Efficient big data management at the hospital: a major step forward for patient safety What are the benefits of GS1 standards for you? For me, the benefits GS1 standards are exactly that – having a standard code… one single code. The first time they were used was in the field of sterilisation when I was at Robert Ballanger hospital in Aulnay-sous-Bois. I wanted to introduce a system for tracking instruments and we were already thinking about a local code system, as were many hospitals in France. And then I found out what an international code was and that each one was unique. And that helped us to describe and to introduce an instrument tracking system using GS1 barcodes via the DataMatrix. Which helped us identify all instruments individually, first from a around a thousand of instruments, and then now across all boxes. So that’s how I found out about standards, and when I changed jobs, changed hospital, we realised that these standards were already used for medicines and medical devices. And that meant that we could use them use them for tracking anti-cancer drugs, medicines derived from blood and certain implants in particular. What do you expect from the application of GS1 standards to the way in which your hospital works? What I’m expecting from standards, with the introduction of regional hospitals, i.e. multi-site activities, such as in my centre, which is made up of the hospitals – well, the sites, now – of Meaux, Marne-la-Vallée and Coulommiers, is for these standards to be used to increase patient safety. Let me give you two examples: we are preparing parenteral nutrition mixes in Coulommiers for neonatal resuscitations in Meaux. So these are for ill babies weighing between 500 g and 1.5 kg. We want to be absolutely certain that the medicines that we have prepared, the sachets, are given to the right patients, at the right time and that there are no mistakes administrating them, and that we can track them properly. Another example: the chemotherapy treatments for the Coulommiers site are prepared at the Marne-la-Vallée site. Again, to ensure that everything is traceable, and to ensure patient safety. So I want these standards to enable us to share information across various hospital sites so we can ensure that the channels through which medicines pass and the medical devices used are safe across in a whole region. How do you present GS1 France to somebody who does not know us? Every time I present GS1, I take the example of a Coca-Cola bottle, and I show people the barcode which is on the can. I say to them “so, there you are – a standard code, that’s what one looks like: you can identify each and every product individually”. And then once I’ve explained that, I can extend it to instruments, medicines, medical devices and sterile devices. And what I finish by saying is that what we have succeeded in doing in the FMCG industries is something that we should be able to do for everybody in healthcare. If you were able to create the ideal standard, which one would you introduce straight away? If I could wave a magic wand and introduce a standard, well, I think the one I’m thinking of already exists: you see evidence of it in the way software can all work together. In my pharmacy, we take several tens of thousands of orders per year. Ideally, as soon as we took the order, it would arrive at the suppliers. That already exists – with EDI in particular. And we should be able to take acceptance of products simply by scanning the delivery slip, which would integrate them into our storage and business software. Then this information could be used to track the path a healthcare product takes right up to the patient. There you are, that is what I would like to see during my career and I think that in the next 10 years, those possibilities will exist.