Dr. Joseph Drozda, Mercy’s director of outcomes research, is once again in the national spotlight for his work on Unique Device Identification (UDI) systems – a cost-cutting and time-saving tracking initiative for implanted medical devices.
In the article “Medical Device ID Effort Hits Snag,” The Wall Street Journal reports on behind-the-scenes conflicts that have delayed the FDA-approved method to pinpoint device malfunctions. Dr. Drozda, who has overseen Mercy’s launch of a pilot program using scannable bar codes to track cardiac stents, is noted as being a strong proponent of the effort.
With a UDI label, important information is readily available, such as product name, expiration date, reference and lot numbers, manufacturer information, bar code, details and an illustration of the item. Ultimately, a UDI helps improve patient safety, identify product problems more quickly and better target recalls.
Dr. Drozda, who has served on the Accredited Standards Committee X12, is also the chair of the Healthcare Transformation Group’s (HTG) Research and Development (R&D) Team – a group of physicians and clinical researchers from Geisinger, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and Mercy who joined forces to develop a global tracking system for implanted medical devices.
Earlier this year, Dr. Drozda’s case study at Mercy was featured in The Brookings Institution’s UDI Implementation Roadmap. And in 2014, Mercy was among six health care organizations to receive an Intelligent Hospital Award during the Healthcare and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. The award reflected Mercy’s work with Harvard University on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration grant on UDIs.
“With 8,000 new medical devices flooding the market each year, it’s critical that we find ways to track them so we can ensure better patient safety,” said Dr. Drozda.