA standard 1910.1030(g)(2) outlines the elements of the training required.

Market services to medical facilities. Your marketing plan should emphasize your equipment, your employees' training and your exposure-control plan.


Stay up to date with OSHA and HIPAA regulations. Check your state requirements for any additional laws or standards regulating handling of medical specimens. Make sure appropriate warning labels are used on all transport equipment.


Failure to follow instructions such as "STAT" delivery from the medical provider could result in a patient's relapse or death. Failure to follow "specimen integrity" can also pose problems for a doctor or patient. Maintain temperature settings as required by the originating provider.

About the Author

Jody Becker has been an award-winning journalist since 1988. Her work has appeared in "Asphalt Contractor," "Soil & Groundwater Cleanup," "The Informational Management Journal," "Courier Magazine," "Applicator," "Scaffold Industry" and the "Professional Window Cleaner." She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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