Analysis

A New Guide to Help Hospitals Track Medical Devices

Premier Research Institute, a research arm of Premier Inc., released a step-by-step guide for hospitals looking to adopt the unique device identifier (UDI) system into electronic databases that purchase and track medical devices.

The UDI Implementation Guide—funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts—was developed with input from leading health care organizations already using UDI, including Geisinger Health System, Kaiser Permanente, and the Mayo Clinic.

The guide outlines strategies for incorporating UDI into materials management systems to help hospitals track purchases, reorder devices, and find recalled products. It also examines ways to integrate UDI into clinical suite software—such as the systems used in operating rooms or cardiac catheterization laboratories—and electronic health records so that physicians know what products are implanted in their patients in order to better inform clinical decisions.

Lastly, the guide provides some approaches for including UDI in billing systems and claims to better evaluate the safety and quality of medical devices—in much the same way as FDA and researchers already do for drugs and procedures. 

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