The Global Language of Business

Improving Patient Safety at Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street

Jun 27, 2019, by Amanda Creane - Category: Healthcare Case Study

GS1 standards in action in healthcare.

Sinead Moran, Special Feeds Unit Manager, Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, recently presented her work on implementing traceability for infant feeds, using GS1 Standards, to the GS1 Ireland Board in June 2019.

Sinead described how, having previously experienced the value of GS1 standards in healthcare through her work in sterile services, she was eager to implement traceability in the special feed’s unit at Temple Street. Following a tender process in early 2018, the hospital began work with GS1 Ireland for the software, and the hospital’s ICT Team procured the necessary hardware.

         Results of temple street infant feeds traceability


The Challenge

The Special Feeds Unit (SFU) at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street looks after the storing, preparation and delivery of prescribed feeds to infants with special dietary needs.

The SFU needs to track the ingredients used to prepare up to 400 infant feeds daily and track those feeds to individual patients. The paper-based traceability system was cumbersome, time consuming and prone to error.

The Solution

The SFU scan all goods received and apply individual serialized barcoded labels to the products at ‘Goods-In’. Although this requires additional resources for the ‘Goods-In’ process, it greatly reduces the time required at subsequent processes.

They now operate ‘single-scan’ movements of feeds rather than numerous paper-based records.

Key Takeaways

What shone through was Sinead’s ability to lead and involve her team throughout the whole process.The SFU team have really embraced traceability and their passion and dedication have been key to the success of this project.

Cross departmental and clinical engagement is something regularly cited as being a priority when implementing scanning projects in healthcare. This became apparent in Sinead’s work as she described how she identified key stakeholders such as dieticians, facilities management, ICT, and nurses and involved them from the beginning.

Another key takeaway were the benefits in implementing the project in several modules, allowing them to get the basics right and build capabilities from there. They continue to add more functionality and have realised additional unexpected benefits such as the digitisation of HACCP forms, and several process improvements.

On top of ensuring patient safety, the new process has led to reduced waste, reduced stock holding and increased cost savings. Feedback from the board has been highly commendatory of Sinead and her teams work.

This is a must read case study for any healthcare providers looking to develop their business case for implementing traceability.

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Improving patient safety and traceability of infant feeds at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street

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Tags: Healthcare, Traceability, Serialisation