GS1 Canada GS1 Canada
Contact us to learn more about GS1 Canada 1.800.567.7084

Contact us to learn
more about GS1 Canada
or Email Us

GS1 Canada Logo links home

Healthcare Industry Urged to Transition to Global Standards

Toronto, ON, December 3, 2009 – As Canada’s healthcare supply chain stakeholders undertake important steps to standardize the healthcare supply chain, prominent representatives of the Canadian healthcare community are urging healthcare providers, manufacturers, distributors, Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), and solution providers supporting the sector to integrate the GS1 System of global standards within their respective solutions, products and services.

“The GS1 Canada Carenet Healthcare Sector Board is releasing two position papers to help ensure the preparedness of Canada’s healthcare supply chain partners as industry moves to an e-supply chain environment and integrates the GS1 System of standards into their business processes,” stated Jade Karsin, Regional Manager Procurement Services, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  “Over the last year we have worked as a collective community to define the standards. Now we need to help the industry implement them.”

Also commenting on the Board’s release of these position papers, Robert West, Executive Committee Member of GS1 Canada’s Carenet Healthcare Sector Board and Executive Vice-President Medical Mart Supplies Ltd., stated “The Canadian healthcare sector is joining the global effort to standardize the healthcare supply chain.  “This fundamental transition will enable standardized electronic transactions between supply chain partners, resulting in enhanced cost efficiencies, traceability, and ultimately improved patient safety. We encourage Canadian solution providers to join us in this strategic move for the benefit of the entire sector.”

The Board, which includes representation from provincial healthcare shared services organizations and group purchasing organizations in addition to healthcare product suppliers, manufacturers and distributors, is working to lead the transition to global standards throughout the Canadian healthcare system. Adoption of global standards will ensure that the entire Canadian healthcare community is able to send, receive and report information in a standardized fashion, enabling automatic identification of healthcare products and the reduction of manual processes facing healthcare administrators, clinicians and trading partners.

The Position Statement for Canadian Healthcare to Prepare for Global Supply Chain Standards Adoption supports the emergence of e-commerce in the healthcare sector through supply chain standardization related to the ordering and handling of healthcare products.

The Position Statement for Canadian Healthcare Service Providers, The Time for Change is Now details requirements directed at solution providers regarding the integration of global standards into their systems.

This transition is in harmony with developments taking place at the global level, and will affect all healthcare stakeholders. Canada’s position is consistent with activity being led by the global GS1 Healthcare Leadership Committee, which is comprised of multinational healthcare manufacturers, as well as leading hospital and group purchasing organizations. Given that the majority of healthcare products arrive in Canada from multiple countries, alignment with the business practices and processes of global suppliers and partners is of particular importance.

Read more about healthcare supply chain standards activity in Canada and globally.

Read more about GS1 Canada’s Carenet strategy.

Read more about sunrise dates for product and location identification standards, as established by the GS1 Canada Carenet Healthcare Sector Board.


About Carenet
Carenet is GS1 Canada’s healthcare sector strategy to standardize the healthcare supply chain. Representing over 460 Canadian healthcare providers and 95 suppliers, GS1 Canada, through the Carenet Strategy, supports the use of electronic commerce practices in healthcare to enhance patient safety and business process efficiency.

About GS1 Canada
GS1 Canada is a member of GS1, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization. As a neutral, not-for-profit organization, GS1 Canada enables its more than 10,000 members – trading partners of all sizes from over 20 sectors across Canada – to enhance their efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting electronic supply chain best practices. Learn more at

For more information, contact:

Kathleen McManus
Director, Public Affairs
GS1 Canada
416-510-8039 x2263