Practical use of barcode standards for patient safety and activity based costing in operating theatres

GS1 standards in Healthcare graphic 300pxRisks to patient safety occur when there is a mismatch between a patient and the care they receive. Errors can occur at time of diagnosis, treatment or on-going care. When looking at how technology can improve patient safety, we don’t need to look very far. The retail sector has demonstrated the value of adopting GS1 standard barcoding, which has reshaped these industries and created billions of dollars in value.

New regulations on traceability of medical devices and pharmaceuticals in the EU, the US and elsewhere are driving a harmonised standard for identification in healthcare.  Using global standards facilitates widespread interoperability among healthcare software applications and technologies. The barcode scan of a unique identifier is becoming the key to access information in the clinical system about a patient, product or service.  In recognition of this the NHS eProcurement strategy has mandated that every product procured by an NHS Trust has to be identified with GS1 standards.