Mary Ann Michalski is a National Account Manager with an organization called Surgical Care Affiliates in Birmingham, Alabama. In July, an insightful article she wrote appeared in Materials Management in Healthcare. Entitled, ‘Why standards should be everyone’s priority,’ it is, in our opinion, one of the strongest cases we’ve read by anyone in support of GS1 standards throughout the healthcare supply chain. Ms. Michalski actually gets down to some very important specifics. For example, she writes:
How many times have you updated, fixed or changed the item master? Data standards would eliminate the need for these changes. There are some who say that 25 percent of their time is spent cleaning and correcting data. Maintaining and updating the facilities price book or catalog is a full-time job for many facilities. These inefficiencies can cost the health care supply chain millions of dollars that could be used for patient care and safety initiatives.
Standards advocates, us included, tend to talk a lot in the abstract. That’s important, but in the end, it is how a standard, at the detailed day-to-day level, makes life better, easier, safer, faster, or less expensive for the people being asked to work to the standard.