GPOs, GLOBAL HEALTHCARE SUPPLY CHAINS MOVING CLOSER TO ADOPTION OF GLOBAL STANDARDS TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY, PATIENT SAFETY

Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2010) - The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association's (HIGPA) Committee on eHealth Standards (CHeS) today announced the results of a new independent survey of health care providers, GPOs, device manufacturers, and wholesaler/distributors on industry readiness to integrate global standards into the healthcare supply chain. The survey, conducted by the University of Arkansas Center for Innovation in Healthcare Logistics, keyed off of previous work and supported by the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), found that 68% of respondents were moving toward adoption of a global data standards system in the next five years, as opposed to only 35% who responded affirmatively to the same question in a 2008 survey.

"Globally recognized data standards that are created for entity locations are critical to ensuring patient safety and supply chain efficiencies, and to reducing healthcare costs. On the eve of the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN) sunrise date, this survey clearly demonstrates that parties to the healthcare supply chain have made significant progress toward adoption readiness, but also shows that there is still work to be done," said HIGPA President Curtis Rooney. "Because global standards are imperative for the efficient recall of defective devices and other supplies that can jeopardize patient health, GPOs aggressively worked toward adoption for healthcare provider locations months ahead of the healthcare industry's already ambitious schedule."

Key findings of the 2010 GLN adoption survey include:

  • Of those respondents moving toward adoption of a data standards system, 90% are moving toward GS1 standards;
  • Of respondents moving toward adoption of GS1, 76% plan to implement Global Location Numbers (GLNs);
  • By the end of 2010, 51% of organizations adopting a GS1 plan will implement Global Location Numbers (GLNs).

In October, group purchasing organizations announced industry readiness to adopt standards for healthcare provider locations months ahead of schedule. The 2010 survey from HIGPA, the University of Arkansas and AHRMM illustrates that other participants in the healthcare supply chain are now also moving closer to adoption.

"The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recognized the importance of adopting standards in Electronic Health Records (EHR) that result in increased patient safety and efficiencies in the healthcare system," said Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in a letter to HIGPA and AHRMM. "ONC understands that collaboration with the public and private sectors in adopting additional or new standards is essential to our process."

About HIGPA
The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) 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. HIGPA's
mission is to advocate on behalf of health care group purchasing associations, to provide educational
opportunities designed to improve efficiencies in the purchase, sale and utilization of all goods and
services within the health industry and to promote meaningful dialogue between GPOs.
www.higpa.org.

About AHRMM
The Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management is the leading national association for
executives in the healthcare resource and materials management profession. A professional membership
group of the American Hospital Association, AHRMM serves more than 4,000 active members. Founded
in 1962, AHRMM prepares its members to contribute to the field and advance the profession through
networking, education, recognition, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.ahrmm.org.

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