Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) Forms Industry Coalition on Patient Safety

RESTON, Va., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Distribution Management Association's (HDMA) Industry Coalition on Patient Safety (ICPS) met on Dec. 17, 2002 in Dulles, Va. The ICPS, a cross-sectional representation of the entire healthcare system, was recently formed by HDMA in response to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) forthcoming regulation on bedside barcode scanning in hospitals. The short-term goal of the ICPS is to come to consensus on barcoding recommendations to present to the FDA that will noticeably improve patient safety, while causing the least amount of interference with current business processes and allowing for the future growth of healthcare industry technologies.

Ultimately, HDMA hopes to continue its work with the ICPS to focus on broader healthcare distribution issues affecting the industry. The focus of this meeting was to initiate the process of finding common ground for an FDA regulation on patient safety and, during the meeting, there were discussions on the feasibility and impact of potential solutions. The meeting was concluded with a planning session focused on future meetings and actions of the group.

Twenty-five organizations were represented at the first ICPS meeting, including branded and generic manufacturers, distributors, hospitals, GPOs, pharmacies, representative associations for various industry sectors and business communication standards organizations. Bill Hubbard, senior associate commissioner of the FDA's office of policy, planning and legislation, spoke at the meeting to highlight the FDA's position on this issue and to communicate the status of the pending regulation.

"HDMA believes that by forming the ICPS, we are creating a valuable opportunity for the healthcare industry and government to collaborate," said Ronald Streck, HDMA's president and CEO. "Because the ICPS has representation of every member of the supply chain, we believe that it will take a lead in fostering change in the healthcare industry that will streamline costs and provide better overall healthcare for patients."

HDMA will draft recommendations to be reviewed and edited by the ICPS. Once finalized, the recommendations will be submitted to the FDA for review during the agency's open comment period.

For more information on HDMA's Industry Coalition on Patient Safety, visit .

The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) is a leader in stimulating innovations that enhance the distributors' role in health care. Formerly the National Wholesale Druggists' Association (NWDA), HDMA secures safe and effective distribution of healthcare products, creates and exchanges industry knowledge affecting distribution management, and improves standards and business processes that influence healthcare commerce.

Source: Healthcare Distribution Management Association