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UPMC Media Relations

UPMC Adopts GS1 Data Standards to Improve Patient Safety and Efficiency

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 3, 2011 – To further improve patient safety and supply chain efficiency, UPMC is adopting the GS1 system of global supply chain standards throughout the organization and will join other health care leaders in driving adoption throughout the industry.

As an advocate of the GS1 standards, widely used in other industries to process and track supplies and to enable better coordination among partners, UPMC will incorporate the GS1 standards into its contract language, business processes and information technology infrastructure by June 30, 2012.

These efforts will position UPMC to transact Global Location Numbers (GLN) with its trading partners and to send and receive Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN).  GLN and GTIN are codes registered by the GS1 organization to specify individual products and packaging configurations and to uniquely identify health care supplier and provider locations.

GS1 standards are used in more than 140 countries and 20 industries in more than 1 billion transactions a day. GS1’s most visible standard is the UPC bar code, which appears on grocery, pharmaceutical and other consumer products. Recently, leading health care providers like UPMC and group purchasing organizations have announced their support for the standards.   

“Data standards in health care are long overdue.  It is time for the health care supply chain to reap the benefits and efficiencies that data standards have brought to other industries so that these savings can be reinvested in outstanding patient care,” said James Szilagy, chief supply chain officer at UPMC.

“Most important is the positive impact data standards can have on patient safety and regulatory compliance,” added Tami Minnier, chief quality officer. “From more effective product recalls to efficient and safe bedside administration of medications, these data standards will better position UPMC to serve our patients.”

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