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Instrumark’s single instrument marking using compact fibre laser technology is the first instrument marking system in the UK to be awarded accreditation as a GS1-UK Certified Solution. This outstanding achievement comes at a time when increasing numbers of pro-active hospitals and healthcare organisations are rapidly adopting the procedure of identifying individual surgical instruments in accordance with recent DOH guidelines, such as NICE IPG196 regarding ‘patient safety and reduction of risk of transmission of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) via interventional procedures.’

“It is important that systems are in place to allow surgical instruments to be tracked through decontamination processes in order to ensure that the processes have been carried out effectively” HSC2000/032

Instrumark’s unique, super high frequency, compact laser marking process has been developed by some of the world’s leading laser engineers, and uses technology developed by NASA to provide the most accurate and secure instrument marking system anywhere in the world.

The compact laser process is extremely fast (it takes a matter of seconds to mark a single instrument), and highly consistent. Almost any surface can be marked, from surgical grade stainless steel and alloys, to carbides, some plastics, and glass. And all without creating a potential trap for bio-burden.

The Instrumark laser marking system - How does it work?

The Instrumark system uses a specially designed, highly compact fibre laser machine to mark a unique 2-D Data Matrix Code (two-dimensional, machine- readable high-capacity barcodes) to each reusable item. The i-Mark process has been developed that damages neither the instrument, nor its warranty. This easy-to-operate process takes a matter of seconds, after which the items (such as surgical instruments) are scanned into the hospital’s software traceability system, such as TrayBax® from Meditrax, or IMS® from Scantrack. From then on any marked item can be quickly identified and tracked, almost instantly, using instrument scanners.





2-D Data Matrix barcodes - What are they?

The 2-D Data Matrix barcodes are tiny symbols, marked by laser on to an instrument, that have been designed to provide huge amounts of data, all at the click of a button. Amongst other things, a 2-D barcode provides the means to reveal information as what procedures have been performed - where, when, by whom, and on whom; the length of time in service; full maintenance records or details of repairs; the manufacturer; dates and batch numbers. The list is virtually endless.



What is GS1?

GS1 is the international Global Coding Standards organisation and has developed identification systems whereby an instrument can in theory be traced back to its source from anywhere in the world. Instrumark’s IFL2 laser marking system is the first such system to be accredited as a GS1-UK Certified Solution.



The NHS has entered into an agreement with GS1 UK, for the provision of codes to the NHS, and the publication of the Department of Health’s ‘Coding for Success’ report advocates a greater use of AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) technologies within the healthcare sector, which was recognised to have unique requirements, such as the importance attached to patient safety and hence the need to attain the highest possible levels of traceability involved with the decontamination and handling of reusable instruments.

“The use of GS1 standards to automatically identify and track ‘medical equipment’ and manage electronic information is a key component in securing patient safety, improving efficiency and reducing costs in the NHS. We have continued to work closely with GS1 UK to ensure that these standards, recommended by the department of Health’s ‘Coding for Success’ policy document, are implemented by NHS Trusts across the country”

Neil Lawrence, AIDC Programme Lead, Department of Health


Can 2-D codes work for systems other than GS1?

Yes. Although the internationally recognised GS1 System is quickly becoming established as the industry standard, some hospitals and healthcare organisations prefer to use either their own system, or other systems for identification. Instrumark can apply 2-D Data Matrix barcodes for all coding systems in current use within the healthcare industry.

The key features of Instrumark’s IFL2 laser marking system

• It is the fastest, most accurate, secure and fully compliant single instrument marking system in the world - the ultimate in permanent marking.

• SAFE, INEXPENSIVE and SIMPLE to use, almost any instrument surface can be marked with total CONSISTENCY.

• Can be used with GS1 codes, or in conjunction with other unique codes.

• The ONLY marking & reading technology specifically designed for surgical instruments.

• Surgical instruments can easily be incorporated within TrayBax® (Meditrax), IMS® (Scantrack), or other SSD floor management software systems.

“The continuing development of their unique compact fibre lasers, is yet another reason why the Altrax Group remain at the forefront of single instrument marking technology.”


Instrumark Services

Instrumark is part of the Altrax Group, who are unique in offering clients the opportunity to either purchase marking equipment (with full training), to mark their own instruments; or to provide ‘on site’ or ‘by mail’ marking services. For more information please visit our website or call us on +44(0)1454 318373





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