Med Supply Firms Cite Early Benefits of GDSN Utility

Medical device supply chain parties testing day-to-day business use of GS1’s Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) have reported on lessons learned and results achieved.

In the GS1 Healthcare US GDSN “Early Adoption Group” (EAG) exercise, 14 healthcare companies used the GDSN to exchange standardized product data in a real-world environment. The full report can be found at

“The lessons learned by the early adopters prove that GDSN can function in healthcare and improve existing processes,” says EAG member Dennis Black, director of eBusiness at BD.

“To succeed with implementation, the heathcare community needs to embrace agreed-upon data attributes and begin using them in internal systems” transacting with Global Location Numbers (GLNs) and Global Trade Items Numbers (GTINs), Black said.

Participating manufacturers, wholesalers, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), and healthcare providers transacted business using the GDSN 1SYNC Data Pool. The GDSN synchronizes exchanged standardized product data, maintaining the same information among all supply partners at the same time.

“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 attributes, direct form the source, are synchronized with ours,” Zimmerman adds.

EAG participants included healthcare provider Premier Health Partners, the Premier, Amerinet, and Novation GPOs, Cardinal Health on the wholesaler side, and, among manufacturers, Baxter International, Church & Dwight, and Georgia Pacific.

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