Revolutionising Healthcare: Digitising the Supply Chain for Enhanced Patient Care

GS1 Australia
Wednesday, 01 May, 2024


Revolutionising Healthcare: Digitising the Supply Chain for Enhanced Patient Care

In the intricate web of healthcare delivery, every detail counts. From the moment a patient enters a facility, to their discharge, every aspect of care hinges on the seamless traceability and availability of medications, devices, and equipment. Yet, the consequences of inefficient healthcare supply chains persist. Critical medication shortages, delays or cancellations of procedures due to equipment or devices being out of stock, all have the potential to compromise patient care.

Archaic, paper-based systems are inefficient and error-prone. Patient records, manual ordering, stock takes, and all points of data entry are leading to inaccurate information being stored and shared and multiple potential mix-ups with medications and patients. The repercussions can be dire.

These challenges, plus many more, demonstrate the immediate need for accurate identification and traceability, which in turn will also enable automation to reduce error rates and markedly improve patient outcomes.

The Answer

Digital transformation, barcode automation, and GS1 standards. How? By implementing unique identification for people, places, medicines and devices, whilst automating supply chains, healthcare facilities can unlock a multitude of benefits.

Automation extends beyond mere inventory control — it facilitates real-time tracking of medical devices throughout their lifecycle, revolutionising the way healthcare is delivered.

When GS1 standards are integrated, instant verification of essential information can be recorded, which minimises errors and ensures the correct devices, implants and medications are used when treating patients.

The implementation of barcode scanning and GS1 standards ensures that the right patient receives the right product or the right procedure, at the right time, an essential in fast-moving highly stressful environments. In the event of a recall for medications, medical devices, or prosthetics, the ability to instantly identify affected expiry dates, batch/lot numbers, and faults ensures fast communication and proactive management to minimise risks to patient safety.

Automation also tackles the very real issue of waste within healthcare facilities. By tracking expiry dates, any expiring medications and devices can be easily identified, and stock rotated to reduce waste.

The Future

At the heart of this digital transformation lies the power of GS1 standards, which provide a universal language for healthcare products. Implementing these standards enables seamless data exchange across the entire supply chain, from manufacturer to distributor to the healthcare facility, fostering proactive management and optimisation of resources. Applying GS1’s global standards significantly improves every aspect of digital health by providing accurate traceability and efficiency.

While the thought of changing your current processes and digitising may seem overwhelming, the long-term benefits are undeniable, and GS1 Australia is here to help. Increased efficiency for stretched clinicians, accurate traceability for reassurance, quality care for patients, and cost savings for healthcare providers contribute to a healthier future for all.

The call to action is clear. The healthcare sector is rapidly changing and the time to adopt a digital future is now.

Learn more about how you can start implementing global standards with GS1 today.

https://bit.ly/4cMljPe

Image credit: iStock.com/SDI Productions

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