GS1 and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) recently announced the signing of a new collaborative agreement that supports interoperability in health information systems globally. This new agreement raises the performance bar to ensure the organizations’ health information standards are complementary.
GS1’s global trade item numbers (GTIN), serve as global standards for automatic product identification, used not only for patient safety, but for traceability as well. This important process is achieved through the use of barcodes.
IHTSDO’s SNOMED CT is also a global standard that ensures semantically accurate clinical terminology for consistent use across health systems and services. The interoperability of these two standards seamlessly facilitate the link between the patient’s clinical information in the patient’s record, and the correct product administered to the patient at point of care. This process, enabled by barcode scanning, greatly increases reliability. even in challenging situations.
Kate Ebrill, Head of National Service Operation & Management at National E-Health Transition Authority said, “This global initiative signifies an important milestone that supports Australia’s healthcare industry delivering a safe, interoperable system that streamlines the supply chain and creates a more efficient digital health system.”
IHTSDO CEO Don Sweete states, “We are excited about building on our previous collaborative efforts with GS1 through this new work, that’s expected to demonstrate benefits as early as next year. The new agreement focuses on concrete projects linking GTINs and SNOMED CT to further support those who deliver care to patients.”
The new global agreement, which runs until June 2017, highlights four main collaboration areas:
1. Develop guidance/principles to link SNOMED CT and GTINs for national/local level application.
2. Explore international level options, feasibility and benefits of a technical solution/model supporting local/national linkage between SNOMED CT and GTINs.
3. Conduct joint communications about IHTSDO and GS1 standards working together
4. Explore educational options across healthcare communities based on information from subject matter experts. Feedback will ideally focused on GS1 and HTSDO products, services and collaborative activities.
Miguel Lopera, GS1 CEO and President, stated “The use of GS1 global standards for product identification and data exchange is critical in addressing today’s healthcare system issues. It will help ensure patient safety by appropriately linking patient information with accurate product information in all Electronic Health Records.”