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GS1 Canada Working With Leading Government, Industry Representatives to Improve Healthcare in Canada

Toronto, ON July 9, 2009 - GS1 Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of leading government and industry representatives from across Canada to its CareNET Healthcare Sector Board and executive committee.  This Board seeks to improve healthcare across Canada through the use of global GS1 standards within the Canadian healthcare supply chain; enabling significant advancements in patient safety as well as cost and time savings. GS1 Canada is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization in the development of global standards for electronic business and supply chain processes.  It launched this Board in 2008 to advance safety, traceability and interoperability across Canada’s healthcare system through supply chain standardization.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize outgoing board members for their important contribution to advancing recognition and adoption of global supply chain standards across the Canadian healthcare system,” said N. Arthur Smith, President and CEO, GS1 Canada.  “Concurrently, I would like to welcome our incoming board members, whose efforts to drive interoperability through implementation of global standards will result in significant opportunities for savings, efficiencies and enhanced patient safety for Canadian healthcare organizations.”

“Cross-Canada representation on the Board and executive committee will contribute significantly to advancing supply chain standardization for the national healthcare supply chain,” added Jacques Chaput, Baxter Corporation, co-chair of the CareNET Healthcare Sector Board. “This will expedite our progress, enabling realization of the benefits of supply chain standardization for healthcare providers and suppliers alike.”

As more provinces consolidate their supply chain functions, the need for standardization and interoperability across the healthcare sector has become paramount. Therefore, the Board will continue to drive the strategic direction and associated projects that support adoption of a common system of supply chain standards in healthcare. Such projects enable the auto-identification (bar-coding) of healthcare products, improved data integrity and increased uptake of electronic business processes, necessities in an increasingly electronic supply chain environment.

“Participation on the CareNET Healthcare Sector Board will enable the Winnipeg-area facilities to benefit from enhanced efficiency and sustainability,” said Jade Karsin, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, CareNET Healthcare Sector Board co-chair. “As leaders in the healthcare supply chain, the CareNET Board can collaborate on a national scale and implement decisions that will support our fiscal responsibilities to maximize savings while supporting our healthcare professionals in the delivery of quality care.”

One key initiative to this end is the Canadian Healthcare Supply Chain Standards Project. Project participants – some 58% percent of Canadian hospitals as well as their major suppliers and provincial governments of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – are working to determine the fundamental elements required to modernize the healthcare supply chain. More information about the Board and Project can be found here:

New board members include:

  • Ron Johnson, Eastern Health, St. John’s, Newfoundland
  • Gilles St. Laurent, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec
  • Jitendra Prasad, Alberta Health Services
  • Marty Townsend, Capital District Health, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Executive Committee Members include:

  • Jacques Chaput, Baxter Corporation (Co-Chair)
  • Jade Karsin, Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre (Co-Chair)
  • David Loukras, British Columbia Shared Services Organization
  • Rob West, Medical Mart Supplies

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. Learn more at