A new survey shows that the health care industry is making significant gains toward adopting global data standards for the health care supply chain, but nearly one third of respondents have not started preparations for adopting the standards.

The survey, conducted by the University of Arkansas Center for Innovation in Healthcare Logistics, working with the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association and the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management, looked to health care providers, group purchasing organizations, device manufacturers, and wholesaler/distributors to measure the degree to which the industry was integrating global data standards into the health care supply chain.

The survey found that 68% of respondents were moving toward adoption of these standards in the next 5 years, a nearly two-fold increase from a similar survey conducted 2 years ago. Moreover, the survey found that 90% of the respondents who were moving toward adoption of data standards system are implanting GS1 Healthcare’s recommended standards, and of these organizations, 51% are planning to implement Global Location Numbers by the end of the year. GS1 Healthcare, an international association that has developed a system of standards in order to improve the efficiency of health care supply chains, has called for the adoption of Global Location Numbers by December 31, 2010. These numbers, which contain a location reference, can be used to link products to a physical location, such as a warehouse or shelf in a store, or a legal location, such as a company or customer.

“Globally recognized data standards that are created for entity locations are critical to ensuring patient safety and supply chain efficiencies, and to reducing health care costs,” said Curtis Rooney, president of the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association. “On the eve of the GS1 Global Location Number sunrise date, this survey clearly demonstrates that parties to the health care supply chain have made significant progress toward adoption readiness, but also shows that there is still work to be done.”

Source: University of Arkansas