For answers and progress in the healthcare group purchasing industry, look to HIGPA

From non-profit and for-profit corporations, to purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and healthcare provider alliances, there is one trade association that represents all such branches of the healthcare group purchasing industry; the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA). As a broad-based trade association, at any given time HIGPA has a diverse set of goals in place that are tailored to provide and support its members with the greatest in dialogue, cooperation and educational resources. Maintaining a full suite of options for its varied member base is an impressive feat, carried out using a range of different committees to meet each individual organization’s bespoke needs, underpinned by values of leadership and exemplified by the awards that HIGPA has achieved and its vision for the industry’s future.

Clear and committed to future progress

According to HIGPA, its group vision for the trade associations of the healthcare industry tomorrow is made up of ideals:

– To enjoy in future an open forum capable of furthering exchange and promotion of best practices, specifically in the non-labor cost side of health care. This sort of forum would also allow for greater exploration of the complex issues in and related to healthcare cost control.
– For cost-efficient, high-quality healthcare to be more widely available.
An environment where innovative approaches can be followed through and expanded upon and standards of practice and excellence are further upheld in the healthcare products market.
– Where free market dynamics for healthcare products are also further upheld.
– A climate where proprietary interests of competitors in the industry do not stand in the way of beneficial and legal cooperation between such peer organizations.
– A time where HIGPA is an acknowledged national leader when it comes to representing and spearheading initiative or comment for the industry of health care purchasing.
– A future where HIGPA is a leader in providing educational and networking opportunities to its members.
– If recent news releases are any indication, this ideal future for the wider industry, and HIGPA within, is well on the way to becoming a reality. In early December, 2010, HIGPA announced that it was, ‘to move forward with the adoption of Global Location Numbers (GLNs) that will identify the exact location of every healthcare provider in the United States,’ and two months ahead of schedule to do so.
– ‘A GLN is a unique location identifier defined as a “GS1 standards-based, globally unique, 13-digit number used to identify locations and supply chain partners, and can be used to identify:
– a functional entity (hospital laboratory, pharmacy or accounting department)
– “a physical entity (warehouse or hospital wing or nursing station), or
– “a legal entity (health system corporation),’ the association’s press release states.

According to Curtis Rooney, President of HIGPA, this represents “a quiet change that will have an enormous impact,” and explained that the adoption of GLNs by GPOs (Group Purchasing Organizations) means that the products needed can reach the locations in requirement more efficiently and surely. This latest news also opens the door for further adoption of such systems throughout all healthcare supply chain entities— a key aspect of HIGPA’s industry goals towards furthering cooperation, dialogue, and its own of leading progress.

How it works: Committees and factions

Reports of HIGPA’s role in developing industry standards and assisting in the application of streamlining processes through use of technology stem from more than one decision or one team: they are an achievement for every member of the association, and testament to how the HIGPA operates throughout the various industry fields and goals it has in place. Committees established include: the Committee for Healthcare eStandards (CHeS), Government Relations, Pharmacy Committee, Diversity and Innovation Task Force, Expo Steering Committee and the Pharmacy Forum Steering Committee. These groups are aimed at providing members with the opportunity to volunteer and participate on matters of government concern, diversity and innovation, industry events and many other outlets for business development, unification and progress. It is through these groups that the HIGPA’s main services are delivered efficiently and effectively, and also through the association’s various activities, ranging from education and presenting at conferences and events.

HIGPA’s presence and promise

Each year, HIGPA stages its International Expo— held in Orlando in 2010—which is a direct example of the steps the association takes towards forging a forum for realizing its future goals. Since 1990, the association has delivered educational input, build a presence and supported its members throughout the world. From February 9 to 11, HIGPA will be present at the 2011 National Pharmacy Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. Its presence at events worldwide is an opportunity for all. For members, HIGPA is a chance to take part in a trade association capable of bringing about real change and representing the views of many. For those looking to learn from outside of its ranks, the association’s delivery of vital information and relaying of inner industry concerns is invaluable. It’s clear and committed goals, committees, member services and other drivers are ever-well presented, topical and wide-ranging. For a vehicle capable of bringing on real progress for the healthcare group purchasing industry, look no further; HIGPA has all of the answers, support and services you are looking for.