Prior: use of barcodes should be ‘commonplace in the NHS’

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  • Scan4Safety saving thousands of clinical hours, report finds
  • Barcode technology also reducing never events and saving trusts money
  • Prior: We need to embrace this now

The widspread adoption of barcoding by the NHS is needed to meet the challenge posed by the Cumberlege patient safety review, according to NHS England chair Lord David Prior.

In 2016, the Department of Health awarded £12million to six hospital trusts in England to investigate how consistent use of point-of-care scanning might improve efficiency and safety within the NHS.

Barcodes on patient wristbands provided by international standards body GS1 have been scanned before procedures, along with all equipment used, including implantable medical devices, recorded against the patient and the location.

The Scan4Safety programme has led to dramatic falls in the time taken for product recalls and reductions in drug errors and never events, a report from NHS England and GS1 released tomorrow will say. It has also enabled “vastly better” stock management across the six demonstrator sites, saving the trusts millions of pounds, and released significant amount of time for clinicians to spend with patients the report says.


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Source: HSJ
Author: Matt Discombe
Date: 14 July 2020