What are EHIBCC and HIBC?
HIBCC is the Health Industry Business Communications Council, the primary standard setting and educational organization for bar coding in the world of healthcare. HIBCC was founded in 1983 by a consortium of national trade associations specifically to develop an approach to labeling that would fulfill the unique requirements of our industry. The Health Industry Bar Code (HIBC) Standard is the result of that effort.
Millions of products bearing the HIBC Standard label are now found throughout the industry and the world. In Europe the standard has been accredited for use by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), and is administered by the European Health Industry Business Communications Council (EHIBCC), the companion organization. Major exporting manufacturers on the Pacific rim such as the Fuji, Konica Corporation, and the Terumo Corporation all have HIBC labeler identification codes.
Companies using the EHIBC labeling format are thus already in full compliance with voluntary standards in the institutional healthcare supply channel. Those which have not yet begun labeling should review the following prior to selecting a labeling format.
Why does healthcare need its own labeling standard?
The Health Industry Bar Code Standard was created because the health industry is unique. Unlike most other industries, healthcare products have special human safety requirements, are routinely monitored by government regulators, and are often "purchased" indirectly (through insurance claims) for patients in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. As a consequence, labels must be as error free as possible, must contain additional information, and must satisfy greater needs than those commonly found in point of sale environments such as grocery checkout counters.
By utilizing the HIBC format, manufacturers and distributors are meeting these requirements while simultaneously using the system which best suits their own internal needs.
In short, everyone in the supply channel benefits from the HIBC Standard.