How the FDA's UDI is likely to affect fixed asset tracking at healthcare facilities
October 21, 2011
In a recent webinar, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and an industry expert discussed the expected effect of the FDA's Unique Device Identification initiative on hospitals' inventory tracking
The UDI aims to assign a unique identifier to the country's medical devices, similar to bar code labels
The webinar, sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, was organized ahead of the FDA's release of draft regulation for the UDI, which is expected this fall. Following a comment period, the rule will go into effect, requiring fixed assets
within the healthcare system to be tagged with UDI labels in order to track them throughout their lifecycle.
Concerns have been raised about the effect UDI will have on hospitals' existing asset tracking
systems - specifically, whether clinical engineering departments will be forced to give up their current methods.
"I don't see this necessarily taking the place of the fixed asset
tag," said Tom Werthwine, a Johnson & Johnson global supply-chain executive who co-presented the webinar, "but there's a lot of value in using the manufacturer's UDI number because it will be unique and it will give that traceability back to the manufacturer."
Many healthcare facilities currently use products such as Sage FAS Fixed Asset Inventory
Software to keep tabs on their fixed asset holdings.