Global data standards, along with health are reform, top the list of critical issues as the health care industry convenes to address the challenges of declining revenue and increasing costs. At the 2011 GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit, health care providers and suppliers will relate lessons learned through current, real-world experiences as they've implemented key data standards.

The business driver for data standards initiatives is to allow all trading partners to consistently and correctly identify locations and products in business transactions. This ability, largely enabled by standards, immediately increases ordering and fulfillment accuracy and reduces unnecessary costs in rework and reshipments. "Ultimately, improved data accuracy can enhance patient safety by tracking products throughout their journey to the patient bedside," said Bruce Johnson, president and CEO of GHX.

"Unique device identification through global data standards is an enabler of quality, safety, and efficiency," said Natalia Wilson, M.D., MPH, co-director Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium, Arizona State University. "As initiatives of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act roll out, this becomes increasingly important. Expanded insurance coverage means more patients accessing care and more products to track and document. Proposed cost-containment and quality initiatives will require supply chain efficiency and transparency for success."

Wilson, one of the presenters at the GHX Summit, continued, "Unique device identification is also an important global standard for inputting device information in clinical registries. This would facilitate registry data being linked internationally, enhancing comparative effectiveness and providing earlier warning about devices that fail or negatively impact patient long-term quality of life."

Another Summit presenter, Thomas M. Stenger, Jr., manager of MMIS & Analysis, BJC HealthCare, sees standards as an important vehicle to improve positive patient outcomes. "In health care, we deal with advanced technologies for treating patients but with regard to our supply chain, we have not achieved what grocery stores can do to track products. By improving the accuracy of our supply chain data through global data standards, we can ensure the right products are being purchased at the right prices, track utilization to reduce waste and ultimately tie the products back to the patients to measure efficacy and improve outcomes."

Corwin Hee, director, e-Commerce, Covidien, explains the importance of standards for both his organization and the health care supply chain: "Covidien understands global data standards are an essential element in supply chain efficiency. This key infrastructure has been proven through years of experience in other industries. The implementation of these standards in the healthcare environment may also provide important opportunities to improve patient safety and reduce costs."

During the global data standards sessions at the Summit, industry leaders will examine clinical and regulatory drivers behind standards adoption and address how teams spearheading standards initiatives can secure clinical and executive support. They will share best practices on standards adoption, technology and business processes, as well as how organizations can derive greater business value from standards through enterprise-wide integration.

The following sessions are scheduled:
  • Standards: A Strategy, Not a Project – How organizations are working to achieve measureable improvements in operational efficiencies, visibility to purchasing and utilization, and most importantly, patient safety and quality of care by incorporating global data standards into their overall approach to master data management. Presented by Dr. Dietmar Hein, head of Global eCommerce, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, and Chris Slater, head of Supplies, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust.
  • The Clinical Value of Global Standards – A tutorial on the clinical relevance of global data standards to help garner physician support for standards within organizations, including the role that standards play in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Unique Device Identifier initiative. Presented by Natalia Wilson, M.D., co-director, Arizona State University Health Sector Research Consortium.
  • Standards Implementation: Who's on First? – A panel discussion on best practices in enabling technology, aligning business processes and data with trading partners and communicating the short- and long-term benefits of global data standards to senior management. Presented by Annie Choquette, associate director, Financial Information Systems, Boston Medical Center; Corwin Hee, director, e-Commerce, Covidien; Thomas M. Stenger, Jr., manager of MMIS & Analysis, BJC HealthCare; and Mike Wallace, director, Global Serialization, Abbott Laboratories.
To view the complete agenda for the Summit, to be held April 18-20 in Dallas, or to register,