Halthcare EDI

Delivering world-class patient safety and efficiency in healthcare at St James’s Hospital (Part 1)

* The case study by GS1

In 2013 St James’s Hospital, Dublin (SJH) embarked on a proof-of-concept (POC) project in conjunction with a number of suppliers. The objective of the POC was to fully standardise and automate the ordering process between the hospital and the supplier. The process replaces paper-based systems and provides direct links between the hospital’s financial and clinical systems.

The globally unique GS1 identifiers for products and locations are at the heart of this solution, enabling automation and traceability. In September 2014, St James’s Hospital went live with their first supplier, Cruinn Diagnostics. SJH is currently working with further suppliers to join the programme, which is based on the full adoption of GS1 standards.

St James’s Hospital has a long history of using GS1 standards for identification to enhance patient safety, traceability and accuracy across the healthcare pathway. The success of both the Haemophilia solution to track products from supplier to patient and the HSE national surgical instrument track and trace programme for instrument trays and endoscopes are globally recognised. Both solutions use barcode scanning to remove paper and automate the processes.

  • 1995 – Master Data Management and structured coding
  • 2003/4 – Haemophilia Track and Trace project commenced GS1 Datamatrix SAP Installed (EPR & GUI)
  • 2008 – Wireless Kanban for ward stock management
  • 2011 – First hospital to pilot the HSE funded surgical instrument track and trace programme using GS1 standards
  • 2011 – eProcurement project (standardised coding, and data and messaging) GTIN GLN GS1 XML 3.0
  • 2014 – First Supplier to GoLive Cruinn-Communications and meetings with Top 50 Suppliers
  • Future – Working towards implementation of eProcurement with all Suppliers. Target to be first hospital fully compliant to GS1 Standards Full Traceability to ElectronicHealth Record.

The Vision

The 2012 McKinsey1 report recognises the need for healthcare to align to one global standard in order to achieve the benefits that retail and other sectors have already realised. This approach, also evidence based by the report, is the means to achieving the ultimate best practice that all hospitals aspire to – the ability to electronically and consistently record activity at the point of patient care and to have an audit trail for the purposes of efficient recall and reporting.

The Solution

St. James’s Hospital, together with its suppliers Cruinn Diagnostics, Fannin/DCC Vital and Johnson and Johnson, implemented the eprocurement solution starting with the standardisation of product coding by linking existing codes to GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs). Supplier data is mapped to an agreed minimum dataset eg: brand name, description, unit of trade etc. This data is then uploaded by the supplier to the National Product Catalogue (NPC) and is available for SJH to review and import. The second stage of the process is to exchange four electronic procurement messages based upon Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Ensuring operational efficiency and patient safety through adoption of GS1 standards:

Unique Identifier: The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for standardised identification of products
Product Data: The Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) for standardised sharing of Master Data via the National Product Catalogue (NPC)
Unique Location: The Global Location Number (GLN) for standardised identification of locations
Standardised Messaging: The GS1 XML messages for standardised exchange of business transactions messages (Purchase Order, Advance Shipping Notice, Receiving Advice and Invoice)

👉 The project realization steps will be discussed in the next blog post.

To learn more about EDI in Healthcare and become a CEDIAP® (Certified EDI Academy Professional), please visit our course schedule page.

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