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Using GS1 Healthcare Standards

We believe that global data standards make sense for our business and for healthcare. We first implemented GS1 standards internally back in 2003 and have gained first-hand experience implementing data standards in many businesses and organisations. Using data standards brings tremendous benefits to healthcare.

We are fully GTIN capable in the United States and are currently working to fully integrate the standards in our systems in Europe. Once completed, this integration will allow our customers to use GTINs in automated systems. All of our products currently carry a GS1 GTIN barcode, and we have customers in Europe that are already using these barcodes to manage their stock.

Our ongoing projects are focused on providing data on all our products available in Europe to the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) and ensuring that our customer service and distribution centres are able to use GTINs to transact and to process and ship orders.

About GS1

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 synchronising 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.

To find out more about GDSN in Europe access our leaflet here.

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 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.

    Improved Patient Safety

  • Medication errors are reduced.
  • The product-recall process becomes faster and more accurate.
  • Patients are protected from counterfeit products.