GS1 is an international, not-for-profit association that creates and implements standards to bring efficiency and visibility to supply chains across industries. The GS1 standards for healthcare improve patient safety as well as many aspects of the supply chain. The standards achieve these improvements by assigning products unique numbers called GTINs, by synchronizing supply chain data with the GDSN, and by providing location coding with GLNs.
GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers)
GTINs are unique, global product-identification numbers. GTINs are usually barcoded on product packaging. They identify the manufacturer, the product, and the unit of measure. Cook Medical uses 14-digit GTINs.
GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network)
The GDSN is a subscription-based warehouse of certified data that will enable all members of the healthcare supply chain to share common, accurate GTIN and GLN information.
GLNs (Global Location Numbers)
GLNs are unique, 13-digit global numbers that identify physical locations and legal entities such as IONs.
Why Use Global Trade Item Numbers
GTINs enable trading partners to communicate in a common language and identify products throughout the supply chain. Without a common language, trading partners use different systems for product identification. Using separate systems to manage products is inefficient, error prone, and costly for everyone. When we use GTINs, patient safety and supply chain efficiency improve.
Improved Patient Safety
Medication errors are reduced.
The product-recall process becomes faster and more accurate.
Patients are protected from counterfeit products.
Improved Supply Chain Efficiency
Products can be tracked through the entire supply chain.
Visibility of products in the supply chain improves inventory management.
Accurate data improves ordering and invoicing accuracy.
Maintenance of an item-cross-reference database is no longer necessary.
Products don't have to be relabeled.
The cost of care can be captured and tracked.