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For Hospitals Only (Part 3): How Prodigo Helps Pave Procurement’s Path to Clinical Integration

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Geologists point out that 80% of the world’s commercial gold deposits were created in what they describe as an “earthquake flash.” And a recently published article in The Economist said that “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.”

If you trust those statements, then you won’t have trouble acknowledging how the internet of things (IoT) — from a data perspective — has created that earthquake flash. All types of businesses, across industries, now find themselves in the midst of a gold rush, so the pressure to discover valuable seams is driving IT investments in data collection, integration and analytics. And because healthcare is no different, its notorious lack of a data standard is especially problematic.

The hospital market in the U.S. is undergoing a significant transformation at all levels. Rapidly consolidating markets, declining revenues and a fundamentally new reimbursement paradigm that links provider payments to improved performance are the current headliners. The latter is a value-based form of reimbursement that holds healthcare providers accountable for both the cost and quality of the care they provide. It’s a data-driven payment system that will reward the best-performing providers and penalize those that don’t measure up. Almost by definition, it’s a system where data accuracy and transparency have become the essential currency for improved decision making.

Traditional silos are giving way to cross functional collaborations, as the clinically integrated supply chain compels it.

In this final installment of our three-part series on Prodigo Solutions, we not only address how the company is helping to solve healthcare’s data standards challenge, but how it has successfully positioned itself to directly support the industry’s drive to clinically integrate its supply chains.

Unique Device Identification (UDI) Adoption

The FDA requires that manufacturers and hospitals adopt/implement a unique device identification system to be used throughout distribution and use for identification and traceability of medical devices. When fully implemented, the label on most medical devices will include a unique device identifier (UDI) in both human and machine-readable form. It includes both Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), a globally unique device identifier (DI), and production identifiers (PI) such as lot number, serial number and manufacturing date.

Prodigo’s ability to drive UDI adoption is well-practiced. The company developed a practical, organic approach. As ensuring data interoperability between ERP, downstream clinical sub-systems and the procurement workflows that govern internal and external commerce is integral to the company’s implementation designs, you could say that Prodigo was forced to solve the problem.

UDI capture presents a challenge at the process level, where clinical workflows remain fluid. And it’s a problem at more technical levels, where data-quality issues persist. In healthcare, there is also a significant semantics problem.

That’s just one of the reasons why Prodigo’s big health system experience is meaningful. The company is well trained, having done so much of the heavy lifting along the way that it has managed to establish healthcare’s largest virtual marketplace.

The Prodigo Platform now provides automated data syndication with a continuously expanding superset of UDI-standardized records. With over 14.1 million healthcare purchased items under management, it is the largest point-of-service-driven data repository in healthcare.

Prodigo supports a centralized approach to UDI adoption. Its implementations deliver front-end visibility through a virtual item master that serves as a gateway for data entry and management. All necessary data are continuously syndicated with all downstream systems. The Prodigo API supports UDI [GTIN] look-ups and streams production data through a real-time, remote, permission-based data inquiry interface that can be accessed by web browsers, mobile apps, devices or client-side clinical and EHR systems. In short, Prodigo’s custom implementations not only ensure a practical, organic approach to UDI adoption, but address the full scope of interoperability challenges: data capture, data management and data sharing.

A Practical Data Management Strategy

Prodigo’s global data repository is already among the most valuable in healthcare. And the company continues to make investments that further enrich it (e.g. images, substitutions, equivalencies, system interdependency info, global identifiers, etc.). The company also has successfully added real-time sources from third parties like the FDA, having integrated product recall notifications that can be cross referenced with other sources. For example, not only are FDA notices automatically interpreted, but recalled hospital inventory can be frozen and buyers can be presented with approved/preferred alternatives.

In support of client mergers-and-acquisition activities, Prodigo has also developed forensic capabilities. For example, Prodigo clients can assess an acquisition candidate’s supply chain fit by combining and rationalizing its purchase data with its own. The process reveals redundancies and pricing disparities, opportunities for standardization and a deeper understanding of savings opportunities available from a consolidated operation. As the system is able to optimally allocate purchase volumes to the right set of contracts, the acquiring entity is able to accelerate savings capture through better tiered pricing, rebates and other volume-based incentives.

Controlling Internal Points of Sale

Controlling the point of sale is viewed as critical functionality in business. Controlling internal points of sale in healthcare (e.g. at clinical points of service) is equally critical. Actually, given alternative payment models, including value-based reimbursement, health system supply chain leaders have no choice. So they shouldn’t be thinking “check the box,” rather, they should be thinking in terms of designs that serve multiple objectives surrounding cost, quality and outcomes — all strategic.

In other words, POS systems do not just provide a requisitioning convenience to staff members who complain about current processes. In real time, these systems provide supply chain leaders the visibility they need to act, react, shape behavior and communicate preferences, all in the name of driving standards to eliminate variance.

In addition, procurement managers can look forward to better internal service fulfillment numbers (an average of 2% improvement in on-shelf availability), reductions in inventory by as much as 15%, and 10%+ greater forecasting accuracy. Naturally, sourcing effectiveness is greatly improved along with more accurate case documentation leading to an average 7.5% improvement in supplies charge capture.

Controlling the POS provides procurement staffers an effective way to become fact-based category managers. Procurement leadership is finally provided an effective way to shape the behavior of internal and external stakeholders alike, all within the constructs of a real-time, patient-centered and clinically integrated supply channel.

This article was written on behalf of Prodigo as a Spend Matters Brand Studio piece and not by the Spend Matters editorial or analyst teams.

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