UDI is Here to Stay - How Will It Impact Providers?


Tue Mar 29 13:00:27 CDT 2016

Recently, the FDA released a final rule requiring most medical devices sold within the United States carry a unique device identifier (UDI barcode), to be documented and tracked for patient safety purposes. 


Each UDI contains 62 points of valuable data. How will Providers be using this information to improve patient safety and other processes? We don't really know -- because they're not required to. 


That could change in the future, as the value of UDIs to health statistics were recently touted on Capitol Hill by Greg Daniel, managing director at The Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. Part of his testimony from June 10 which details the potential benefits that might be realized as a result:


"Some of the tangible benefits that can be realized soon by incorporating UDIs into administrative transactions include:


  • Improving the understanding of utilization, performance, and safety of unique medical devices when used in practice;
  • Enabling the ability to conduct health outcomes research for medical devices on a wider and more cost-effective scale;
  • Enabling the ability of health plans to play a role in recall management;
  • Driving higher quality care by leveraging knowledge of quality and outcomes from medical devices; and
  • Better management of costs of care by increasing transparency for payers and patients in the actual devices used during procedures."


In the meantime, providers should strongly consider how UDIs can fit into their plans for leveraging data and analytics to improve care and cut costs.


This case study analysis of inventory costs helps providers further understand the benefits of UDIs to their organization, especially in the operating room. It explains the link between the use of Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and inventory reduction in the OR, and shows how a savings of over 60% can be achieved on the total cost of supplies.


If your organization is already using UDI information, or plans to, please share your story in the comments field!