Canada Implementing GS1 Barcoding Standards of Drugs

A GS1 stacked databarcode
A GS1 stacked databarcode

(RFIDWorld.ca) After 34 organizations across Canada have agreed to embrace global GS1 barcoding standards for medication, the Canadian Barcode Project is closer to streamlining the process, by reducing medical errors.  All commercial drugs on the Canadian market will be automated, decreasing room for errors.

The goal is to reduce relabeling and renumbering so as to have product integrity while having data accuracy at the same time.

Project lead, Ian Sheppard, said that the Bar Code Project permits different types of application identifiers (AI) standards.  There is a one-dimensional barcode and two-dimensional barcode, with even a potential for RFID chips to be used he said.

By standardizing, it will be easier to focus in on what needs to be done because there are so many types otherwise.

According to Sheppard, hospitals should use readers that read two-dimensional barcodes instead of using linear barcode scanners.  The two-dimensional barcodes are better suited for pharmaceutical use in hospitals because of their small size and ability to carry a lot more data.

For the future, Sheppard sees barcodes that will be able to access other databases, such as regulatory databases in Health Canada.  The scan of such a code can do unimaginable things, he claims.

Eventually, the barcode could provide blackbox warnings, allergy information, clinical data, reports on adverse effects, outpatient education material or even high resolution images.

The horizon is limitless for software developers, if such barcodes with the ability to use relational databases exist in the future.

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