USAID’s GHSC-PSM program adopting GDSN data standards
Global Health Supply Chain Program–Procurement and Supply Management The United States Agency for International Development (short: USAID)’s Global Health Supply Chain Program (GHSC-PSM) is aimed at delivering safe and effective medicines in low- and middle-income countries. As such, this program is dedicated to use the latest innovations leading to more efficient and healthy supply chains. One of these innovations is the adoption of global standards, namely GS1, mainly concerning product identification and location, in order to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and improve the availability of health commodities worldwide. Tracking every health care product from fabrication to the hospital bed is what GHSC-PSM’s goal is, using GS1 as a data standard.
Global standards? GS1 and GDSN.
Since this project has been launched, it has been praised for pioneering in using commercial technology for public health purposes. Two technologies incorporated and launched by GHSC-PSM are the standardized identifications (barcodes) and the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) of GS1. By using the GS1 healthcare data model, product information will be standardized and suppliers cannot send the product information to the GDSN data pool as long as the product information is not correct.
So, what does GS1 do?
GS1 is a non-profit organization that sets and maintains the global standards for business communications such as product identification data capture and data sharing. The best known standard is of course the barcode, which can be scanned at any time and any place and each scan will provide the same result. The barcode is unique for every label. GS1 barcodes are scanned more than 6 billion times daily. GS1 allows GHSC-PSM to track every health product throughout the entire public health supply chain. This way, donors and governments can also be informed on the journey the donated health products have traveled.
How SRC-PIM can help USAID and USAID suppliers
With USAID adopting GDSN technology, medical companies are looking to jump on the bandwagon as well. That’s where SRC-PIM comes into play. Receiving and sending product data from and to the GDSN data pool isn’t as simple as it may sound. In order to send product data the right way, a Product Information Management solution is necessary. That’s why SRC-PIM functions as a single point of truth for product data as it is the only one in Europe that is fully compliant with all major data standards: GS1-Health, GS1-Food, GS1-DIY, GDSN, ETIM and PS Infoodservice. This means SRC-PIM can validate the necessary product information for every supplier, before it is sent to the data pool. First time right! This way, the product information for every health product procured by USAID, is always 100% up-to-date according to the health data standard of GS1.
Compared to other PIM (product information management) systems, SRC-PIM is active in maintaining and updating data according to GS1 standards. After all, the GS1 standards are being continuously developed and updated. As a medical company, keeping up with these updates is almost impossible and would pose a heavy burden on existing operations. Updates from GS1 are applied to the available data models within SRC-PIM, and distributed through the SaaS environment.
Pieter is Marketing Manager at SRC System Integrators since 2019 and in this role responsible for the overall marketing strategy and execution. Before SRC, Pieter has worked in similar roles in tech & IT companies such as TomTom and Comsave.