The Global Language of Business


Giving time back to patient care at Dublin’s Tallaght University Hospital

The “Scan4Safety” project at TUH is part of a new digital strategy in the hospital with the objective of improved patient safety, with the added benefits of giving time back to patient care and increased operational efficiencies.



The Scan4Safety Team at TUH*

L to R: Roshan Wijesinghe, Senior ICT Project Manager; John Donovan, Scan4safety & Purchasing Manager; Cait Tobin, Theatre Nurse Manager; David Addie, Deputy Director of Finance; Cathy Elworthy, SAP Support; Karl Doran, Scan4Safety Officer; Olivia Leigh, CNM2 General/Vascular Theatre; Conor Kenna, SAP Support; Ger Connolly, Scan4Safety Supplies Officer
*Please note the team picture was taken in TUH before the outbreak of COVID-19

“Scan4Safety is a key priority for Tallaght University Hospital. The success of the project has been driven by the strong collaboration across clinical and non-clinical areas. Scan4Safety is demonstrating real benefits by improving patient safety and giving time back to patient care.”

Lucy Nugent


Tallaght University Hospital

“Scan 4 Safety will change how the Hospital manages its stocks. End to End automation of the supply chain will deliver efficiencies, and real time data. This will help TUH to reduce waste, improve our working capital, and make optimal use of our clinical resource.”

Dermot Carter

Director of Finance

Tallaght University Hospital


Clinical staff at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) were spending a large proportion of their time per week managing inventory. They found that they had little visibility into what item was used and with what patient. Also, the tracking of stock levels and expiry dates was difficult. This posed a significant risk to patient safety. In the two theatres where Scan4Safety had been initially implemented, the Clinical Nursing Manager was spending more than a day per week on reordering and managing stock. This was taking valuable clinical time away from patient care.


While this reflects processes in many other hospitals in Ireland, the TUH team looked to address these issues by implementing barcode scanning in theatres, with the aim of improving patient safety and giving time back to patient care. This is made possible by making it easier for nursing staff to re-order products as they have greater visibility on stock levels and expiry dates. With the successful roll out of Scan4Safety across many sites in the UK, and in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, the team at TUH had many sites to reference for best practices. Added to this, with the introduction of Unique Device Identification (UDI) regulations across the world, most medical devices now have unique device identifiers— the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®), lot number, expiry date and sometimes serial number—enabling a simple scan at the point of care.


  • Full visibility of what products were used for which patients in operating theatres
  • Increased patient safety via alerts if products have expired when scanned
  • One working day saved per week to redeploy on patient care
  • Leaner inventory processes through automatic reordering