The Healthcare Hub

The Importance of GS1 Standards to Clinicians

Friday, January 4, 2019

Standardization is critical to the successful transition to value-based healthcare. Karen Conway, vice president, Healthcare Value for GHX recently reported on the value of GS1 standards for clinicians following the 34th Global Healthcare Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. New to the conference this year were sessions on the role of standards in improving value-based healthcare. Susan Moffat-Bruce, MD, a thoracic surgeon and executive director of The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center explained that doctors want to improve patient outcomes, but many are not aware of GS1 standards and the value they can provide.

Because variation in how care is delivered can increase medical errors, standardization can improve outcomes. This can include standardizing on specific products, as long as there are pathways to vary if the needs of specific patients dictate. 

Better data to identify which devices, instruments and pharmaceuticals are used in patient care can help clinicians understand where variation exists, how it contributes to both the quality and cost of care, and redesign how care is delivered based on what works best for which patients. Use of GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) is a critical enabler to accurately identify products. As the stewards of product data, supply chain professionals can play an important role in providing this information to those responsible for care redesign. 

The OSU Wexner Medical Center has begun the transition to value-based healthcare with investments in delivery infrastructure that support standardization. Dr. Moffatt-Bruce pointed out that it takes time to achieve these goals and that the return on investment is not immediate. Some of the strategic objectives for clinical transformation for Wexner Medical Center include:

  • Measure quality outcomes, patient satisfaction and efficiency
  • Prepare for new payment models and consumer-driven market
  • Integrate care delivery across separate facilities
  • Build an enabling information technology platform

Dr. Susan Moffat-Bruce will present at the upcoming 2019 GHX Summit. Register now to reserve your place and to hear this insightful presentation.

Read the entire article in the December edition of Healthcare Purchasing News.