Providers unite to streamline supply chain management
Geisinger Health System, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and Sisters of Mercy Health System are collaborating to adopt GS1 supply chain standards, with specific focus on suppliers they have in common (based on purchasing volume).

Late last year, the healthcare systems formed the Healthcare Transformation Group (HTG) to share best practices and accelerate the implementation of GS1 Standards, including Global Location Numbers (GLNs), the 13-digit number used to identify any legal entity/trading partner; and Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), the GS1 system identification number that uniquely identifies trade items at all levels of packaging.

The use of GTINs will assist the accuracy of product information throughout the healthcare supply chain from manufacturer to point-of-care, the collaboration stated.

In addition to studying manufacturer adoption of GS1 Standards, the healthcare systems are also reviewing their top 20 IT suppliers, including Lawson, Epic, Omnicell and PeopleSoft, for their capabilities to support GS1 Standards.

The industry-established sunrise date for GTIN adoption is Dec. 31, 2012.