The Healthcare sector in any country faces a variety of challenges that affect the whole supply chain including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, institutions and insurers.
The main concerns are: increasing the operational efficiency of institutions and, more importantly, ensuring patient safety.
The implementation of new tecnologies offers great opportunities for the development of the sector in this direction. Some of these tecnologies are identification, the use of centralized electronic supply and medication catalogs, and traceability systems.
Through this tecnologies and international GS1 standards it is possible to work deeply on issues such as:
1. Patient safety.
2. Efficiency in the sector's Supply Chain.
3. Compliance with government regulations and international accreditations.
4. Counterfeiting, adulteration and smuggling.
5. The implementation of traceability and E-Health systems.
GS1 COLOMBIA, for the purpose of supporting the growth of this sector in these matters, has had work groups where companies and a variety of entities interact (laboratories, distributors, drugstore chains, logistics operators, software developers, national and international regulatory authorities, among others) that have allowed developing, among other projects: benchmarking methodologies for administrative and operations areas; and the EHCR project (Efficient Healthcare Services User Response) that allowed identifying working opportunities and defining how to deal with them, using GS1 standards and best practices in logistics.
Today, these work groups are focused on the definition of best practices and the identification of commercial medications and those for institutional use, efficient processes for information flow between different players in the sector and traceability models that respond to government regulations.
Our recommendations for the sector revolve around the experience acheived through the work of international committees that specify the appropriate manner to use the standards available:
GS1 Identification Keys: numbering schemas for products, locations, patients, caregivers, and assets
GS1 BarCodes: several types of bar code, linear and 2-dimensional, for use by GS1 members depending on the application
GS1 EPCglobal: supporting the use of radio frequency identification
GS1 GDSN: ensuring global data synchronisation and accurate product data across supply chain partners
GS1 eCom: supporting electronic document interchange technologies
Healthcare specific standards already ratified: