Providers are first asked to
enter supply chain process information from which the tool generates a
baseline for current process metrics. They can then use the tool to measure
the labor and other gains that can potentially be achieved through various
scenarios, such as adoption of GLNs and/or GTINs with or without barcoding.
For example, if a provider currently deploys 10 FTEs for certain supply
chain tasks without standardized data, the tool might indicate that by
implementing GLNs and GTINs it can cut the required FTEs down to seven,
enabling the provider to deploy these resources to other activities. Adding
barcode automation would lead to predictions of even greater savings.
Ronald L. Rardin
"Your instinct tells you that
it makes more sense to have standard numbers but answering ‘why,’ is not
that easy," said Dr. Rardin. "This tool gives you the ability to try out a
variety of implementation scenarios to determine which ones make the most
sense for your organization."
testing and input
In the spring of 2011, Dr.
Rardin and his team joined with the Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI)
to recruit provider organization volunteers to test the LRIM tool within
their facilities. Five sites were chosen to participate: Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; Denver Health and Hospital Authority in
Denver; Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge;
University of Southern California (USC) Health Sciences in Los Angeles; and
Longmont United in Longmont, CO. Each organization was asked to test the
same six standards adoption scenarios. Participants were also encouraged to
run their own test scenarios based on their individual standards
implementation plans and needs.
"SMI was happy to collaborate
as this project is well aligned with our mission to advance the healthcare
supply chain industry," said SMI Senior Director Dennis P. Orthman. "The
LRIM model is the first decision support tool designed to prove the value of
GS1 standards. We believe it is a big step toward developing a full ROI
analysis for standards implementation and will offer tremendous benefit to
Dennis P. Orthman
According to Adam Robinson,
clinical contract manager for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, testing
the LRIM tool at his organization not only helped CIHL refine the tool, but
also opened his eyes to previously unexplored ways of implementing standards
in the provider setting.
"We are a just in time (JIT)
distribution shop, which means you don’t just have supplies hitting the
docks. Instead, you have supplies going to units and closets that have their
own GLNs," said Robinson. "CIHL hadn’t initially taken that into
consideration so they baked that into the model for institutions that have
similar distribution models."
"From a user’s perspective,
the LRIM tool presented potential benefits of GLN and GTIN implementation
that we hadn’t thought of before, such as improved patient billables,"
continued Robinson. "The folks at CIHL did a fantastic job of drilling down
on all of the various aspects of standards implementation. It is really
At Denver Health and Hospital
Authority, the supply chain team had already done the legwork to secure
C-suite support for standards adoption and was engaged with suppliers in
transacting GLNs at the time of the LRIM tool testing. The tool enabled them
to validate the savings data they had generated around standards adoption.
"When we first broached the
idea of standards adoption, my boss had difficulty quantifying hard dollar
savings that we would gain from implementing GLNs and GTINs," said Stewart
Layhe, supply chain project manager for Denver Health. "When we ran the
various usage scenarios through the LRIM tool, we realized that our savings
estimates were not far off from what the tool generated. It would have been
great to have the tool when we first approached the finance board trying to
justify the use of GS1 standards."
The LRIM tool is free and
accessible through the CIHL website:
Providers can download the tool and a user’s guide there to help them get
Karen Conway is industry
relations director for GHX. She serves on the board of directors of AHRMM,
on the leadership council of the Arizona State University Health Sector
Supply Chain Research Consortium and as co-chair of the HIMSS Supply Chain
Special Interest Group. She is also active in the Strategic Marketplace
Initiative (SMI) and a member of the editorial board of Healthcare