GS1 Labeling Can Empower Hospitals

by Laura Johnson, on March 5, 2018

When health care data isn't stored on paper, efficiency and accuracy can improve.
When health care data isn't stored on paper, efficiency and accuracy can improve.

Using GS1 labeling standards in health care is one of the major ways to speed up a health care provider's operations today, increasing efficiency while not sacrificing quality of patient care. The quick act of scanning a barcode can become a trigger for a flood of vital data, and the standardization of these systems helps ensure their success and quality.

Hospital-Level Case Studies
What happens when a hospital takes on labeling projects based on GS1 standards? GS1 itself shared the results of a program at St. James's Hospital in Ireland which uses GS1-compliant barcodes in settings including the operating theater. The hospital is now better able to track which devices are used in operations through barcode scanning. This level of certainty can help the care provider reorder items effectively and creates a safer environment for patients, as it's now clear exactly which instruments are used to operate.

Another recent implementation took place at ACT health in Australia, according to IT News. In this case, GS1-compliant barcodes are being used to track staff and patient identification, with employee ID cards and patient wristbands receiving these identifiers. This goes beyond tracking medical devices and involves records being updated with scans of both physician and patient barcodes every time care is administered. Clinicians view this move as a way to get further from the era of paper-based record keeping, improving data accessibility and potentially reducing human error.

Data on Demand
When information is stored according to standards, whether this means ensuring compliance with universal device identification (UDI) standards or implementing intensive new policies based on tracking patient and physician information, health care can improve. Records have been kept in basically the same way for centuries, but rapid digital transformation is finally changing things. Health care providers that embrace the benefits of today's Enterprise Labeling Solutions can seek out accompanying efficiency and accuracy benefits.

For more on Enterprise Labeling for Medical Device companies check out our Q&A report.

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