Provider alliance and group purchasing organization VHA Inc. and a dozen of its health delivery system members, are urging the Obama Administration to mandate the GS1 standards for electronic supply chain transactions. The group also calls for using stimulus funds to promote standards adoption.

The standards are from GS1, a Brussels, Belgium-based global supply chain standards development organization. Its American branch is GS1 Healthcare US in Lawrenceville, N.J.

"Our position is that the adoption of GS1 standards should be an important target in the government's quest to drive health care efficiency; therefore, we believe it is worthy of financial support from the existing unspent stimulus money that has been designated for IT investment in health care," says Mike Duke, senior director of supply change networks at Irving, Texas-based VHA.

Member organizations joining VHA in the call for mandated use of the standards are Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Baptist Memorial Health Care, BJC HealthCare, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Mayo Clinic, MedStar Health, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Novant Health, Providence Health and Services, Sentara Healthcare, Spectrum Health and Yale New Haven Health Services Corp.

More information on the standards is available at gs1us.org/healthcare.

--Joseph Goedert

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