Today, the majority of healthcare trading partners identify each other’s organizations (providers, suppliers, distributors) and functional locations (billing and shipping) in many different ways to meet their own individual needs. Not knowing with whom and where you are transacting business increases costs all around—from the labor required to resolve discrepancies, especially around contract pricing, to missed early-pay discounts and increased days sales outstanding (DSO). The issue is particularly challenging for healthcare providers who have to manage different supplier-assigned account numbers for the same locations within their organizations. Lack of clarity about organizations can also jeopardize patient care when products are unavailable when clinicians need them
To help clear up the confusion, the healthcare industry is increasingly turning to global data standards so that every party within the supply chain identifies the same organizations and locations in the same way. A healthcare provider can assign unique identifiers to each of its bill-to and ship-to locations so that suppliers can use those numbers in place of proprietary account numbers. On the flip side, a healthcare supplier can assign unique identifiers to its own organization so that its provider customers can transmit purchase orders and other transactions to the correct groups and divisions. By uniquely identifying themselves, each other and the locations used in business transactions, healthcare providers and suppliers can cut costs, reduce waste and enhance clinical care.