Hos­pi­tals count­ing down to start of global lo­ca­tion-num­ber use

There’s still time to pre­pare hos­pi­tals for Global Lo­ca­tion Num­ber Sun­rise

Modern Healthcare - - News - Deborah Templeton

With 10, nine, eight … months left in 2010, U.S. hos­pi­tals are count­ing down to the adop­tion of elec­tronic data stan­dards that will im­prove the in­dus­try’s abil­ity to get the right med­i­cal prod­uct to the right pa­tient at the right time. Billed as the GS1 Global Lo­ca­tion Num­ber Sun­rise—Dec. 31, 2010— the in­dus­try is reach­ing the first mile­stone in a larger ef­fort that will in­au­gu­rate con­sis­tent, global stan­dards to re­duce costs, im­prove op­er­a­tions and bet­ter serve pa­tients.

For gen­er­a­tions, providers and sup­pli­ers, and every­one in be­tween, have used thou­sands of dif­fer­ent num­bers to track sup­plies. Health­care trad­ing part­ners don’t elec­tron­i­cally “talk” to each other in the same lan­guage, cre­at­ing prob­lems, in­clud­ing prod­ucts arriving at the wrong lo­ca­tion, re­bates be­ing pro­cessed in­cor­rectly and count­less hours spent tracking down where a prod­uct is and who has “touched” it. This lack of con­sis­tent cus­tomer iden­ti­fiers (aka ac­count num­bers and “ship tos”) adds costs to an al­ready bur­dened health­care sys­tem, with ob­vi­ous neg­a­tive ef­fects on the qual­ity of care.

Rec­og­niz­ing the need for a con­sis­tent num­ber­ing sys­tem that clearly iden­ti­fies crit­i­cal link­ages in the sup­ply chain, Geisinger Health Sys­tem, Danville, Pa., par­tic­i­pated in the Premier health­care al­liance’s GLN trans­ac­tion pro­gram. Geisinger is now suc­cess­fully trans­act­ing or­ders us­ing GLN as a re­sult. GLN is a glob­ally rec­og­nized iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber used to iden­tify le­gal or­ga­ni­za­tions, trad­ing part­ners and cus­tomer lo­ca­tions in elec­tronic com­merce ac­tiv­i­ties. Us­ing the GLN to “name” de­liv­ery lo­ca­tions means all of my sup­pli­ers have the same ac­count num­ber for my hospi­tal, en­sur­ing that not only will the right prod­ucts get sent to and ar­rive at the right place, but also in­voic­ing and re­bates will be more ac­cu­rate as well.

We process more than 15 pur­chase or­ders a day with our main ven­dor, rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of prod­ucts. With GLN as a “com­mu­ni­ca­tion en­abler,” to­gether we are reap­ing ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing stream­lined com­mu­ni­ca­tions, more re­li­able prod­uct ship­ments and cleaner busi­ness doc­u­ments. Through the pro­gram, we de­vel­oped our GLN adop­tion ap­proach, which we can now lever­age with other sup­pli­ers.

While chang­ing any busi­ness process can be daunt­ing, the GLN trans­ac­tion pro­gram showed that im­ple­ment­ing GLN is com­pletely

For gen­er­a­tions, providers and sup­pli­ers have used thou­sands of dif­fer­ent num­bers to track sup­plies.

doable within a rea­son­able time­frame. We started in Au­gust 2009, and by Oc­to­ber had de­vel­oped the process to use the GLN in ev­ery sin­gle or­der. While there can be chal­lenges, GLN im­ple­men­ta­tion is not rocket sci­ence—it only takes a com­mit­ment to a bet­ter way of do­ing things, open com­mu­ni­ca­tions and sup­port of your trad­ing part­ners.

To pre­pare for GLN Sun­rise, providers should take im­me­di­ate steps:

Work with your group pur­chas­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion to cleanse your list­ings in the GLN Reg­istry for Health­care, a di­rec­tory of U.S. health­care fa­cil­i­ties with cor­re­spond­ing GLNs (gs1.org/health­care). The ma­jor GPOs have reg­is­tered for GLNs on be­half of mem­bers, yet no one knows your hospi­tal bet­ter than you. Geisinger cur­rently has 625 GLNs at the “ship to” level—the point at which the sup­plier leaves their ship­ment, and we dis­trib­ute the prod­ucts within our own walls. As we get fur­ther along, we may as­sign GLNs to nurses’ sta­tions, bins and other in­ter­nal de­liv­ery points for our own con­trol pur­poses.

Take main­te­nance con­trol of reg­istry in­for­ma­tion. As hos­pi­tals open and close, and new af­fil­i­a­tions are added, GLNs must be up­dated. As­sign some­one re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing your reg­istry in­for­ma­tion, since it serves as the sin­gle source of truth for lo­ca­tion iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for your hospi­tal. Once you have GLNs as­signed at the high­est level, you should es­tab­lish the proper hi­er­ar­chy of lo­ca­tions in the reg­istry, in­clud­ing func­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and phys­i­cal lo­ca­tions.

Com­mu­ni­cate your GLN hi­er­ar­chy with your GPO to en­sure align­ment of in­for­ma­tion.

Se­lect sup­plier part­ners and be­gin trans­act­ing with the GLN.

Lever­age ex­ist­ing re­sources, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams from your GPO, GS1 Health­care US in­dus­try work groups, and pub­li­ca­tions.

While some hos­pi­tals may be us­ing ma­te­ri­als soft­ware that can­not cur­rently ac­com­mo­date GLN in ex­ist­ing fields, or hos­pi­tals’ have e-com­merce ex­change part­ners that have yet to de­velop map­ping strate­gies, hos­pi­tals should do what it takes to make sure they are ready for when the GLN con­ver­sions hap­pen. The GLN can be ben­e­fi­cial to a tiny 10-bed hospi­tal and the largest in­te­grated de­liv­ery net­work, to those that are fully au­to­mated and to those that are still us­ing man­ual pro­cesses. Don’t let any­thing or any­one stand in your way.

We were for­tu­nate to have a sup­plier part­ner that shares our be­lief in a bet­ter way to do busi­ness. Not ev­ery sup­plier will be as sup­port­ive—do not take no for an an­swer. Al­though change may be un­com­fort­able, it is far worse to be left be­hind while the in­dus­try moves to­ward GLN adop­tion.

Health­care has de­clared stan­dards from GS1 as its choice for de­scrib­ing ba­sic in­for­ma­tion to en­able an ef­fi­cient sup­ply chain, and has thrown down the gaunt­let with adop­tion dates of Dec. 31, 2010, for the GLN, and Dec. 31, 2012, for the Global Trade Item Num­ber. Many other suc­cess­ful, large in­dus­tries have been us­ing th­ese stan­dards for years, and as such have re­al­ized sig­nif­i­cant ef­fi­cien­cies. With th­ese data stan­dards in place, the health­care in­dus­try can fi­nally lift off into a new, im­proved and safer sup­ply chain.

Deborah Templeton is vice pres­i­dent of sup­ply­chain ser­vices for Geisinger Health Sys­tem,

Danville, Pa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.