GS1 Reference Books

GS1 Healthcare Reference Book 2018-2019

GS1 Healthcare Reference Book 2018-2019


This year's issue of the global GS1 Healthcare Reference Book (2017/2018) profiles the Scan for Surgery project in St. James's Hospital, Dublin.

Leading global innovation in healthcare - a hospital wide approach to adopting GS1 standards

St. James’s Hospital has established the Scan for Surgery programme as well as introducing the automatic tracking of precious tissue samples. Both projects make use of GS1 standards-based technology to deliver improved patient safety and efficiency.

Download the Scan for Surgery Case Study

Scan for Surgery – a new era for patient-level data

St. James’s Hospital established the Scan for Surgery steering group in 2016 to work on achieving better visibility of activities at the point-of-care, for both patient safety and efficiency improvements.

SJH Scan for Surgery Steering Group

The hospital specifically looked at barcode scanning in the theatre, introducing technology to scan products and patients, which would:

  • Improve traceability which improves patient safety
  • Improve procedure cost analytics
  • Automate re-ordering, thus freeing up time for clinical staff who had traditionally been involved in the manual procurement process
  • Improve inventory management


St. James’s can now assign over 89 percent of the costs incurred in theatre to the individual patient, enabling patient-level costing, which is a key national programme for Irish healthcare. The hospital also estimates a significant reduction in the time spent to order products.

“Until now we had very little visibility on patient costs behind the red line in theatre. In most cases, there was no electronic record of what products were used on which patients. That has all changed now. Combining the data from Scan for Surgery with existing business intelligence tools, we can now see very detailed cost analytics at a procedure level, and we can easily trace products to patients in the event of a recall.”

John Cotter, Programme Director, Activity Based Funding, St. James’s Hospital

Better Data, Better Decisions

Pharmaceutical and medical device suppliers are being required by regulation to barcode products by 2019 and 2020, respectively, which will support traceability at the patient-level. The UK Department of Health is mandating that all Trusts and Suppliers implement GS1 standards, which is having a positive effect on the Irish market. Also, the importance of GS1 standards adoption is recognised at a national level by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Since 2016, the HSE has been requesting GS1 information on national tenders.

“This holistic approach for a hospital wide implementation of GS1 standards with a view to increasing patient safety and operational efficiency, is a key strategic objective for St. James’s Hospital. The imminent legislation for suppliers provides significant opportunity for wide scale change and benefits for Irish healthcare.”

Vincent Callan, Director of Facilities Management, St. James’s Hospital

Download the Scan for Surgery Case Study

GS1 Healthcare Reference Book 2017-2018

HCRB Cover 2017 2018


Healthcare success stories and information about how to implement GS1 Standards

Welcome to the seventh edition (2015/2016) of the GS1 Healthcare Reference Book which is a complilation of case studies where industry players share their experiences on how GS1 Standards truly make a difference in healthcare, all over the world.

Healthcare WaveAs the world's population ages and medical treatments become more advanced, demand for healthcare services has never been greater. With this increased demand comes a dilemma for healthcare providers: how can they continue to provide high quality care for an ever-growing volume of patients receiving increasingly complex treatments, while simultaneously cutting the cost of delivering that care?

GS1 Healthcare believes that creating and using global standards in the delivery of healthcare leads to significant benefits, including cost-efficiencies through more integrated, streamlined systems and reductions in the burden of administrative duties for professionals, providing more time to spend on quality patient care.

Healthcare professionals worldwide are united in one goal: to give patients the best possible care at all times. As patient safety is a vital objective of our work, progress has been made over the last 10 years to develop GS1 standards to better support the healthcare sector and we are now placing a particular emphasis on expanding the implementation of these global standards with healthcare providers. Read the variety of case studies that showcase the multiple benefits of adopting GS1 global standards in processes spanning patient care, traceability, eProcurement, automation, regulatory compliance and many more. The different initiatives show best practices, "what works" and how to start when integrating standards into existing or new processes.

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Towards a safer and more efficient healthcare system with GS1 Standards

12 GS1 standards implementation success stories

Welcome to the sixth edition (2014/2015) of the GS1 Healthcare Reference Book which is a compilation of case studies from industry players who share their experiences on how GS1 standards truly make a difference in healthcare. The case studies demonstrate how deploying GS1 Standards has enabled stakeholders to comply with new regulations, increase supply chain efficiency and ultimately improve patient safety.

Beyond the boundaries of each country or region, all Healthcare stakeholders face the same challenges - to ensure the provision of safer patient care and to increase efficiency. Each GS1 Healthcare Reference Book, produced annually, contains a set of remarkable case studies providing a wealth of knowledge and inspiration, demonstrating how leading Healthcare organisations have leveraged GS1 Standards to achieve patient safety, supply chain efficiency and to realise cost savings.

In this sixth edition ten remarkable companies and organisations describe their successful implementation of GS1 Standards including:

GS1 Healthcare Reference Book 2014-2015 - Case Study and Implementation StoriesThe Medical Device case studies include:

  • Traceability of surgical instruments in Argentina by FAICO - Argentina
  • Coloplast: the key to success in complying with the U.S. FDA Unique Device Identifications rule - Denmark
  • Management of Global Master Data using the Global Data Synchronisation Network by B. Braun - Germany
  • Abbott drives global deployment of GS1 Standards to benefit customers and patients alike - US
  • Cook Medical transforms its vision into greater patient safety with GS1 Standards - US

The Pharmaceutical case studies include:

  • Programa Remediar: bringing essential drugs to patients and optimising the supply chain in Argentina with GS1 Standards - Argentina
  • Patient safety and the challenge of serialisation at UCB - Belgium
  • Modernising the pharmaceutical product supply chain in Hong Kong public hospitals - Hong Kong
  • DDS Pharmacies optimise clinical care and improve elderly patient safety through GS1 Electronic Data Interchange - The Netherlands
  • Kent Pharmaceuticals: a live pharmaceutical serialisation and verification system - UK

Click here to download the Reference Book