GS1 Hospital Location Number Use Gains Momentum

 Two months into the U.S. healthcare industry’s “GLN Sunrise,” 566 healthcare organizations, representing all facets of the healthcare supply chain, report they are amending their business processes and technologies to meet the sunrise requirements.
The GLN Sunrise ushers in the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN) as the one unique
number to identify account and product delivery locations for participating U.S.
healthcare providers, manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations, and
software companies. For two years these entities have been transforming their
business processes and technologies to integrate GLNs.
In another measure of success, the GLN Registry for Healthcare, a centralized
database created by and for the healthcare industry, now contains nearly 300,000
registered GLNs. Registry users increased more than 250 percent from 2009 to 2010.
“The U.S. healthcare industry is embarking on an era of transformation that will result in
a more efficient, cost-effective, and safer supply chain – with all entities using globally
recognized and consistent data standards to ensure accurate supply chain information,
beginning with location identification,” said Ed Miles, vice president, GS1 Healthcare
He said he expects continued growth in organizations reporting GLN readiness.
Mayo Clinic, a leading early adopter of GS1 standards, recently surpassed its own GLN
Sunrise goals. The institution is now successfully processing $250 million in purchases
annually via purchase orders using the GLN.
“Using the GLN to uniquely identify locations, we are eliminating the use of proprietary
location numbers for tracking product movement. We no longer have to keep track of
hundreds of custom account numbers created by suppliers for all of our locations,” said
Joe Dudas, director, accounting and supply chain informatics, Mayo Clinic.
“We will pursue any opportunity to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, because
doing so allows us to improve medical practice, and reinvest in research and
education,” Dudas said. “Surprisingly, implementing the GLN was not a complicated
process, and is something all hospitals should start to do right away.”
Mayo Clinic is the nation’s largest not-for-profit integrated group practice, and has
created a process to incorporate the GLN that is being replicated with each of its nearly
10,000 suppliers and numerous delivery locations across the country. The institution
considers GS1 standards as part of its overarching data-management strategy – a
foundational component to its supply-chain management.
“Keeping data clean, setting up standards for contracting and sourcing, and regularly
synchronizing with suppliers helps us maintain price accuracy, streamline its electronic
communications and eliminate costs,” said James Francis, division chair and assistant
treasurer of supply chain management, Mayo Clinic. “For us, the benefits of
implementing standards are safety, efficiency and transparency. These benefits hit both
components – quality and cost – of our value equation.”
As it completes its GLN implementation, Mayo is working aggressively with its major
distributors and suppliers to incorporate the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) as the
unique product identifier for its master item lists, to meet the industry 2012 GTIN
Sunrise goals.
Mayo Clinic and other major league healthcare providers, including Geisinger Health
System, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and Sisters of Mercy/ROi, have
also banded together in a collaborative effort – called the Healthcare Transformation
Group – to accelerate GS1 standards implementation. The collaboration is working
together to implement actionable practices to increase standards adoption.
“Healthcare is prioritizing the way it identifies locations, and has been rallying around
the GLN,” GS1 Healthcare US’ Miles said. “As more and more healthcare organizations
share their GLN implementation experiences and lessons learned, they are accelerating
industry-wide adoption. The spirit of collaboration around GS1 standards is a large part
of why GLN implementation has been so successful.”
2010 GLN Sunrise calls for the voluntary adoption of GS1 GLNs in lieu of custom account/location numbers to standardize location identification by Dec. 31, 2010
 2012 GTIN Sunrise calls for the voluntary adoption of GS1 GTINs in lieu of custom product numbers to standardize product identification by Dec. 31, 2012.
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