13 October 2003

HIBCC AU's hospital member, the Alfred Hospital recently went "live" with a barcode scanning application that integrates the care giving environment with the supply chain. The application provided by hTrak Pty Ltd and implemented by The Alfred captures product information for high value medical devices (including prostheses) from the manufacturer's standard barcode at the point of use, ie during the time of the actual procedure. The information is captured using mobile computing technology and transmitted electronically to suppliers via a secure web server on a daily basis, reporting the usage of medical devices, and indicating the items needing replenishment by the hospital. This process occurs under contractual agreements put in place by the hospital Supply Department.

Johnson & Johnson Medical is the first Supplier to integrate the hTrak application with their own ERP system using the J&J virtual integration engine. Joe Vurchio, J&J Medical Asia Pacific Regional Supply Chain Director said: "This is the first time to my knowledge that the supply chain for medical devices within hospitals is tracked directly to the usage of supplies within a procedure environment". J&J Medical received their first electronic usage and replenishment reports from the Alfred on Friday, the 7th of November, and have since been receiving regular electronic orders from the Alfred. "This marks a significant event for point of use barcode scanning applications. For the first time, we have visibility of the supply chain right down to the point of consumption. An enabler of this capability is the use of the HIBC barcode standard, and the UPN Repository which played a key role in the success of this project", said Joe Vurchio.

Karen Hall, Business Manager at the Alfred said, "Prior to the implementation of hTrak and the J&J Virtual Integration, the supply chain processes were taking weeks from usage to delivery. This is a huge improvement in the supply chain cycle time for The Alfred and our suppliers. The nursing staff that were involved in the paper-based procurement and management of stock levels for these critical items can now focus this time on patient care".

Kirk Kikirekov, President of HIBCC AU, said: "HIBCC AU has been working closely with J&J and the Alfred on this project, by providing standards advice, and working on ensuring that the UPN Repository is accurate and up-to-date to ensure that such transactions are made possible. We are delighted with the progress being made by our members in utilising the HIBCC standards in a way that will deliver practical business benefits to both hospitals and suppliers. We look forward to continuing our work with all our members in helping them to realise their goals with the HIBCC standards".

Established in 1984 by leading healthcare associations, HIBCC is the primary standard-setting and educational organisation for barcoding and e-commerce initiatives in the world of healthcare. HIBCC's mission is to improve the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the healthcare industry by fostering and promoting automated business communications. The HIBCC mission is extended globally via a network of HIBCC offices located throughout the world. The HIBC Standards are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

HIBCC AU is the Australian Affiliate of the Health Industry Business Communications Council, and was established in March 2002 to address the growing health industry awareness for the need to become more efficient through supply chain reforms. More than 1,500 medical device suppliers use the HIBCC standards globally. Members of HIBCC AU include Advanced Medical Optics, Cook Australia, DePuy, Johnson & Johnson Medical, Smith & Nephew Surgical, Stryker, Zimmer and Welch Allyn. Health Provider members include the Alfred Hospital.

For Further information about this press release and HIBCC AU, please contact:

Kirk Kikirekov
President, HIBCC AU
Tel: 02 9258 7225