Sup­ply chain firms to dis­cuss ef­fects of UDI man­date

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Adam Ruben­fire

A fed­eral man­date to use unique de­vice iden­ti­fiers of­fers an op­por­tu­nity to re­duce the risk of pa­tients be­ing harmed by prod­ucts. It also cre­ates a global data­base where hos­pi­tals can bet­ter track the high-value items. But the UDI sys­tem, which is be­ing im­ple­mented over the next four years by the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, means a lot of changes, espe­cially for the sup­ply-chain in­dus­try.

Those chal­lenges will be a ma­jor fo­cus next week at the As­so­ci­a­tion for Health­care Re­source & Ma­te­ri­als Man­age­ment con­fer­ence in San Diego. The event at­tracts more than 1,000 at­ten­dees from hos­pi­tals, group pur­chas­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and sup­pli­ers to dis­cuss trends in sup­ply chain and in­no­va­tive best prac­tices. In at­ten­dance also are more than 200 ex­hibitors, in­clud­ing Char­lotte, N.C.-based Premier, New York-based Pfizer and Dublin-based Medtronic.

Likely to be a talk­ing point among them was last week’s news that the heads of the CMS and the FDA asked the in­sur­ance in­dus­try to in­clude UDIs on the next univer­sal health in­sur­ance claims form. The goal is to gain pop­u­la­tion-level in­sights from UDI data. One of the AHRMM talks, led by Peter Fiorentino of Beth Is­rael Dea­coness Med­i­cal Cen­ter, will fo­cus on how providers can use ma­chine-read­ing tech­nol­ogy such as ra­dio-fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, or RFID, to quickly cap­ture de­vices in their sys­tem.

The use of data, cost trans­parency, tech­nol­ogy and how health sys­tem sup­ply-chain pro­fes­sion­als are weath­er­ing ma­jor changes in the in­dus­try will all be dis­cussed at the con­fer­ence.

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