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GS1 Canada and GHX Align to Make Canada's Healthcare Supply Chain More Efficient and Effective

LOUISVILLE, Colo. and TORONTO, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- GS1 Canada and GHX have agreed to form a strategic alliance to create a global standards-based product registry for healthcare products. The alliance is being established to dramatically improve the accuracy and clarity of electronic data transactions used in ordering, purchasing, shipping and receiving of healthcare and pharmaceutical products and, in turn, to achieve significant time and cost savings for Canada's healthcare system. GHX, through the utilization of the Health ConneXion(TM) data pool, a healthcare-focused data pool certified by GS1's Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), will assist GS1 Canada in its creation of the registry. The registry is designed to be the source of accurate product information for healthcare organizations across Canada.

GS1 Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization in the development of global standards for electronic business and supply chain processes. As a business hub for healthcare, GHX enables healthcare providers and suppliers to reduce costs and improve margins by automating processes, reducing operating expenses and increasing knowledge-based decision making.

"Global standards are connecting the Canadian healthcare sector from end to end. This is enabling consistent product data to move between healthcare trading partners, suppliers and providers, improving supply chain efficiency and enabling traceability, which ultimately will improve patient safety and cost efficiency," stated N. Arthur Smith, president and chief executive officer, GS1 Canada. "This partnership with GHX, a trusted global supply chain partner, is part of GS1 Canada's ongoing commitment to support the Canadian healthcare sector in providing outstanding care, while ensuring a sustainable and cost-effective system."

GS1 Canada and GHX are seeking to mitigate current healthcare supply chain challenges by creating a common Canadian healthcare product registry based on a global, open standard for product identification. Currently, many healthcare organizations use proprietary systems to name and identify products and related supply chain data. It has been demonstrated around the world that there are significant opportunities to increase efficiencies and cost savings through greater consistency and interoperability across the healthcare supply chain.

"A hospital's item master file, which stores information about frequently purchased products, is the heart and soul of its supply chain," commented David Loukras, BC Health Authority Shared Services. "If it contains errors, the entire supply chain is impacted. As every region in British Columbia transitions to one consolidated buying authority, such inconsistencies will have an even greater impact on the efficiency of our business processes. This will similarly affect other health regions in Canada shifting to shared services."

GS1 Canada's Healthcare Product Registry will contain globally standardized product descriptions that hospitals and healthcare organizations can use to continuously update their item master files, which in turn can improve the quality and precision of electronic data transactions for healthcare and pharmaceutical products. The registry also will receive data from the GDSN so that organizations with international trading partners have access to up-to-date product information from around the world. The GDSN is an Internet-based, interconnected network of interoperable data pools and the GS1 Global Registry, which enables companies around the world to exchange standardized and synchronized supply chain data with their trading partners.

"GS1 Canada is well-positioned for this task, given its expertise in global standards development and current operation of existing product registries for the pharmacy, food service and grocery sectors," says Nils Clausen, general manager, GHX Canada. "That, combined with GHX's broad collaboration with industry, which includes both the buy and sell side of the supply chain, and its expertise in data cleansing and management, will create a strong alliance that will benefit Canada's healthcare sector for years to come. We are pleased to collaborate with GS1 Canada to facilitate the healthcare system's transition to greater standardization, resulting in stronger data accuracy and value across the Canadian healthcare supply chain."

The registry is expected to launch in 2010.

About GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is a member of GS1, the world's leading supply chain standards organization. As a neutral, not-for-profit organization, GS1 Canada enables its more than 10,000 members - trading partners of all sizes from 23 sectors across Canada - to enhance their efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting electronic supply chain best practices. Learn more.

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

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