GDSN in Healthcare: Experiences of Early Adopters in the United States
Lawrenceville, N.J. (Vocus) March 25, 2010
A new industry report summarizing the experiences of 14 healthcare early adopters in synchronizing product data with one another through the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network® (GDSN®) has been released, it was announced today by GS1 Healthcare US.
The organizations, representing all segments of the healthcare supply chain, participated in the GS1 Healthcare US™ GDSN “Early Adoption Group” (EAG), placing them among the first in healthcare to exchange standardized product data using the GDSN in a real-world environment. The goal behind the EAG effort is industry-wide adoption and exchange of standardized product data to improve existing processes, reduce costs, and ultimately improve patient safety. The EAG project included the following participants:
- Healthcare providers: Premier Health Partners (PHP), Dayton, Ohio; Sisters of Mercy/ROi; and University Community Health, Tampa, Fla.
- Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs): Amerinet; Novation LLC; and Premier, Inc.
- Manufacturers: Baxter International Inc.; BD; Church & Dwight; Georgia Pacific; Kimberly-Clark Corp.; and Sage Products Inc.
- Distributor: Cardinal Health
- Solution Provider: DataPros for Healthcare
The group put the GDSN to work using the 1SYNC Data Pool in day-to-day business practices, seeking to accelerate the knowledge needed for successful use of data synchronization across the healthcare supply chain. The newly published report, “GDSN in Healthcare: Experiences of Early Adopters in the United States,” outlines the EAG’s objectives, critical success factors, recommended adoption plan, key performance indicators (KPIs), and lessons learned. The full report can be found at http://www.gs1us.org/healthcare.
“The lessons learned by the early adopters prove that GDSN can function in healthcare and improve existing processes,” said EAG member Dennis Black, director of eBusiness at BD, a leading global medical technology company. “To succeed with implementation, the healthcare community needs to embrace agreed-upon data attributes and begin using them in internal systems. Most important, the healthcare supply chain needs to begin transacting with GLNs and GTINs.”
The Global Location Number (GLN) for standardized location identification and the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) for product identification are two key identification standards toward which many in the industry are now moving.
Standardized product identification has long been a goal of the healthcare industry, but maintaining the same information among all supply partners at the same time has been a challenge. The GDSN is showing it can play an important role in helping the industry achieve this.
“We often receive incorrect or incomplete product data information from unreliable sources. Human error is another source of inaccuracy,” says EAG participant Alex Zimmerman, Director of Supply Chain Information, Sisters of Mercy ROi. “Problems like these affect our operations in a multitude of ways, ranging from invoice discrepancies and delivery delays to shipments of incorrect product. With GDSN, we found a system capable of eliminating these errors by ensuring that supplier data attributes, direct from the source, are synchronized with ours.”
The EAG focused on accelerating the healthcare industry’s adoption of the GDSN to ensure that all supply chain partners are using identical, up-to-date, reliable product data. Its main goal was to begin using GDSN in a live production environment to advance the knowledge needed to support the successful use of the GDSN across U.S. healthcare.
The EAG set out to accomplish four main objectives:
- Establish a set of GDSN (product) attributes for healthcare in the U.S.;
- Exchange data via the GDSN;
- Develop a set of meaningful metrics to measure success of the GDSN as full implementation and integration with back-end systems progresses; and
- Articulate recommendations and insights to promote industry adoption of the GDSN and publish findings.
From their experience with GDSN implementation, EAG members reaffirmed anticipated benefits, including:
o Improved data quality for both internal and external processes
o Faster loading of new items into customer ordering systems
o Elimination of manual touch points for item set up and maintenance
o Fewer customer inquiries on new or existing products
o Faster and more accurate maintenance of customer contracts
o Streamlined processing of rebates
o Faster and more accurate new item add and product data maintenance processes
o Standardized format for product data received from manufacturers
o Streamlined process for obtaining product data
o Improved rebate processing
o Reduced time and manual effort to add and maintain products in the item master
o Reliable, accurate and up-to-date product information
o Elimination of unit of measure errors
“The GDSN has been used effectively for years in other industries. It’s exciting to see healthcare begin to take advantage of this tool now as well,” said Douglas Goldman, director, Healthcare, GS1 Healthcare US. “There is a learning curve in any industry, so being able to communicate lessons learned by early adopters and sharing a recommended approach to using the GDSN based on actual production experience is essential to adoption. The work done by the Early Adoption Group represents an important step toward expanding the GDSN knowledge base in healthcare and broader adoption by the industry.”
About GS1 Healthcare US
GS1 Healthcare US is an industry group that focuses on driving the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards in the healthcare industry in the United States to improve patient safety and supply chain efficiency. GS1 Healthcare US brings together members from all segments of the healthcare industry to address the supply chain issues that most impact healthcare in the United States. Facilitated by GS1 US, GS1 Healthcare US is one of 24 local GS1 Healthcare user groups around the world that supports the adoption and implementation of global standards developed by GS1.
About GS1 US™
GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through GS1 US solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, barcodes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®). http://www.GS1US.org