Unique device identifiers are about to revolutionize the medical device market. But with nearly 40 years of experience in collecting information on pharmaceuticals for healthcare providers, pharmacies, and payers, First Databank (FDB) officials know that UDIs alone won’t be enough. Medtech needs to think beyond UDIs and connect them with electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare professionals to help them make better decisions to obtain the best clinical and cost outcomes.
“There has never been a comprehensive and objective source of truth of medical device information for healthcare clinical and business decision makers,” says James Lu, product marketing manager, FDB. But UDIs can be a starting point for creating this level of insight into medical devices. That is why FDB has launched FDB Prizm, a cloud-based API product that gathers essential data from multiple sources of information—from the FDA, other government repositories, medical device manufacturers, industry data pools, and device catalogues, among others. The data is then normalized and categorized to provide actionable knowledge in information systems that promotes improved clinical, operational, and financial outcomes. FDB is launching Prizm at HIMSS17.
“One of the things we’ve seen from our experience with drug knowledge is that the level of quality control with much of healthcare information is not as high as providers need,” says Lu. He explains that although UDIs are required by FDA, device manufacturers submit information that may be incomplete or inaccurate; it then needs to be collected and “cleansed” to get beyond UDIs.” Prizm, he says, helps by curating and validating all the data and then integrates within EHRs, supply chain, and billing systems to streamline a healthcare provider’s workflow.
“We are trying to help the healthcare industry manage valued-based care for medical devices through cost management, safety checks, operational efficiencies, recalls, and even outcomes research,” Lu says. He describes a situation with Massachusetts General Hospital, which was facing budget cuts but could not lose staff. The hospital formed a value analysis team to evaluate outcomes and cost by analyzing data in their various information systems and began to compare the many different ureteral stents surgeons utilized. As a result, it was able to consolidate the number of their stent vendors, which resulted in total annual savings of $200,000 while maintaining quality, safety, and outcomes. This demonstrates the actionable insights that are possible with medical device information and delivering on value-based care.
Going beyond UDIs and providing this valuable resource for healthcare management doesn’t happen overnight. Lu says FDB’s efforts will require participation and partnerships with medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, GPOs, payers, and others to ensure the data is accurate and complete. Both large and small device manufacturers may find value in participating with FDB to support their devices and maximize clinical efficiency, safety, and outcomes through their customer’s information systems.
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