Fresenius Kabi has announced a three-year plan to add GS1 Data Matrix barcodes to its pharmaceutical portfolio.
GS1 Data Matrix barcodes are also known as 2D barcodes.
The company manufactures a range of vials, syringes, IV products and parenteral nutrition products.
The Lake Zurich, Illinois–based company says the decision will reduce the need for manual data entry by automating the identification and verification of products in medication management systems.
Fresenius Kabi USA boasts that it is the first pharmaceutical company planning to incorporate GS1 Data Matrix barcodes on its drug product labels.
The company tested the initiative on some of its IV products earlier this year. Fresenius Kabi plans to add the barcodes to vials in the early fall.
Data Matrix barcodes include more information than traditional barcodes.
Fresenius Kabi plans to use the barcodes to include lot numbers and expiration dates.
The new barcodes could also help enable safety checks for clinicians while improving tracking of potential recalls and expired medications.
In addition, the Data Matrix barcodes can enable the automatic population of drug data into healthcare systems.
They can also support automatic inventory replenishment.
“Our goal is to integrate technology into our pharmaceutical portfolio to help streamline the medication-use process for clinicians minimizing the burden of manual processes that can contribute to human error,” said Gwen Volpe, director of medication technology at Fresenius Kabi USA, in a statement. “We recognize the importance of continually innovating our pharmaceutical portfolios with auto-identification technologies, including Data Matrix barcodes and RFID, to support accurate, efficient data collection and enhanced patient care. By adding GS1 Data Matrix barcodes to all product labels, we can help clinicians reduce manual data input, more accurately track medications, and reduce the potential for error.”
GS1 is a not-for-profit, international standards organization.
It ratified its GS1 DataMatrix guidelines in January 2018.