Barcode scanning for healthcare supply chain optimisation

Automating the supply chain effort using RFID and barcoding technology can maximise traceability

With more and more healthcare organisations implementing the use of RFID and barcode technology, there has never been a more crucial time than now to highlight the importance of a strong automated supply chain management strategy.

The implementation of an effective tracking system allows full sight and traceability of medicines and medical equipment from the point of manufacture to the end user, thus ensuring full regulatory compliance and reducing the opportunity for counterfeited items to enter the marketplace.

Furthermore, barcoding technology offers an accurate and precise method to identify the correct location of products, resulting in crucial time efficiencies.

According to, the use of RFID and barcoding technology, such as our StockAssist Medical solution, is estimated to reduce patient wait times for test and procedure results by at least 15% in a hospital context.

Automating the inventory management effort also offers precise control over the supply chain, resulting in accurate forecasting and in the ability to anticipate and plan for potential bottle necks in the stock supply.

In addition, RFID and barcoding technology is crucial in effective distribution of high-profile vaccination programmes. The information stored in the barcode can include vital details such as storage temperature, dosing requirements, eligibility, as well as tracking the recipients of the vaccine. This is especially important in the current pandemic, where the timely roll out of the vaccination programme and the achievement of the set targets are of paramount importance in the curbing of the infection rates.

Including a GS1 UK-compliant barcode not only on the secondary packaging, but most importantly on the primary packaging allows for the exact distribution of the doses to eligible recipients.

Finally, the impact of the pandemic has been particularly adverse on the national health service, which has faced numerous challenges such as the shortage of approved protective items and medical equipment. With over 23,000 operations postponed over the past year, it is anticipated that over 65,000 non-essential and elective procedures will need to be scheduled post-pandemic. It is essential that the implementation of robust RFID and barcode technology is delivered as part of the NHS’s strategic optimisation of its procurement and supply chain management.

Stock control requires careful management. Read Your Ultimate Guide to Inventory Management to find out more.


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