Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chooses Zebra Technologies for GS1 compliance

Scan4Safety programme has potential to save lives and reduce costs

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) is using Zebra Technologies’ HC100 printers and Z-Band Ultrasoft wristbands as the core of its Scan4Safety programme.

This transformative effort aims to improve patient safety and hospital administration through better use of barcode technology with methods derived from the aerospace and retail industries.

Scan4Safety is a barcode identification programme that enables staff to track each patient through their hospital journey from admission to discharge.

The resulting actionable insights enable hospitals to significantly enhance the quality of patient care, reduce unnecessary waste, and improve medical stock management.

Scanning wristbands at each point of care; the hospital can better ensure patients receive the right treatment, reducing errors and delays.

The programme has the additional aim of ensuring that all products procured by NHS acute trusts in England are compliant with GS1 global standards for capturing and sharing information.

The Scan4Safety programme is a perfect example of where deploying the right solution has a real, positive impact on the experience of both patients and staff

LTHT is one of the largest trusts in the UK and runs one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe.

It was among the first to deploy Zebra HC100 printers, with more than 17,000 staff using more than 250,000 wristbands each year across seven hospitals.

With the Scan4Safety programme, the trust has expanded its use of Zebra’s solutions across its sites, standardising the printing of essential patient data with GS1-compliant linear and 2D Data Matrix codes, which the UK’s Department of Health has set as the standard for care in the UK by 2019.

Beyond allowing LTHT to better track a given patient’s journey through the hospital; the wristbands also improve patient experience as Z-Band Ultrasoft bands are among the softest direct thermal wristbands on the market.

Resistant to the effects of hand sanitisers; the text and barcodes are clearly printed and can be scanned for up to 14 days.

Feedback from clinical staff has been positive. The printers are small, reliable and easy to use, with fast-load cartridges that remove the complexity of media loading associated with traditional barcode printers. The wristbands are also made of healthcare plastics, which support LTHT’s infection control regime.

The key to the success of the programme has been the interaction with our suppliers and technology providers

The trust has similarly created links with its Accident and Emergency systems to enable wristbands to be printed for all patients, including newborns, ensuring widespread benefits over the new system.

Mark Songhurst, information analyst at the trust, said: “The Scan4Safety programme is a perfect example of where deploying the right solution has a real, positive impact on the experience of both patients and staff.

“The key to the success of the programme has been the interaction with our suppliers and technology providers. Working with the market we have been able to achieve change in a very-limited timeline.”

Wayne Miller, healthcare director EMEA at Zebra Technologies, added: “Improving healthcare procedures through better technology and alignment to global standards is an important task that can save lives and drive significant cost savings.

“Our products are optimised to work together for ease of deployment and use.

“Following our success with the LTHT, we are pleased to note that Zebra now has technology present in every NHS Scan4Safety Foundation flagship trust.”

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