Healthcare providers throughout the world have been implementing Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) systems in order to ensure traceability of their surgical instruments, improve patient safety and optimize asset management. An area of particular concern was the instrument reprocessing cycle, particularly to and from sterilization. Ultimately, the goal of the system is to save costs through a more efficient process and better asset management.
Healthcare providers have already started to implement two-dimensional barcodes directly on their surgical instruments. Because of this, the GS1 Healthcare established a group to develop appropriate industry standards, which underwent the GS1 Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) and Application Standards for Small Medical/Surgical Instrument Marking have now been established. The implementation of this standard is definitely a significant accomplishment towards the goal of improving patient safety.