Australia Leads the Way in Health Products Management

National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) CEO, Mr Peter Fleming has recognised Australia's National Product Catalogue, for being the most comprehensive of its type in the world, during a speech at the 21st Global GS1 Healthcare Conference held in Sydney from 20-22 March.

Mr Fleming said Australia's world-leading National Product Catalogue (NPC), is one of the first in the world to focus exclusively on the needs of the healthcare industry, while meeting the needs of healthcare purchasers by allowing for provision of data about products from other sectors, and is endorsed by all state, territory and federal health departments.

“The NPC is a single repository for product data about medicines, medical equipment and consumables,” Mr Fleming said.

“The ability to store and share accurate, complete and up-to-date data on healthcare products traded between suppliers and healthcare delivery organisations is a critical, foundational component for Australia's transition to an electronic health system.

“The number of NPC users has grown by more than 30 per cent in the past nine months alone, indicating that more and more companies are realising the benefits of a single, centralised and standardised mechanism for provision of product data to their trading partners.

“Aligned with the GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) standards, the NPC uses GS1's standard identifier, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), as the globally unique product identifier for every NPC record,” Mr Fleming said.

“The NPC currently houses more than 230,000 GTINs for over 370 healthcare suppliers, and represents more than 45 per cent of the total healthcare GTINs loaded into all equivalent data pools around the world.

“In assessing the factors contributing to the high levels of implementation in Australia when compared with other countries, the key factor identified was the existence of a central body (in Australia's case, NEHTA) to work with governments and stakeholders to develop specifications,” Mr Fleming said.

“Another factor was the promotion and uptake of specifications through reference forums that include broad user representation (such as the Supply Chain Reference Group).

“In addition, our partnership with GS1 Australia, a not-for-profit industry association chartered with implementation of the GS1 standards in Australia, has been very important,” Mr Fleming said.

Mr Fleming said the Global GS1 Healthcare Conference was the ideal platform for us to share this information with suppliers and providers as they look to improve and standardise their business processes. We were honoured to be part of the event.

“GS1 holds two global healthcare conferences each year and decided to hold its March 2012 conference in Australia, due to the significant progress being made to ‘e-enable' the healthcare supply chain in Australia,” Mr Fleming said.

“This was the first time the GS1 conference has been held in Australia, and it was the most successful conference yet with 322 delegates from 33 countries (20 per cent more delegate registrations than at the previous conference).

Delegates discussed the challenges and successes in implementing GS1 standards and electronic supply chain processes in healthcare, more so than in other sectors such as retail,” Mr Fleming said.

ENDS

For more information contact Fergus Taylor on 0408 200 078.