Implementing GLNs and GTINs in Order-to-Cash Transactions (GS1 Healthcare US)
When identification standards are not widely used across an industry, trading partners often use nonstandard and proprietary identifiers. This practice can result in multiple identifiers for the same product (e.g., buyer’s part number; supplier’s catalog number; vendor’s item number; etc.) or party/location (e.g., DUNS Number; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number; buyer account number; etc.).
Although this was the historical approach in U.S. healthcare, regulatory and industry efforts leveraging GS1 Standards provide the opportunity for U.S. healthcare organizations to streamline and standardize product identification with the GS1 Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) and party/location identification with the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN). GTIN and GLN provide a single, globally-unique, standards-based identifier that all trading partners can use to identify a product or party/location in all supply chain transactions and communications. Trading partners use these standards-based identifiers instead of proprietary identifiers to help improve efficiency and drive process improvement efforts. One of those efforts is the use of GTIN and GLN in electronic data interchange (EDI). Using GTINs and GLNs in EDI business messaging instead of proprietary identifiers can help improve transaction accuracy and efficiency, and more fully support traceability from the manufacturer to the patient / end user.
GS1 Healthcare US® is an industry group that focuses on driving the adoption and implementation of GS1 Standards in the healthcare industry in the United States to improve patient safety and supply chain efficiency. GS1 Healthcare US brings together members from all segments of the healthcare industry to address the supply chain issues that most impact healthcare in the United States. As with all GS1 Standards and solutions, this guidance is voluntary, not mandatory.
EDI transaction standards support numerous types of identifiers for products and parties/locations, including both GS1 identifiers (i.e., GTIN; GLN) and Non-GS1 identifiers (e.g., Buyer Item Number; Vendor Catalog Number; DUNS; etc.). However, the use of multiple and/or non-standard identifiers can undermine the accuracy of business transactions and the effectiveness of supply chain management efforts. Using GS1 standards-based identifiers (i.e., GTIN and GLN) in their EDI transactions instead of proprietary identifiers streamlines and aligns product and party/location identification, helping to reduce complexity and improve accuracy.
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