“Barcode scanning technology enhances patient safety, reduces errors involving drug administration, and increases the timeliness and accuracy of medication-related documentation , , ,  and .
Since 10–60% of immunization records are missing important information or contain errors , ,  and , possibly due to the Selleck DAPT small print used for lot number and expiry date on vaccine vials, the value of barcode scanning may extend to vaccines. In 1999, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended placing barcodes on vaccine products to automate the recording of vaccine-related data in electronic systems . The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) leads the Automated Identification of Vaccines Project Advisory Task Group (AIVP ATG), which includes representation from
the vaccine industry, healthcare professional organizations, and barcode standard-setting organizations. With a mandate of providing leadership and support for developing and implementing vaccine barcodes in Canada , AIVP ATG reached a consensus on vaccine barcode standards in 2009. These include placing two-dimensional (2D) barcodes, with unique Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and lot number, and optional expiry date, on primary packaging (Fig. 1) . Based on the GS1 System of Standards, the GTIN is a global standard for product identification. It is the foundation for electronic processes such LY294002 as data synchronization and barcode scanning, with resultant improvement in operational efficiencies, cost reduction, and patient safety . Canadian vaccine manufacturers have committed to adhering to the barcode standards by 2016 . To support barcode scanning feasibility studies, a collaborative was formed among AIVP ATG, the PHAC/Canadian
ADAMTS5 Institutes of Health Research Influenza Research Network (PCIRN), PHAC, and Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. We previously studied barcode scanning of influenza vaccine vials for recording inventory in mass immunization clinics and found high barcode readability and favorable user perceptions . However, we observed no improvement in record accuracy, likely because most clinics used a single influenza vaccine lot; the benefits of barcode scanning may be more apparent in settings where multiple vaccines are being used, resulting in a greater potential for errors. The objective of this study was to compare barcode scanning with manual electronic approaches for recording individual-level immunization data for a variety of vaccines administered in public health settings.