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August 18, 2017
By: Sara Ford

How Scan4Safety goes further than product tracking

As it turns out, scanning and tracking your hospital consumables can have some pretty valuable applications. My experience of the NHS’ Scan4Safety initiative is that the ability to scan and record information in clinical environments can actually benefit clinical decision making – and even outcomes.

Variations in clinical practices and productivity (if the same procedure takes clinicians different amounts of time, using different numbers of staff, different product costs and leading to different patient lengths of hospital stay) can be used to isolate and eliminate unwarranted variation and improve efficiency and clinical outcomes. Clinicians can be engaged in the transformation process – using real evidence of clinical variation – to identify challenges and ensure consistency and efficiency. Clinical outcomes can be improved through more efficient use of theatres, based on more accurate, predictable start- and end-times for given procedures. Auditable evidence can be used in investigations, and it is even possible to identify differences in infection rates between procedures. Scan4Safety has already enabled more effective clinical decision making and improved patient outcomes at Derby Teaching Hospitals.

Benefits of Scan4Safety in Derby have included, to date:

  • £1.1m annual saving in consumable usage in theatres

  • Ability to track implantable products to a specific patient record

  • Auditable evidence to resolve serious untoward incidents

  • Data driven analysis of clinical variation

Scan4Safety is integral in everything we do at Derby. It gives our clinicians accurate data at their fingertips, in real time, to improve patient safety and value for money. 


But the benefits should not stop at the organisational level. Through the growth of the Sustainability and Transformation agenda, it’s clear that NHS organisations need to have increased focus on the wider health economy of a region to improve integration with primary, secondary and community care. The principals of Scan4Safety could support this integration, through more consistent processes and standards in use across multiple organisations, and ultimately deliver improvements across the end to end patient journey. These improvements go beyond inventory tracking, and can provide critical management information that enhances clinical decisions, patient experiences and clinical outcomes.

If you’d like to discuss Scan4Safety in more detail, why not attend our Pop-up University Session at this year’s NHS Expo. Alternatively, come along to the Accenture stand (#199) to meet the team who will be available to address questions and share insights. Hope to see you there.

Scan4Safety Lessons at NHS Expo

Remarkable results extending beyond simple inventory tracking, achieved at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and presented by Kevin Downs, Derby NHS Director of Finance & Performance, James Mayne, Derby NHS Scan4Safety Programme Manager, and Sara Ford, MD, Accenture's UK & Ireland Healthcare Consulting.


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