Get ready for global location numbers

| June 2, 2010

According to a recent Dark Daily story, hospitals, clinical labs and pathology groups will soon adopt location numbers and advise that pathologists and clinical laboratory managers take time to learn about GS1 Global Location Numbers

The GLN system was created by GS1, an international non-profit organization that works to standardize supply chain systems. Remember the familiar UPCs? Universal Product Code (UPC) bar codes were a product of GS1, as were other supply chain innovations.

The goal is to provide a uniform, global system that healthcare suppliers and healthcare purchasers can use to identify physical locations where goods are delivered or where bills and invoices are received. These numbers can help track medical supplies and devices through the supply chain, even to the patient bedside if needed. Another benefit is that GLNs will be used to ensure that invoices and payments go to the correct location.

This actually sounds like a good idea.  Anyone who has spent anytime in a hospital knows that often the signage is extremely poor and can be misguiding.  Good luck finding loading docks or the appropriate office for shipping or accounts receivable.  Ditto for mail rooms.  Somehow the gift shop and cashier one can always find.

For hospital based physicians such as pathologists and radiologists, the office address may be a floor designation or building number with little reference to a specific suite number or appropriate directory infomation. 

Managers of clinical and pathology laboratories that receive supplies directly from vendors should take steps now to be sure that their facilities are in compliance with the new system. For stand-alone laboratories, the first step is to contact GS1 USA for a prefix and information on how to use the system. For medical laboratories that are part of larger legal entity, such as a hospital, health system or corporation, now would be a good time to discuss with administration whether your laboratory needs a unique identifier.

Category: Pathology News

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