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● Tactical Operations GUDID attributes mapped to a fictitious medical device label.

be used throughout the entire industry, thus showing the clinical care arena’s limitations when compared to the sup- ply chain’s countless physical and virtual positions within the market. T is sort of blanket coverage is what is needed for the instantaneous local, regional and national presence that is vital in terms of eff ectively tracking and harnessing the benefi ts of UDI. T e supply chain not only possesses the relationships required to leverage these positions, it has the historic knowledge needed to make comprehensive operating recommendations and decisions based upon the widest array of facts from the largest footprint in the industry. It is without question that the UDI/GUDID rule will

fi nd the most traction, and develop more comprehensive best practices, within the supply chain. It will help to eliminate ineffi ciencies and errors in procurement processes, establish integration between internal and external supply chains, lead to effi ciencies and error reductions at points of care, create more focused item master lists and more precise contracts, purchase orders, invoices, etc. T e industry will see greater ac- curacy in supply chain processes, reduced workarounds, cost savings, enhanced vendor relationships, improved recall times and more clean data that is necessary for future initiatives. T e necessary steps that must take place in order to ac-

tualize these objectives involve the supply chain sharing the knowledge it gains internally and externally with other areas of healthcare. More importantly, the other areas of healthcare

16 April 2014

must listen to what the supply chain has to say, and I am afraid that is not going to happen as soon as it should. As I listened to the speakers and attendees at the supply chain meetings at HIMSS14, I could not help but think of Cooper’s comments, and then about the position the supply chain could play in the upcoming UDI initiatives and how other areas of the industry would benefi t. As an observer, it confounds me that the healthcare industry has yet to “see the forest for the trees” on this issue. T e Global Forum was too little, too late for the music

industry. UDI/GUDID has not yet gained the momentum to be unwieldy in terms of capturing and analyzing the data it is set to generate. T e time is now for members of the supply chain, and those who work with the analytics it generates, to begin sharing their knowledge and relationships so that important opportunities to create new best practices and to improve patient care at a more aff ordable cost are not wasted. After observing the representatives of the supply chain at HIMSS14, I do not see them remaining quiet. T e real and troubling uncertainty I have is whether or not the rest of the industry will take the time to listen to what they have to say. T is feature calls for the healthcare industry supply chain to take the lead during the development of the UDI/GUDID initia- tives. Additional general information regarding UDI/GUDID will be posted on the HMT website within the “Online Only Features” section.


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