Three Ways to Ensure UDI Compliance
Now more than ever
It is important to avoid obstacles in getting test kits, ventilators, pharmaceuticals and other essential medical resources through the supply chain and into hospitals. The UDI barcode makes the supply chain work, makes it secure and expedites product movement to its destination. When the barcode fails or scans poorly, everything slows down; lives are jeopardized.
Three ways to assure UDI barcode compliance
First, use a GS1 certified source for the barcode design file. If you are not sure, ask the provider. A GS1 certified file provider will have a current certification document. The certification can be quickly validated by the member organization. In the US, this is GS1-US. Here is their contact information:
Design it Right
What does this accomplish? A certified GS1 barcode file source can be trusted to correctly create the digital file used to print your UDI barcodes. Mistakes made at this point do not improve in the print process—they can only get worse. The design file establishes essential attributes of the barcode such as:
- X dimension—the correct, specified width of the narrow bars and spaces
- Quiet Zones-the unobstructed areas around the barcode that enable scanners to find and scan the barcode
- Correctly structuring and sequencing of the packets of data in the barcode
Second, print it right. Potential problems do not end at the file design stage. The digital file communicates the design data the printer. But poor printing quality can ruin barcodes from an accurate digital file. The stress of unusual circumstances can overwhelm reliable sources and push processes. In heroic times, quality can suffer.
Third, verify print output. Use an ISO compliant verifier. Calibrate it often. Daily calibration is recommended when volumes are high and print runs are long. Verification at time of printing is optimal. Problems can be detected and resolved at the source.
Barcode verification service is available from independent quality test labs such as Barcode Test LLC. Some labs offer problem solving and tech support services. Barcode Test offers a wide range of services, including high volume testing, reasonable pricing and extremely quick response times.
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