Barcode pilot for Leeds health trust

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Barcode technology is being introduced at hospitals in Leeds as one of six pilot projects taking place across the country in a bid to revolutionise patient safety.

Hospitals that come under the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust umbrella will use barcodes on breast implants, replacement hips, medication and surgical tools.

The £12m project means that everything from a screw used in a knee operation or a breast implant that may develop a fault years later can be instantly traced. The barcode can also store details such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure.

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From uniquely barcoded wristbands patients receive when they enter hospital, to barcodes used to record their medication and equipment used in their treatment - each code can be scanned to show exactly which member of staff administered each treatment, at what time and where.

David Berridge, deputy chief medical officer, at the Trust said: “Scan4Safety has already allowed us full track and traceability of all products in maxillofacial surgery and ophthalmology.

“Our rollout programme will make this universal across all our hospitals.

“We now have all inpatients being supplied with a GS1 compatible wristband including a bespoke development for neonates and baby’s wristbands.

“Future developments in coming weeks will see wristbands being used in our accident and emergency departments.”

He added that the scheme had also helped the Trust monitor costs and identify savings by eliminating waste.

Other pilots are running in Derby, Salisbury, Cornwall, North Tees and Plymouth and could save £1b over seven years.

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