Barcodes are being used to trace NHS patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and monitor the effectiveness of equipment.
The barcode technology used in major industries such as aerospace and retail is being introduced to the NHS in England to improve patient safety. Barcodes are being placed on breast implants, replacement hips, medication and surgical tools.
The £12 million Department of Health ‘Scan4Safety’ project is already helping staff to quickly and easily track each patient through their hospital journey. From the unique barcodes on wristbands patients receive when they enter hospital, to the barcodes used to record their medication and the equipment used in their treatment, each code can be scanned to show which member of staff administered each treatment, at what time and where.
By using barcodes, anything that might develop a fault years later, for example a screw used in a knee operation or breast implant, can be traced. The details, such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure, can be found quickly and easily. This technology will also help to eliminate avoidable harm in hospitals, including errors such as patients being administered the wrong drugs and surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body.
Click on the link to read more