Safer, more efficient care starts with a simple scan

  • Posted on 06.02.2017

Safer, more efficient care starts with a simple scan


Ulrike Kreysa

Vice-President Healthcare at GS1 Global Office


I wonder, have you ever had a conversation with your doctor or nurse about barcodes?  Not likely, I guess!  Whilst the humble barcode is so ingrained in everyday life (after all, we all scan barcodes at the checkout), its potential in healthcare is both enormous, but unfortunately largely unknown. The reality is that for patients and caregivers, the beep of a scanned barcode has the possibility to help ensure that a patient receives the right medical product at the right time and that caregivers have the benefit of additional surety in their processes. Scanning barcodes can help to minimise errors due to incorrect identification of product or patient and ensure the correct product is in the hospital when the patient needs it.

The global, voluntary user community, GS1 Healthcare – which brings together all healthcare supply chain stakeholders, including manufacturers, distributors, healthcare providers, solution providers, regulatory bodies and industry associations – recently produced a video to illustrate the value global standard barcodes add in hospital processes.

For every one of us, this is a must-watch – after all, at one point in our lives, we will all be patients. 

For staff of healthcare product supplier organisations this is even more important. After all, suppliers are applying GS1 barcodes to meet a range of regulatory and trading partner requirements.  In turn, these barcodes should be used by all healthcare stakeholders, most importantly, the healthcare provider organisations and staff that are issuing these suppliers’ products to patients. 

Please take two minutes of your time, open your minds and remember that the use of global standard barcodes in healthcare empowers all of us – patients, healthcare provider staff and healthcare provider organisations.  A simple scan can contribute to doctors and nurses being able to focus even more on caring for every one of us.

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