VQI partners with Symmetric Health Solutions to improve device identification accuracy

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The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) has announced a partnership with Symmetric Health Solutions aimed at elevating the consistency and integrity of medical device data utilized by vascular health professionals.

The link-up with the healthcare supply chain data software company, will enable SVS VQI to eliminate inaccuracies and variances in medical device reporting, which carry clinical consequences, the VQI said in a press release. It will also strengthen SVS VQI’s commitment to interoperability, by ensuring data is clean and consistent across all health system IT interfaces, the release added.

Physicians who use VQI registries will benefit from the availability of accurate, reliable, and consistent device information. Currently, 850-plus healthcare organizations subscribe to VQI registries, and count on Unique Device Identifier (UDI) and associated data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public portal—Access Global Unique Device Identification Database (AccessGUDID)—for making real-time decisions about vascular medical procedures, including complex surgeries.

Symmetric Health Solutions’ technology leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to surmount the data challenges that AccessGUDID users face. These include, but are not limited to:

  • No UDI on the device label
  • Different UDI-DIs for the same product
  • Difficulty matching a captured UDI-DI with the UDI-DI record in AccessGUDID
  • UDI-DI not found in AccessGUDID or missing catalog information
  • Variances in AccessGUDID data from missing information, poor formatting, etc.
  • Company name issues resulting from mergers and acquisitions
  • Inability to use GMDN terms as a way of grouping similar devices resulting from manufacturers incorrect assignments
  • Lack of automated feedback loops with FDA or manufacturer to resolve data quality issues

“The supply chain is the source of truth, and our job is to ensure the data we are getting from AccessGUDID is as clean and accurate as possible,” says Jim Wadzinski, executive director of SVS Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO). “Previously, healthcare organizations experienced multiple problems with the FDA’s database in terms of entering information or being unsure of which data to use. This would lead to data discrepancies, which potentially would alter the scope of care. To support what the FDA is trying to do with promoting interoperability, we need the data to be completely accurate and consistent. Symmetric’s software can augment UDI data so we can use the solution across our registries.”

While UDI and AccessGUDID are foundational to the FDA’s interoperability goals, Fivos and SVS VQI customers will benefit from Symmetric’s machine learning, natural language processing, and optical character recognition technology that improves the completeness and accuracy of existing AccessGUDID data and offers data on products that are not available in AccessGUDID.

This is particularly important, considering that medical device manufacturer mergers have created new challenges with device identification.

“When a manufacturer is acquired, AccessGUDID still lists its devices under the previous manufacturer rather than the new parent company, making it difficult to identify the device being used,” said Carrie Bosela, senior director of SVS PSO. “Symmetric’s technology will resolve the merger-acquisition issue for the end user making it easier for them to find their device.”

Rich Kucera, co-founder and CEO of Symmetric Health Solutions, added, “ Our partnership with SVS VQI and other registries is an important step toward realizing AccessGUDID’s goal of providing hospitals and industry with high quality, accessible medical device data to improve operations, patient safety, and interoperability.”

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