HISCI, HSCA Report on University of Arkansas Survey Examining Coding Adoption

The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA) and the Healthcare Industry Supply Chain Institute (HISCI) have released the results of an independent survey regarding industry adoption and integration of identification technologies used to track items in the healthcare supply chain. These include unique product identification and location codes such as Global Trade Item Numbers [GTINS] and Global Location Numbers [GLNs]. The University of Arkansas Center for Innovation in Healthcare Logistics (CIHL) conducted the survey, which reached healthcare providers, group purchasing organizations, device manufacturers, and wholesaler/distributors.

The survey found that 71% of respondents are moving towards the adoption of a data standards system in the next five years, showing that awareness of the standards and their benefits improved slightly from 2010, HSCA and HISCI reported in a press release.

“The 2011 data showed that the health care system continues to make steady progress towards the adoption of a data standards system in the next five years, with improving efficiency as the key driver for implementation,” said Edward Pohl, Ph.D., the lead researcher on the study, in the press release. “As expected, GLNs had a higher rate of adoption than GTINs, with the sunrise date for GLNs passing last year.”

According to the survey, 66% of group purchasing organizations are using GLNs in some or all appropriate transactions compared to 39% in 2010, and 22% of providers are using GLNs compared to 10% in 2010. Just 31% of respondents indicated that their organization is committed to meeting the sunrise date of December 31, 2012, for adopting GTINs, and 81% are not currently using GTINs in their organizational transactions currently.

In addition to general standards adoption rates, this year’s survey also examined some of the barriers that are impacting the implementation of GLNs and GTINs. These included "a lack of movement towards adoption of a data standards system and a lack of perceived value for their organization."

“HSCA and the group purchasing industry are committed to helping healthcare providers adopt global standards, which are critical for ensuring patient safety, the effective recall of defective medical devices, and to reducing overall healthcare costs,” said HSCA president, Curtis Rooney, in the press release.

The Healthcare Supply Chain Association, formerly the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, is a broad-based trade association that represents 16 group purchasing organizations, including for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and healthcare provider alliances. For more information, visit www.supplychainassociation.org.

The Healthcare Industry Supply Chain Institute (HISCI) is a collaborative association that represents the entire healthcare supply chain, including suppliers/manufacturers, providers and group purchasing organizations. For more information, visit www.hisci-net.org.


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