Barcode Specifications

The barcode symbologies used on blood and blood products funded under the national blood arrangements are changing.  Australia will move to the globally recognised standards of:

  • ISBT128 DataMatrix for all fresh blood products (Red Cells, Platelets, Clinical Fresh Frozen Plasma, Cryoprecipitate, Cryo-depleted Plasma and Serum Eye Drops)
  • GS1 DataMatrix for all plasma, recombinant and diagnostic products

For more information on the barcode please refer to the Barcoding Plasma Derivative Implementation Guide.

The adoption of these symbologies aims to:

  1. Enhance safety and supply security;
  2. Improve inventory management and financial sustainability;
  3. Increase efficiencies; and
  4. Facilitate global compliance and benchmarking.

To enable health providers, laboratory information system providers and suppliers/distributors to update their systems and processes, transition labels will be used during the implementation period.  During this time, units will be issued by the supplier which contain barcodes in the current symbology (such as Codabar), as well as barcodes in the new symbology. At the conclusion of the implementation period, the transition labelling will cease and units will only contain the new (ie ISBT128 or GS1) barcodes.

Barcoding Frequently Asked Questions for Suppliers

Specification

Further details on the specifications are available in the Barcode specifications for blood and blood products funded under the National Blood Arrangements approved by the Jurisdictional Blood Committee:

Additionally, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service has produced The Australian guidelines for the labelling of blood components using ISBT128 which provides further detail on the specific implementation of ISBT128.

Further, GS1 has produced GS1 General Specifications that provide the foundations of the GS1 standard that defines how identification keys, data attributes and barcodes must be used in business applications. including labelling of Blood Products GS1 which provides further detail on the specific implementation of GS1.

If you require any support in implementing the GS1 standard you can directly contact the GS1 Healthcare team on: 1300 BARCODE (1300 227 263) | healthcareteam [at] gs1au.org.

Sample Barcodes

Samples of barcodes created by suppliers will be uploaded here as they become available.

 

Barcoding Reform Open Forum

Thank you to all those who attended the Barcoding Reform Open Forum on the 21st of October 2015. Watch the forum below or view the pdf of the presentation. 

 

 

Forum presentation slides (4.47 MB) (pdf)

Implementation and Timeline for ISBT 128 DataMatrix

The implementation will occur over a five year period from 2015 to 2019, in the following stages

  • 1 January 2015 – publication of Barcode specifications for blood and blood products funded under the National Blood Arrangements and The Australian guidelines for the labelling of blood components using ISBT128.
  • February 2015 – establishment of national consultative group
  • 1 January 2017 – Blood Service must commence transition labelling for all products
  • 1 January 2019 – Blood Service can cease transition labels and all products supplied must fully comply with the Barcode specifications for blood and blood products funded under the National Blood Arrangements.

In early, 2015, the NBA will facilitate a national consultative group incorporating representation from health providers, the Blood Service and other relevant stakeholders to inform the implementation of the new symbologies.

Implementation and Timeline for GS1 DataMatrix

The implementation will occur over a three year period from 2015 to 2017, in the following stages:

  • January 2015 – publication of the Barcode specifications for blood and blood products funded under the National Blood Arrangements
  • 1 February 2015 – suppliers can commence the introduction of transition labelling
  • 1 January 2016 – suppliers must implement transition labelling for all products
  • 1 January 2017 – suppliers must include the serial number data element for all products
  • 1 January 2018 – suppliers can cease the transition labels. All products supplied must fully comply with the GS1 DataMatrix elements identified in the Barcode specifications for blood and blood products funded under the National Blood Arrangements.

Barcodes for New Imported Immunoglobulin Products

As a result of the tender process for imported Immunoglobulin products there will be three new products available.

Imported SCIg products available from 1 September 2015

  • Hizentra 20% (supplied by CSL Behring)
    • Will be available in four vial sizes; 1g (5mL), 2g (10mL), 4g (20mL) and 10g (50mL).
    • Should be stored below 25°C. Do not freeze. Protect from light. 

Imported IVIg products available from 1 November 2015

  • Flebogamma 5% DIF (supplied by Grifols Australia)
    • Will be available in five vial sizes; 0.5g (10mL), 2.5g (50mL), 5g (100mL), 10g (200mL) and 20g (400mL).
    • Should be stored below 30°C. Do not freeze. Protect from light.
  • Flebogamma 10% DIF (supplied by Grifols Australia)
    • Will be available in three vial sizes; 5g (50mL), 10g (100mL) and 20g (200mL).
    • Should be stored below 30°C. Do not freeze. Protect from light.
  • Privigen ​10% (supplied by CSL Behring)
    • Will be available in four vial sizes; 5g (50mL), 10g (100mL), 20g (200mL) and 40g (400mL).
    • Should be stored below 25°C. Do not freeze. Protect from light.

Further Information

Quarterly updates will be available from this page and will also be posted to the Machine Readable Product Identification mailing list through BloodPortal. Quarterly webinars will also be scheduled in early 2015.

Alternately, please do not hesitate to contact the National Blood Authority by email (barcoding [at] blood.gov.au) or by telephone – 13 000 BLOOD (13 000 25663).