For the past eight years the federal government has been working to create a unique medical device identification (UDI) number that would identify a medical device's manufacturer, the device's make and model, its expiration date and other information for the purposes of improving or ensuring patient safety and product improvement. While progress has been made in establishing a UDI tracking system, we have still not implemented the use of UDIs in medical claims forms and in electronic health records (EHRs). A UDI is particularly important since it would allow health care providers, researchers and others to track particularly implantable medical devices. For example, annually over one million Americans receive an artificial hip or knee. These devices can and do fail and can cause serious cognitive and neurological impairment, bone deterioration and in severe cases, amputation.
During this 19 minute conversation Mr. Ben Moscovitch discusses the development of a UDI over the past eight years, current efforts to include a UDI data field on the medical claims form and in EHRs, why UDI adoption has not, or still not, been achieved and chances it will be achieved.
As Officer of The Pew Charitable Trust's medical devices project, Ben Moscovitch works on federal initiatives to enhance the data available on product performance to support medical device innovation and quality improvement. Prior to joining Pew, Mr. Moscovitch worked on public policy communications at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and was previously a journalist covering medical product regulation and legislation. Mr. Moscovitch received his Master of Arts degreee from Tel Aviv University and his Bachelor's from Georgetown University.
For more on Pew's work regarding medical devices see: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/search#q=medical%20devices.