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Using GS1 standards to enable complete visibility of the prescription-to-administration process


Uniquely identifying pharmaceuticals in a hospital pharmacy, and capturing and sharing this information throughout the patient pathway, enables complete visibility of the entire prescription-to-administration process.

Building pharmacy systems based on GS1 standards provides a common foundation that improves confidence in care delivery. Quite simply, ensuring that the right patient receives the right drug in the right dose via the right route and at the right time. GS1 standards help make the five patient rights a reality, all the time.

Whether using traditional or automated solutions, such as robotic dispensing, using barcodes for input into the storage area and retrieval for dispensing offers huge benefits in cost, efficiency and patient safety.

The benefits

  • Effective anti-counterfeiting
  • Compliance with FMD regulations
  • Operational efficiency
  • Reduction in wastage
  • Full traceability, from manufacture to the patient
  • Improved patient safety

What an efficient eMedicines process looks like

  1. All medicines have a unique identifier placed on each pack by the manufacturer, in the form of a GS1 barcode or electronic tag (known as an RFID tag). Each unique identifier holds key information, including the batch number and expiry date. This information is held in a database so that individual medicines can be tracked from delivery to treatment
  2. Standard pharmacy processes use the barcode or RFID tag to identify the correct (and suitable) product, ensuring the correct medicines are dispensed – and that they’re not falsified
  3. At the bedside, both the medicine and the patient’s wristband are scanned to verify the right patient is given the right medicine
  4. Patient records are automatically updated to reflect what’s been dispensed, when and by who
Help and support

If you have any questions, need some advice about implementing GS1 standards or want to find an accredited GS1 UK solution provider, we’re happy to help. Don’t forget to check out our case studies too. 

Contact us at or call 0808 172 8390.

CPE portal

The NHS Centre for Procurement Efficiency site