GS1 works closely with the global healthcare community bringing together all stakeholders, namely, pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, group purchasing organisations, hospitals, pharmacies, logistics providers, governmental and regulatory bodies and associations.

It aims to develop and implement global healthcare supply chain standards by collaborating with all stakeholders to achieve patient safety and improved efficiency. These are two major concern to healthcare regulators worldwide, who are now directing stakeholders in healthcare supply chains to implement automatic data capture technologies, interoperable identification standards, standardised electronic product catalogues, track & trace and product recall systems.

The use of GS1 standards in healthcare enhances patient safety through accurate identification and authentication of medicines & medical devices, recalls, and point-of-care scanning.

Adoption by hospitals enables higher operational efficiencies, optimised asset utilisation, and overall cost reduction. 

Additionally, the GS1 System of Standards enables healthcare stakeholders to efficiently and effectively comply with various local and global requirements by ensuring interoperability and compatibility within an organisation, between organisations and across borders.

Today, hospitals and their suppliers are filled with inaccurate and manually created data errors for item and company names and self-created numbering systems that differ from user-to-user and vendor-to-vendor. This creates an environment for data exchange that is fraught with errors and inconsistencies, causing both inefficiencies throughout the supply chain and potential impact on patient safety. After many years of research and industry input, hospitals, distributors, manufacturers and other key stakeholders have come together to collaborate on the use of data standards to improve patient safety.

The mission of GS1 is to lead the sector towards successful implementation of global standards to bring about the following benefits:

  • Prevention of medication errors: ensuring patient safety through the administration of right medicines to the right person, in the right dosage at the right time.
  • Product authentication: enabling authentication of individual packages, cases or pallets of medical supplies.
  • Tracking medical devices and products: enabling tracking and tracing of medical equipment, medicines, devices, etc., by using The Global Traceability Standard for Healthcare (GTSH) as a foundational framework. The framework describes the traceability process and defines minimum requirements for all stakeholders, independent of technologies, organisation size or operational sophistication.
  • Freeing time for healthcare professionals: allowing healthcare professionals to spend more time caring for patients by reducing time spent on paperwork and other manual processes like data processing, ordering and counting.

GS1 India closely engages with the healthcare sector in India to promote awareness on global standards and best practices and to provide technical guidance and support in its adoption and implementation.

Use of GS1 standards by Healthcare sector: