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Healthcare Business Solutions
October 1st, 2015

From Dave’s Desk: The wrong reason to adopt data standards

dave reed littleThe next unique device identification (UDI) adoption date is around the corner. The FDA has decided that by October 24, 2015 all implantable, life supporting and life sustaining medical devices must have their UDI data published to the GUDID. The easiest reason to use the UDI is because you are required to. Although checking the regulatory box is important, it’s not the best reason to adopt data standards in your facility.

Having a single, unified way to talk about a product, or even buckets of products, allows more data than ever to be collected and analyzed. Being able to connect financial, patient safety, and supply chain data will teach us so much about our industry, and will illustrate the ways we can make healthcare more efficient. The benefit of that information is why we should not just adopt but fully embrace the UDI regulation.

We’ve discussed how data standards benefit patient safety, but something we haven’t touched on is how the ability to understand what you are using and consuming benefits everyone. Having this data can help “right size” the healthcare industry—meaning it can show us where we’re being wasteful, where we’re overspending, and where we can make changes without sacrificing quality of care. We can minimize waste by truly understanding our own consumption. For example, if a hospital knows exactly where a product is—whether it’s on a shelf, expired, or has been used—it can get better at ordering exactly the right amount of product to eliminate waste. And if Cook knows what products are realistically needed in hospitals, then we can manufacture exactly the right amount. This will cut down on over-ordering and wasteful production.

Tying all this data together will give you a better picture of the actual cost of products and procedures, which can help you cuts costs. When you start stringing together all of the impactful data that you collect from using data standards, it becomes clear that healthcare as a whole benefits from adopting data standards. It’s not just for the supply chain’s benefit. In the end, it’s the patients who benefits.

We’ve heard time and time again that it takes a lot of time and resources to adopt data standards. But we know that the value of doing the work will become evident to all sides who begin using that data. Don’t adopt data standards simply to fulfill the regulatory requirement. You could be missing a huge opportunity to make a real difference in your organization and in our industry.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, or if you have questions, we are here to help.

For more information on this topic, visit and let me know your thoughts on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out the past posts from my desk here.


Reed_Dave_5x7_7238David Reed is currently Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Healthcare Business Solutions for Cook Medical Incorporated. With over 30 years of life science industry expertise Dave holds an MBA from California Miramar University and serves as a member of the Indiana University Kelly School of Business Supply Chain and Global Management Academy Advisory Board.