A new study of the Australian healthcare industry has revealed the impact that inaccurate and inconsistent data can have on patient safety.
The Australian Healthcare Industry Data Crunch Report (PDF 872 KB) is based on research by RMIT University, the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) and GS1 Australia.
The report outlines areas where adoption of the GS1 System of global standards and the National Product Catalogue (NPC) could significantly improve data quality, leading to savings of between $30 million and $100 million a year.
Mark Brommeyer, Supply Chain Manager, NEHTA, said: "With more than 300,000 records currently on the NPC and growing at a steady rate, industry clearly understands the benefit of accurate data across the healthcare supply chain."
The study was commissioned by the healthcare industry with the support of the NEHTA Supply Chain Reform Group to focus attention on the need for continuous data quality improvement in healthcare.
Key findings show that inaccurate data is leading to unnecessary spending in areas such as procurement, external logistics and the reimbursement of prostheses.
Professor Caroline Chan, Head of the Business IT and Logistics at RMIT, said: "Anecdotally, we already knew that inconsistent data has detrimental effects on the global healthcare supply chain.
"The key findings from this study have confirmed the need for good quality, accurate data within Australia."
The Australian healthcare sector is a $120 billion industry with a growing population that needs efficient healthcare supply chain practices.
"Accurate healthcare supply chain data is essential for delivering the right product to the right patient at the right time," Professor Chan said.
Susi Tegen, Chief Executive, MTAA, explained that follow-up action must be taken in order for the Australian healthcare industry to benefit from the findings of the report.
"We encourage all suppliers and buyers to adopt the NPC," she said.
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