Health Industry Business Communications Council
The Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC) is the primary standard-setting and educational organization for healthcare bar coding. An industry-sponsored nonprofit council, HIBCC was established in 1983 by major health care associations to develop a standard for data transfer using uniform bar code labeling. Over time, HIBCC has expanded its focus to include additional electronic data interchange standards.
In collaboration with the healthcare industry, HIBCC administers and maintains the following standards and services:
- Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Supplier Labeling Standard
- Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Provider Application Standard
- Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Positive Identification for Patient Safety
- Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) RFID
- Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Syntax Standard
- Universal Product Number (UPN) Repository
- Health Industry Number (HIN) System
The HIBCC Board of Directors oversees HIBCC operations and sets policy. Members are appointed from the ranks of HIBCC Member Organizations, which represent the healthcare industry. Previous and current appointments have been made by various organizations, including:
- Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
- American Hospital Association (AHA)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP)
- American Veterinary Distributors Association (AVDA)
- Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management (AHRMM)
- Federation of American Hospitals (FAH)
- Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA)
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
- Healthcare Distribution and Management Association (HDMA)
- Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA)
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA)
- US Department of Defense (DoD)
HIBCC is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSII). Its primary function is to support electronic communications by developing appropriate standards for information exchange among healthcare trading partners. Its broad mission consistently expands to meet industry requirements and HIBCC is involved in a number of areas including electronic data interchange message formats, bar code labeling data standards, universal numbering systems, and the provision of databases which assure common identifiers.
Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Standards
Millions of medical and surgical products bear the Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Standard label. In Europe, the standard is accredited by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and it is also referenced in various International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards related to labeling of medical and surgical products.
A distinguishing characteristic of the HIBC is that it permits encoding of both alphabetic and numeric characters, thereby providing manufacturers the ability to directly encode their product IDs, many of which are alphanumeric. The ability to directly encode product IDs eliminates the need to convert them to all-numeric substitutes, which in turn reduces the possibility of encoding errors. These must be minimized to avoid medical errors caused by incorrect product identification in hospitals.
Companies that use the HIBC labeling format are already in full compliance with voluntary standards in the institutional healthcare supply channel.
The Auto-ID/UPN Committee maintains HIBC Standards which provide healthcare-specific data structures and labeling options for medical/surgical products and patient care. The committee is composed of healthcare manufacturer, distributor and provider representatives, and companies that develop automatic identification equipment. The committee functions and conducts its activities in conformance with all ANSI requirements.
The HIN is a nine-character, alphanumeric identifier assigned to every facility, delivery location and business activity in the healthcare supply chain. Each HIN is consistent, unique and flexible enough to represent a facility and the numerous ship-to locations within its organization. The HIN consists of a 7-character base HIN and a 2-character suffix.
As administrator of the HIN System, HIBCC applies a uniform identification standard to all entities submitted for enumeration. The standardization process includes a review to eliminate database duplication and information verification. Since inception, the number of records in the HIN Database has grown from 7,000 hospitals to more than 1.5 million facility records.
HIN has become an integral component of many supply chain processes, including membership and pricing eligibility. Industry trading partners access the HIN Database via the online HIBCC iHIN web site, as well as via EDI transmissions from HIBCC, several Value Added Networks, and by periodic distributions of the full database from HIBCC.
The HIN System is intended to be a “bridge” between a company’s internal account numbers and the account numbers of its trading partners. Through a centralized and standardized repository, the HIN System provides consistency and accuracy of customer identification for hundreds of major manufacturers, distributors and provider organizations, as well as US government agencies such as the Department of Defense, US Public Health Service, VA Hospital System and the Centers for Disease Control. At present, the HIN Database includes hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, buying groups, pharmacies, manufacturers, distributors – virtually any entity providing service in the healthcare supply chain. It is widely used in both the private and public sector for e-commerce transmissions.
HIN User Group
The HIN User Group provides a forum for HIN subscribers to address questions about the HIN System with HIBCC Staff as well as other HIN users. The User Group is also responsible for maintaining and updating the HIN database structure, reviewing industry activities related to HIN database structure, and developing marketing and educational strategies.
- HIN Facility Database – includes all health care facilities identified by SHIP TO addresses
- HIN Prescriber Database – includes physicians, dentists and other individual practitioners
- HIN Animal Health Database – includes both veterinarians and animal health facilities, identified by practice location and SHIP TO address respectively
- Field length information available on line as of 01/27/13 at http://www.hibcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/HINlayout.pdf
Health Industry Business Communications Council Website