A Roadmap for UDI Adoption

July 8, 2020

3 minute read

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.

But new tools are making it possible to adopt UDI without waiting for a full ERP or supply chain transformation.

For example, new data matching tools powered by technologies like machine learning enable hospitals to match their item masters to UDI information in days and at low cost. Efficient matching opens the door to the drastic operational and patient safety improvements that were envisioned by the FDA’s UDI regulation, like scanning at point of use, perpetual inventory and patient recall notification.

Consider the following roadmap for adopting UDI in a health system:

1. Include UDI in item master.

  • Benefits: Understand items easily through required GUDID fields like UNSPSC, GMDN, HCPCS, manufacturer descriptions and allergy information. Simplify standardization and finding substitutes are easier.
  • 2. Align ERP and EHR.
  • Benefits: Pull key data fields like UDI and HCPCS from the ERP into the EHR based on the UDI.
  • 3. Scan items at point of use.
  • Benefits: Track items quickly and accurately. Understand inventory burn.
  • 4. Cleanse purchase orders and contract master with UDI information.
  • Benefits: Understand areas of overspend, missed reimbursement opportunities.
  • 5. Scan items at receipt.
  • Benefits: Move toward perpetual inventory.
  • 6. Utilize additional UDI data fields, like storage and handling information, UOM and manufacturer details.
  • Benefits: Operational improvements and special projects with additional data fields.
  • The roadmap does not need to be followed in the order above. Once items are matched to UDIs, the remaining steps can be pursued in whichever order suits the needs of the health system. For example, maybe there is a need to begin scanning items immediately, or there is an outstanding special project that requires UDI information, like UOM optimization.

    Health systems must personalize the roadmap to meet their specific needs. Whatever route they choose, taking the first step of matching item master data with UDI information is simpler than ever.

    If you have feedback or would like to discuss a roadmap for adopting UDI in your health system, please reach out.