Standards for healthcare supply chain get closer

By the end of September, it looks like the healthcare industry may have finally made progress toward establishing supply chain standards. Please note the qualifiers--we're talking about "starting down a path to finally putting standards in place" for defining healthcare supply chain standards, rather than simply asserting we're about to nail them down. But progress is progress nonetheless. And any progress could make a big difference financially. Right now, observers estimate current inefficiencies add $16 billion to supply chain costs.

An industry/government group known as the Healthcare Supply Chain Standards Coalition (HSCSC) has published a survey to gather input on key organizational identifiers of supply chain information. The HSCSC plans to create a draft industry standard for such identifiers by next month. Hopefully, this will be the first step toward a full suite of supply chain standards, all the way down to the level of individual products. Such standards would clearly have an impact on the healthcare industry on the whole (for providers, I'm thinking med supply management would be a hot area), so I'm eager to see whether the HSCSC pulls this off.

To find out more about the coalition's progress:
- read this GovernmentHealthIT piece

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