On Monday, March 18, 2013, the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings convened a diverse group of patient groups, providers, academic researchers, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss unique device identification (UDI) as a tool for improving the flow of important device information between and among patients and providers.
At the initial UDI Implementation Work Group meeting and throughout ongoing conversations with the Work Group and other experts, stakeholders emphasized the importance of facilitating seamless communication of device safety information, easy access to important device information for patients and providers, and improved communication regarding devices between patients and providers. Although enabling each of these capabilities will likely require the adoption of UDI by an array of stakeholders (e.g., health care systems capturing UDIs in electronic health records), participants emphasized that patients and providers will likely benefit most from and, therefore, should have an important role in the development of the UDI system. However, participants also recognized that the task of realizing the vision of an effective UDI system is not trivial and will require broad stakeholder input and focus. This workshop provided an opportunity for stakeholders to consider what will likely be the most pressing challenges and workable strategies for achieving these enhanced capabilities.