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NHS England has launched a new NHS Scan4Safety website as a central resource to support trusts to adopt and optimise scanning processes.

The new scan4safety.nhs.uk site will act as an information hub, providing case studies, updates, tools, resources and practical guidance for any trusts looking to expand or embark on their own adoption journeys.

Scan4Safety was first launched in 2016 by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The initial two-year pilot saw six NHS trusts adopt GS1 standards to uniquely identify every person, product and place throughout their respective organisations. The was achieved by implementing point of care barcode scanning to enable the delivery of better patient care, improved clinical productivity and supply chain efficiency.

As evidenced in the 2020 Scan4Safety report, the wealth of data and insights accumulated revealed multiple transformative benefits for both patients and staff. This included over 140 thousand hours of clinical time being released back into care, almost £5 million in recurrent inventory savings and £9 million of non-recurrent inventory reductions.

These six initial trusts have provided a blueprint for driving wider adoption of across the four nations. Today, over 30 per cent of trusts in England have now adopted GS1 standards and programmes are now being implemented across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Scan4Safety is now led by the NHS England National Patient Safety Team as part of their wider strategic programmes of digital safety work. Aiming to build on the successes and learnings of the initial phase, the team will encourage trusts across England to adopt scanning technologies in line with objectives outlined in the NHS Digital Clinical Safety Strategy.

The launch of the new website will provide NHS trusts with the tools and resources needed to support wider implementation of point-of-care scanning as part of the organisation’s national approach. It is also bears significance for NHS England’s Outcomes and Registries programme and is closely aligned with NHS Supply Chain’s inventory management and point-of-care scanning initiative, the DHSC’s MedTech Strategy, and the Strategic Framework for NHS Commercial.

Together, these programmes will enable the unique identification of high-risk medical devices to improve traceability, patient safety and outcomes. Using Scan4Safety, trusts can efficiently capture the relevant information required at the point of care which can then be used to feed national registries.

As the NHS faces growing pressures on its operations, the need to harness the power of technology and standards has never been higher. GS1 UK remain fully committed to Scan4Safety and will continue to work closely with NHS leaders, clinicians and key stakeholders to build on previous successes and learnings and promote widespread adoption across the health service.

Dr Kelsey Flott, deputy director of patient safety digital, NHS England, said, “I am delighted to be taking Scan4Safety forward as a priority within the National Patient Safety Team. Scan4Safety is a solution proven to deliver costs savings, efficiency gains and patient safety benefits through the use of digital technologies. I am encouraged to see so much interest in this work from across the NHS and hope this website will provide the guidance, tools and support needed for organisations to start and improve their own local Scan4Safety programmes.”

Glen Hodgson, head of healthcare, GS1 UK said: “In the years since the publication of the Scan4Safety report we have seen exceptional progress implementing the programme. First in England, then across Wales and Scotland, and we are now making inroads in Northern Ireland with asset tracking.

“As NHS England reinforces its support for the Scan4Safety rollout, the continuation will act as a powerful catalyst for helping more organisations adapt to the challenges of today, build resilience for the future and crucially, provide even safer care for patients.

“We are already supporting the next generation of Scan4Safety adopters and will expand this support to any organisation that wishes to implement GS1 standards. We look forward to seeing the impact of the programme’s growth in the coming months and years.”

Date: 22 February

Posted in News on Feb 22, 2024

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