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GHX Working with Hospitals and Suppliers to Enable Use of Industry Standard Location and Organization Identifiers in Transactions and Compliance with GLN Sunrise Date

LOUISVILLE, Colo., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- GHX is working with its member hospitals and suppliers to enable the healthcare industry to utilize the GS1 industry standard for organization and location identification, the Global Location Number (GLN), in transactions through the GHX exchange, which is a key component to meeting the published sunrise date for use of the standard. With guidance from members of the GHX industry standards user group, GHX has successfully tested the use of the GLNs in actual order-to-cash related transactions and produced a guide to show hospitals and suppliers how to include the GLN in EDI transactions sent through the exchange. GHX is also developing new service offerings that will help hospitals and suppliers begin to replace the proprietary account numbers used to conduct business with trading partners with GLNs.

In the United States, GHX currently enables hospitals representing more than 80 percent of the licensed beds to conduct business electronically with the suppliers from which they purchase the majority of their products. Given the large percentage of healthcare trading partners using GHX to conduct business, many of its participating members have called on GHX to assist them in the use of standards, and in particular to help them meet the December 2010 sunrise date when major group purchasing organizations and healthcare systems say they will require use of GLNs as opposed to custom account numbers in supply chain transactions.

To meet member needs in this area, GHX has:

  • Formed a GHX Industry Standards User Group, which is currently comprised of more than 100 healthcare supply chain representatives interested in leveraging their common use of GHX and accelerating the use of industry standards, including GLNs
  • Participated in pilots and enabled use of GLNS in transactions sent through the exchange between a set of early adopters, including:
    • Mayo Clinic
    • BJC HealthCare
    • Owens & Minor, Inc.
    • BD
    • Resource Optimization and Innovation, subsidiary of the Sisters of Mercy
    • The Ohio State University Medical Center
    • WellSpan Health
    • VHA Inc.
  • Made significant changes to the way information is mapped between trading partners on the exchange to enable use of GLNs without disrupting current service levels
  • Issued new specifications for EDI transactions through the exchange to incorporate GLNs
  • Published the Using GLNs With GHX supplemental guide, designed to complement the GS1 Healthcare Provider Toolkit. GHX members can request a copy of the guide through their account executive, by contacting Support at or 1-800-YOUR GHX, or by logging in to the Customer Center at

GHX will continue to update the Using GLNs With GHX guide and related educational materials as the industry increases adoption of GLNs and measure utilization in transactions sent through the exchange as part of the GHXcellence program.(1)

By the end of the year, GHX will offer its membership the ability to contract for GLN-enablement services that will be customized to a member's specific business needs and implementation timeframes.

"By working with GHX and leveraging the technology platform that connects us, hospitals and their vendors can collaborate to accelerate standards adoption and create a more efficient and effective healthcare supply chain," says Nancy LeMaster, vice president, Supply Chain Operations, at BJC HealthCare, one of the largest integrated delivery networks (IDNs) in the United States.

"At BJC, we currently have to manage up to 460,000 different account numbers for our 100 ship-to locations. Having each of our trading partners use the same number to identify each of those locations would greatly simplify data management, as well as minimize product delivery and invoice errors." Eligibility for contract pricing is determined in part by where products are shipped.

LeMaster says use of GLNs can also assist in product recalls and product utilization reporting. "Industry standards can improve both patient safety and business performance," she added.

A GLN is a unique 13-digit number specific to only one very precise location within the world. It can be used to identify a functional entity, such as a hospital pharmacy or accounting department; a physical entity, such as a warehouse or hospital wing or even a nursing station; or a legal entity such as a health system corporation. When trading partners all identify the same organization or location the same way, they can streamline business processes, e.g., chargeback and rebates, reduce discrepancies and rework, facilitate correct contract pricing, and enhance management of highly dynamic data.

"GHX has become the primary method by which providers and suppliers transact supply chain business electronically in North America," says Patrick McCarthy, vice president, GHX Exchange Services. "By bringing hospitals and suppliers together to determine best practices around standards use and provide services to support their efforts, GHX is playing an active role in supporting the growing movement toward standards adoption and use, and more importantly the realization of the value they offer to the industry."

About GHX

As the business hub for healthcare, GHX (Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC) enables healthcare providers and suppliers in North America and Europe to reduce costs and improve margins by automating processes, reducing operating expenses and increasing knowledge-based decision making. Products and services include trading partner connectivity, order and contract management and validation, data synchronization, sales force automation and business intelligence. Equity owners of GHX are Abbott Exchange, Inc.; AmerisourceBergen Corp.; Baxter Healthcare Corp.; B. Braun Medical Inc.; BD; Boston Scientific Corp.; Cardinal Health, Inc.; Covidien; C.R. Bard, Inc.; Fisher Scientific International, Inc.; GE Healthcare; HCA; Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.; McKesson Corp.; Medtronic USA, Inc.; Owens & Minor; Premier, Inc.; Siemens; University HealthSystem Consortium; and VHA Inc. For more information, visit

(1) GHXcellence is a cooperative effort between healthcare providers, suppliers and GHX to establish, benchmark and report on use of best practices in conducting business via the GHX exchange.

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