Providing UDI data to Hospitals & GPOs Part 2
A Medical Device Supplier’s Perspective on the Journey (Part 2)
Shortly after the FDA published the deadline for submitting UDI product information for Class II devices, I received an email from one of our sales representatives asking for help in submitting UDI data to one of our clients, a healthcare network consisting of several hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and a university health center.
He asked me to help him figure out how we could transfer the data from UDI to the individual facilities within the network as well as to the in-house health system itself. The problem was that he, like most people in the industry at the time, knew nothing about UDI.
In the early stages of our conversation, I asked what they would do with this data. His answer was very revealing. They wanted to enter the data into their purchasing systems. This way, their buyers could have all the information available at the time of creating their purchase orders. The health system also shared that they would give preference in their purchasing decisions to those manufacturers who would provide them with product data – more on this later.
We discussed many aspects of what I could offer and what the schedule was; however, most importantly, we also talked about the “how”. The last thing I wanted to do was provide spreadsheets that had to be updated every time data changed or a new product was introduced. Fortunately, the health system had already subscribed to a data pool to help synchronize product master data. As it turned out, we were the first company to provide a comprehensive data set with all data fields necessary for all stakeholders. Other companies only provided the GTIN and product number or other minimalist data to say they were ready.
As a result, we were the first company to provide a comprehensive data set, with all the data fields they wanted. Other companies provided simply the GTIN and product number, or some other minimalistic data to say they were done. Because of the efforts, the Health System was delighted with our help and our sales increased. This was the first in what was to become a long string of other hospitals who wanted the data. What was initially viewed as a “cost of doing business” quickly turned into a competitive advantage.
“Because of the efforts, the Health System was delighted with our help and our sales increased. This was the first in what was to become a long string of other hospitals who wanted the data. What was initially viewed as a “cost of doing business” quickly turned into a competitive advantage“
Providing UDI data to Hospitals & GPOs Part 3
As a company, we didn’t do business with Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). Our strategy was to have a direct relationship with the customer. However, with UDI data, that changed.
Providing UDI data to Hospitals & GPOs Part 1
As with most medical device companies, our journey into the world of UDI began with the introduction of new FDA requirements to publish product data with a unique number assigned to the product, such as a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), in the FDA database.