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GHX to Become GDSN-certified Data Pool to Accelerate Use of GS1 Standards in Healthcare
Date:9/11/2008

Established hospital-supplier connectivity and experience in healthcare data integrity and synchronization will help enable the use of standards

quickly and cost effectively

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- GHX, LLC has announced plans to become part of GS1's Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) as a GDSN-certified data pool for the healthcare industry. GHX's existing infrastructure connecting hospitals and suppliers, along with its experience and expertise in data integrity and synchronization, will enable healthcare organizations to more readily utilize GS1 standards and realize their benefits quickly and cost effectively.

Awareness of the importance of standards in the healthcare industry has grown significantly in recent years. As a result, many of the healthcare organizations working with GHX have recognized the value of GHX becoming a GDSN-certified data pool and leveraging the existing GHX infrastructure. "Use of GS1 standards can clearly benefit healthcare, but we need to be able to adopt standards without significant implementation costs," says Bill Francis, vice president of GPO Operations, Healthtrust Purchasing Group. "By building upon the existing GHX network and strong industry participation, GHX can help minimize many of those costs and maximize the value of the investments its owners and members have already made in e-business and data integrity."

Once GHX is certified as a data pool, manufacturers can utilize their existing connectivity to GHX to provide product data, including GS1's unique product identifier -- the Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) -- to the GDSN in a manner compliant with global standards. Similarly, providers connected to GHX will be able to more easily access data from the GDSN, rather than having to establish new, separate connections. Healthcare suppliers and providers not integrated to GHX will have the option to participate in the GHX data pool as a standalone service.

"GS1 Healthcare welcomes GHX's participation as a data pool for the healthcare industry and looks forward to its certification in 2009. By working together, with our expertise as an international standards body and global network, and GHX as a trusted partner in the global healthcare supply chain, we can deliver on the promise of standards to healthcare faster and more efficiently," said Michel van der Heijden, president, New Sectors & Healthcare, GS1 Global Office.

Globally, GHX is connected to over 5,000 hospitals in North America and nine European countries. This includes hospitals representing more than 80 percent of the licensed beds in the US and the suppliers that sell more than 85 percent of the products purchased regularly by hospitals. On a global basis, participating hospitals and suppliers recognize the importance of standards for both clinical and business reasons and the role GHX can perform in accelerating their use.

"Product identification coding that is digitally stored and synchronized from the manufacturer right through to the patient allows the supply chain to benefit from absolute data accuracy," says Steve Capel, Covidien's director of eBusiness for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "GHX as a GDSN-certified data pool will ensure that hospital procurement and eHealth systems can use the identification data to streamline the purchasing process. This, in turn, allows the product to be uniquely identified at the point of use. It also creates a positive impact on supply chain efficiency and patient safety."

GHX will build out its current infrastructure to meet specific GS1 GDSN requirements, with certification as a data pool expected in 2009. "As GHX becomes GS1-certified, it will deliver greater efficiencies to the healthcare supply chain, adding more electronic interoperability, streamlining trading partner processes, and improving patient safety," said Charlie Colpo, executive vice president, Administration, Owens & Minor. "As a major distributor of medical supplies for the U.S. market, Owens & Minor depends on having accurate product data. GHX will further enhance the quality and accuracy of our data through the implementation of standards."

"The healthcare industry has recognized that adopting GS1 standards for product and organizational identification and synchronizing data through the GDSN can address many of the most challenging problems facing the healthcare supply chain," says GHX Chief Executive Officer Bruce Johnson. "GHX is pleased to help accelerate GS1 standards adoption by not only becoming a data pool, but also through our membership and participation in global and local GS1 working groups."

About GHX

As the business hub for healthcare, GHX 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.; Becton, Dickinson & Co.; 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 http://www.ghx.com


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