Blog Posts

List of Medical Supplies at Risk of Shortage During COVID-19

July 13, 2020

As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, emerged as a major threat to global health, we began compiling a list of critical supplies that would face high risk of shortage. The list was generated organically as we received requests from health systems asking us to provide data on different categories of affected medical supplies. In addition to data on US medical supplies, the list also includes items approved in Canada and Italy. The original list was published in April, and we have since updated it continuously.

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A Roadmap for UDI Adoption

July 8, 2020

Barriers to providers' adopting unique device identifiers (UDIs) as a key in hospital product data are rapidly falling away. Many health systems choose to adopt UDI (GTINs are the most common type of UDI) during an ERP migration -- for example, while moving to Lawson Infor CloudSuite, Workday or Meditech Expanse. As a natural period of transition, migrations are a good time to cleanse current item master data with UDI information prior to upload into the new ERP.

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How can UDI help the COVID-19 response

July 2, 2020

COVID-19 has highlighted challenges in supply chains across the world, and none more so than in healthcare supply chains. Hospitals needed to quickly track their current inventory and react to changes in the availability of the medical supplies they purchase. But understanding hospital inventory in detail and making purchasing decisions informed by data are longstanding challenges that pre-date the pandemic. The surge in product demand for COVID-19 related supplies exacerbated these problems. Health systems that are using Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs) as part of their COVID response strategy can better understand the items they are purchasing, track them and thus react quickly to disruptions.

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What is a unique device identifier (UDI)?

June 30, 2020

Unique device identifiers (UDIs) were established by the FDA "to adequately identify medical devices sold in the United States from manufacturing through distribution to patient use.” Some hospitals might know UDIs by the organizations that issue them: GS1 (GTINs), HIBCC (UPNs), and ICCBBA (ISBT-128).

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Terrie Reed, Former Senior Advisor to FDA, Joins Symmetric

June 8, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Terrie Reed, the former Associate Director of Informatics at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be joining the Symmetric team as Director of Partner Relationships.

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A Process for Vetting New Suppliers

May 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unique procurement challenges that require vetting new suppliers fast. Hospitals are negotiating shortages in product categories ranging from PPE to ventilators and bronchoscopes. There is also competition from other hospitals, and from local, state and federal authorities trying to secure similar products.

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High-Risk Medical Devices Part III: UDI Usage in Implant Recall Events

December 27, 2019

This blog post is the third in a series where we’ll be sharing statistics around medical device recalls, adverse events, and reported product problems to explore what kinds of analysis one can do by linking different medical device data sources.

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Symmetric Health Solutions Wins SCAN Health Design Competition

October 22, 2019

BATON ROUGE -- Symmetric Health Solutions was awarded first place in the 2019 design competition held by the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health) in partnership with the Healthcare Transformation Group and sponsored by Intalere on Tuesday. The competition was dedicated to finding a “single source of truth” for product data.

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High-Risk Medical Devices Part II: Top 20 Medical Device Recalls by Type

May 1, 2019

This blog post is the second in a series where we’ll be sharing some statistics around medical device recalls, adverse events, and reported product problems to explore what kinds of analysis one can do by linking different medical device data sources.

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High-Risk Medical Devices: Top 20 Device Adverse Event Categories

April 10, 2019

This blog post is the first in a series where we’ll be sharing some statistics around medical device recalls, adverse events, and reported product problems to explore what kinds of analysis one can do by linking different medical device data sources.

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