Scanning for Safety: GS1 standards

Safer, more efficient care starts with a simple scan

Lorna Wilkinson, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.GS1 barcoding technology is currently being rolled out at ‘Demonstrator sites’, across the NHS, with funding from the Department of Health. As well as saving money and improving efficiency, it is argued that barcoding of medical devices, patients and staff will improve patient safety, free time to care and improve the patient experience.

The Department of Health Information Standards Board has adopted GS1 identifiers and barcodes as the standard to be used in NHS Trusts in England for a wide variety of applications, including the tracking and identifying of: surgical instruments, medical devices and records, as well as the patients and staff themselves. But what does this mean for patient care and why should the GS1 standards matter to clinical staff working on the frontline of healthcare? In addition, during this time of austerity, how can hospitals justify investment in the necessary technology? These are just some of the many questions addressed at the recent GS1 UK annual healthcare conference, attended by more than 350 professionals from the healthcare sector.

You can read the full article online at the Clinical Services Journal, or you can download a copy by clicking the link below.