HIBC Coding Standard Recommended for Australian Standard

The Standards Australia working group responsible for developing a product identification standard for Australian healthcare has recommended that the HIBC coding standard form an integral part of any future Australian Standard for product identification.

The issue of a standard for product identification for healthcare was debated by the product identification working group IT.14.10.4 of Standards Australia late in 2002. The working group concluded and made recommendations to Standards Australia that any future product identification standard in healthcare should include the HIBC coding standard.

The HIBC coding system was designed by healthcare practitioners specifically for the health industry 20 years ago in 1983, and was created due to the lack of a coding standard to address the critical patient safety requirements for healthcare. Subsequently, the HIBC system has been implemented by more than 1,500 manufacturers and suppliers of medical devices globally, and has been taken up by the global market leaders for medical devices.

This recommendation provides the necessary foundation for future automation of supply chains in healthcare, integrated with the care giving environment to reduce errors, and improve patient safety in Australian hospitals.