The Global Language of Business

Ensuring surgical instrument traceability at Robert Ballanger Hospital, France

Robert Ballanger Hospital implemented our barcodes to help uniquely identify and trace surgical instruments from the patient through the sterilisation process.

8% to 0%
fall in surgical kit error

The context

By implementing GS1 barcodes with serialised product identifiers engraved onto surgical instruments, Robert Ballanger ensured that they could identify the instruments that were used on each patient, essential for infection control. In addition, they were able to increase the accuracy of their surgical kits and enable combined processing of instruments from two hospitals.

Robert Ballanger enabled increased visibility and accuracy of traceability of surgical instruments to the patient through their implementation of GS1 barcodes. This visibility helps the hospital identify which instruments have been used for which patients, and ensures packing of accurate instrument kits. 


  • Surgical instruments can be traced to the patients on which they were used1
  • Possibility for instruments from different hospitals to be processed through the same facilities and accurately returned to each hospital
  • Nursing staff re-deployed to patient care as surgical instruments can now be repackaged by non-nursing staff
  • Non-conformity in surgical kits reduced from 8% to 0%

1 Unique Device Identification of surgical instruments by DataMatrix 2D barcode, Nicolaos, G. & Fremont, F. (2009).