NPC passes quarter of a million milestone

More than 250,000 medicines, medical devices and consumables have been allocated unique identifiers and loaded onto NEHTA's National Product Catalogue (NPC), the organisation says.

The NPC has been developed by NEHTA and hosted on GS1 Australia's GS1net data repository with the aim of providing standardised product and price data electronically to state health departments and private hospital providers.

All state and territory health departments are aligning their purchasing and tendering processes for healthcare products with the NPC. The ACT already achieved full NPC data integration for its master product catalogue and the other states are in various stages of aligning with the solution.

Earlier this year, Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV) released the first version of its Victorian Product Catalogue System (VPCS), which facilitates the automated receipt of supplier data loaded to the NPC. The VPCS will be progressively rolled out to all Victorian public hospitals and health services starting in 2013.

St Vincent's Healthcare Australia and Ramsay Healthcare are also adopting the NPC, and NEHTA is currently working with the New Zealand government to develop a trans-Tasman catalogue to support more seamless trade for suppliers that operate in both countries.

Each item is allocated one of GS1's Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), which now total 276,121 from more than 390 suppliers, NEHTA's supply chain manager, Mark Brommeyer, said in a statement.

In addition to standardised product identification, the NPC also allows for standardised location identification, meaning products can be delivered to the correct operating theatre or pharmacy. When it is fully rolled out, hospitals will no longer have to maintain multiple product data catalogues.

NEHTA has also developed an eProcurement solution using GS1's global eMessaging standard GS1 XML to provide best practice specifications for the exchange of electronic messages between the buyer and the supplier of goods. The eProcurement solution is being rolled out with the NPC.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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