Trade groups in a letter to HHS' health information technology chief are advocating for the need to integrate global standards and electronic health records into the healthcare supply chain.
In a letter to David Blumenthal, M.D., the national coordinator for health IT, the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, or HIGPA, and the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management, or AHRMM, sought clarification on the Office of the National Coordinator's role in supporting two specific global data standards: GS1 Global Location Number and the Global Trade Identification Number.
HIGPA has partnered with AHRMM and GS1 Healthcare US, a not-for-profit organization that develops supply-chain tracking systems, to encourage the adoption of these standards, which will ensure that medical products, services and locations all have unique identifiers, the letter stated.
“The resulting supply chain improvement will translate into the delivery of improved clinical services, creating a tracking system for healthcare products and devices that will be traceable from ‘product to patient,' ” the letter continued.
The Food and Drug Administration is currently in the process of developing regulations that will create standards for medical device identifiers. Keeping that in mind, it's of great importance that these standards be supported by EHRs, the groups wrote.
“We are interested to learn how your office may support these standards and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your staff,” the letter concluded.