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GS1 Standards in Healthcare

GS1 Standards in Healthcare

What are GS1 Standards?
GS1 standards are a set of globally used barcoding standards to maintain consistent identification of products, people, and places. Widely used in a variety of industries from food and drink to healthcare, GS1 barcodes help businesses and public services run more efficiently and transparently.


How are GS1 barcodes used in Healthcare?
GS1 barcodes are used in healthcare to understand patient journeys, ensure the correct products are being ordered, and that those products are being delivered to the correct healthcare locations.

By using a Global Service Relation Number (GSRN), which is a globally recognised unique identifier encoded into a barcode, they can be used to identify both staff and patients. This helps healthcare providers trace both parties throughout a patient’s care journey, making the journey safer and improving staff efficiency.

At every encounter with a patient, their barcode (issued to the patient on a wristband) will be scanned by staff members throughout their journey from admission to discharge. Each interaction between staff and a patient will be recorded and captured in real-time, automatically updating the patient record with this information.

Products and devices used by the healthcare industry will include a GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) barcode, which will have essential product information encoded. This information can include serial numbers, date of manufacture, and/or expiry date.

When these products or devices are scanned, the information is captured at the point of use in real-time. The information can then be inputted into an inventory management platform or directly into a patient record.

GS1 Global Location Numbers (GLNs) are unique numbers that can recognise and distinguish between suppliers, manufacturers, hospitals, departments, wards, and even specific patient bays.

Used to make procurement more efficient for all stakeholders in the supply chain, GLNs improve tracking of deliveries, streamline orders, and allows for product recalls to be effectively managed.

Healthcare providers and suppliers need to meet GS1 standards to make sure there’s full transparency and smooth processes throughout supply chains and the patient journey. Warehouse management systems can be used to improve the visibility of products moving through the healthcare supply chain, however, not all of these systems will be GS1 compliant.

Bit Systems have been working with healthcare suppliers for many years to provide GS1-compliant inventory management software, designed to improve efficiency, accuracy, and transparency of supply-chain processes. If you want more information about how GS1-compliant inventory management software can benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. Feel free to call us on 03300 245452, or email