CSJ focus on theatre efficiency and safety

Derby Teaching Hospitals recently provided an insight into implementing GS1 standards in theatres using Healthlogistics’ hTrak service to Louise Frampton, Editor of the Clinical Services Journal.

Published in the August edition of the CSJ, and targeted at clinical and theatre teams, the article explains how barcoding scanning is helping to improve clinical effectiveness and efficiency, as well as delivering financial benefits.

GS1 barcoding technology is currently being rolled out at Trusts across the UK, following a national drive to standardise on GS1 identifiers and barcodes to enable the tracking and identifying of surgical instruments and medical devices; to improve inventory management and product recalls; as well as identify areas of clinical variation.
The key to the GS1 barcoding project is securing clinical engagement, and to ensure the support of clinical staff, the focus of the message at the Trust has been on patient safety and traceability. The ‘Track and Trace’ system automatically captures implant lot or consumable serial numbers, and logs the instrumentation set so that patients can easily be recalled in the event of an issue. The handheld scanner used with the hTrak service also flags up if any equipment is out of date.

Explaining the benefits, Kevin Downs, Director of Finance and Performance at Derby Teaching Hospitals said: “We track everything that touches the patient and, at the same time, the system will monitor if the product is out of date. If it is found to be out of date, it will be flagged before it is actually used. Not only are we are able to attribute costs to scopes and instruments, but we can also track equipment to patients.”

As a result of implementing the system, the Trust is also able to discuss clinical variation with theatre staff, supported by accurate data.
“It is possible to obtain a print-out of consultants’ consumables costs and the average theatre time. This data tells me a great deal about how we do things and who needs to be doing them. I think it is important that a patient is….treated…as quickly as possible – experience counts,” commented Keith Jones, the Clinical Director of Surgery at Royal Derby Hospital.

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