Global Data Standards Center Stage in Healthcare Evolution

Louisville, CO — Monday, March 21, 2011

Global data standards, along with healthcare reform, top the list of critical issues as the healthcare industry convenes to address the challenges of declining revenue and increasing costs. At the 2011 GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit, healthcare providers and suppliers will relate lessons learned through current, real-world experiences as they’ve implemented key data standards.

The business driver for data standards initiatives is to allow all trading partners to consistently and correctly identify locations and products in business transactions. This ability, largely enabled by standards, immediately increases ordering and fulfillment accuracy and reduces unnecessary costs in rework and reshipments. “Ultimately, improved data accuracy can enhance patient safety by tracking products throughout their journey to the patient bedside,” said Bruce Johnson, president and CEO of GHX.

“Unique device identification through global data standards is an enabler of quality, safety and efficiency,” said Natalia Wilson, M.D., MPH, co-director Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium, Arizona State University. “As initiatives of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act roll out, this becomes increasingly important. Expanded insurance coverage means more patients accessing care and more products to track and document. Proposed cost-containment and quality initiatives will require supply chain efficiency and transparency for success.”

Wilson, one of the presenters at the GHX Summit, continued, “Unique device identification is also an important global standard for inputting device information in clinical registries. This would facilitate registry data being linked internationally, enhancing comparative effectiveness and providing earlier warning about devices that fail or negatively impact patient long-term quality of life.”

Another Summit presenter, Thomas M. Stenger, Jr., manager of MMIS & Analysis, BJC HealthCare, sees standards as an important vehicle to improve positive patient outcomes. “In healthcare, we deal with advanced technologies for treating patients but with regard to our supply chain, we have not achieved what grocery stores can do to track products. By improving the accuracy of our supply chain data through global data standards, we can ensure the right products are being purchased at the right prices, track utilization to reduce waste and ultimately tie the products back to the patients to measure efficacy and improve outcomes.”

Corwin Hee, director, e-Commerce, Covidien, explains the importance of standards for both his organization and the healthcare supply chain: “Covidien understands global data standards are an essential element in supply chain efficiency. This key infrastructure has been proven through years of experience in other industries. The implementation of these standards in the healthcare environment may also provide important opportunities to improve patient safety and reduce costs."

During the global data standards sessions at the Summit, industry leaders will examine clinical and regulatory drivers behind standards adoption and address how teams spearheading standards initiatives can secure clinical and executive support. They will share best practices on standards adoption, technology and business processes, as well as how organizations can derive greater business value from standards through enterprise-wide integration.

The following sessions are scheduled:

To view the complete agenda for the Summit, to be held April 18-20 in Dallas, or to register, visit our events page.

About GHX
Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) makes healthcare more efficient by delivering software and services that enable both healthcare providers and suppliers to increase efficiency, lower costs and deliver better patient care. With the largest footprint in healthcare supply chain management, GHX connects more than 80 percent of licensed hospital beds at U.S. hospitals, as well as providers in Canada and Europe, with the suppliers from which they purchase the majority of their medical-surgical supplies. GHX is transforming today’s linear healthcare supply chain into the industry’s only Healthcare Supply CloudSM, providing 360-degree visibility into areas affecting both clinical and financial performance. Working with GHX, organizations can improve business processes, automate supply chain systems and work together in a collaborative environment to solve the tough challenges facing healthcare today. GHX is owned by members of the healthcare industry, including Abbott Exchange, Inc.; AmerisourceBergen Corp.; Baxter Healthcare Corp.; B. Braun Medical Inc.; BD; Boston Scientific Corp.; Cardinal Health, Inc.; Covidien; C.R. Bard, Inc.; Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.; GE Healthcare; HCA; Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.; McKesson Corp.; Medtronic USA, Inc.; Owens & Minor; Premier, Inc.; Siemens; University HealthSystem Consortium; and VHA Inc. For more information, visit