GS1 Canada Supports Call for National Standards for Product ID GS1 Canada Supports Call for National Standards for Product ID
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GS1 Canada Supports Call for National Standards for Product ID

TORONTO, ON, March 25, 2008 – GS1 Canada, Canada’s expert in collaborative commerce and global standards, commends the Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth for her report “Reaching for the Top”, released today, which contains recommendations for national standards for automatic product identification.

“Dr. K. Kellie Leitch’s progressive report underscores the linkage between national standards for automatic product identification and improved patient safety,” commented N. Arthur Smith, president and CEO of GS1 Canada, Canada’s neutral, not-for-profit leader in the development of global standards for electronic business and supply chain processes. “The use of global supply chain standards and autoidentification technology will dramatically advance patient safety initiatives in Canada and enable healthcare professionals to focus less on manual processes and paperwork and more on patient needs.”

consistent with the government of canada’s consumer product safety priorities, the use of global standards for automatic product identification in healthcare institutions will ensure the authenticity of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device products, as well as the ability to effectively and quickly recall and withdraw products. “gs1 canada strongly supports dr. leitch’s emphasis on the importance of standards to better protect the health of canadians while they are in healthcare institutions,” stated smith.

Recent reports from such organizations as the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) have highlighted the significant incidence of preventable adverse medical effects in Canada. As noted in Dr. Leitch’s report, a proven solution is implementation of product coding standards at healthcare facilities. “Other jurisdictions around the world are introducing product coding standards in response to public concerns regarding patient safety and have already seen a reduction in manual errors,” noted Smith. He cited the example of bedside bar code scanning at the Gerle Ziekenhuizen in Maastricht, the Netherlands, which resulted in a reduction of 74% in manual errors (from 3.10% to 0.84%).

“In the interest of patient safety, healthcare institutions and government must work together to follow the recommendations in the Report of the Federal Advisor and create national standards for automatic product identification,” stated Smith.

About GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is a neutral, not-for-profit organization that promotes and maintains global standards for the identification of goods, locations and related e-commerce communication, and provides education and awareness of these global standards. As a member organization of GS1, the leading supply chain standards organization in the world, GS1 Canada is the only authorized source for globally unique Company Prefix Licences in Canada, a standard term and condition of trade globally that enable organizations to create reliable, industry-compliant bar codes. GS1 Canada represents Canadian businesses of all sizes – including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), multinational organizations, retailers, manufacturers, and solution providers – in over 20 industry sectors across all regions of Canada – in the global standards development process. For more information, visit

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For more information, contact:

Maria Sarantis
Communications Manager
GS1 Canada
416-510-8039 ext. 2206