New Technology Helping Prosthesis Supply Chain Management

To address issues relating to inconsistency in identification, data exchange and eProcurement messaging, a pilot project was established at three Victorian hospitals in conjunction with the Agency to develop standardisation around the messaging protocols and data held in the RFID tags.

To address issues relating to inconsistency in identification, data exchange and eProcurement messaging, a pilot project was established at three Victorian hospitals in conjunction with the Agency to develop standardisation around the messaging protocols and data held in the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.

Leveraging the current eProcurement solution, the Agency developed a national protocol Message Implementation Guideline (MIG) for electronic messages when using automatic identification (RFID or barcodes) at the point of care in the operating theatre. By placing RFID tags onto prostheses packaged in sets and scanning of loan kits via an RFID tunnel reader, individual identification and reconciliation of what is dispatched, received, used and returned occurs in minutes, thereby replacing the traditional manual paper-based processes.

As a pre-requisite to ensure a seamless electronic solution, both the pilot hospitals and the major prosthesis suppliers committed to utilising the National Product Catalogue (NPC) as the master data set for individual identification of prosthesis products.