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Scan4Safety™ Setting the Standards for Safer Care

Enabling and accelerating digital transformation in the NHS


Scan4Safety™ is a strategic UK Department of Health programme focused on implementing a set of standards, initially at six Acute NHS Trusts ("demonstrator" sites), and ultimately at scale across the NHS. This programme enables and accelerates healthcare providers’ digital transformations. Whether it’s tracking the products that are implanted into patients in case of product recalls, or ensuring procedures, staff and locations are all appropriately coded, Scan4Safety™ provides a full electronic audit trail of patient activity throughout their stay in hospital, ensuring that healthcare providers get it right, first time.

The Scan4Safety™ programme centres on the implementation of GS1 data standards and PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement Online) messaging standards. GS1 standards allow products, places and people to be uniquely identified, captured and shared across integrated systems.

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Mandated by the 2014 e-Procurement Strategy, all Trusts are expected to have adopted GS1 standards by 2020.

Key findings

As Trusts consider their digital transformations, including going paperless, Scan4Safety™ should be seen as an important enabler, and included as part of their strategy. Through our work with the demonstrator sites, we can see the opportunity for significant improvements in:

The integration of Scan4Safety™ will improve patient safety by flagging expired products, checking patient allergies at point of use and as a result reduce both the number, and impact, of clinical incidents such as adverse drug effects.

By implementing Scan4Safety™, Trusts will have the ability to locate products immediately and ensure positive patient identification so that the right product is used on the right patient at the right time.

Through point of care scanning and linking into appropriate systems, Scan4Safety will enable clinical variation analysis to understand the difference in products used, staff numbers involved, and time taken per procedure per patient. When linked to length of stay and re-admission rates, this enables data driven decision making to improve clinical practice and behaviour.

Linking point of care scanning to inventory management systems will facilitate improved stock management practices to help drive down inventory levels, wastage and obsolescence. This will also release clinical time from stock management activity back to patient care.

The implementation of PEPPOL messaging standards will release efficiency savings through a reduction in manual intervention in the processing of purchase orders and invoices.

The improved quality of national, standardised data from supplier managed catalogues will help all Trusts across the country to compare products like for like. This will improve the ability to benchmark spend more effectively and to identify opportunities for improvement.

How can Accenture help

Accenture have significant experience of working with GS1 standards both in healthcare and in other industries. Accenture are the only major consultancy firm with GS1 partner status in the United Kingdom, and have worked with major UK retailers and supermarkets to implement their central PIM catalogues.

Accenture collaborates with payers, care providers and clients from life sciences and government to deliver market leading clinical and health management solutions. Our Clinical & Health Management organisation boasts over 500 consulting, 1,500 operations and 400 technology professionals. Extensive consulting and technology expertise has made us the leader in the clinical & health management space, where we operate key functions on behalf of clients who rely on us to frame pragmatic, innovative strategies and operating models.

Four Trusts worked with Accenture to author outline business cases and bid for demonstrator funding, allowing us to share with you a robust methodology, and a range of tools and insights, to understand the costs, benefits and resource implications involved in adopting the standards.

Accenture have implementation experience to de-risk the GS1 implementation journey, which can be deployed in a flexible way. Since January 2016, Accenture have worked with several demonstrator sites to support the implementation of the standards. Our experience in health strategy, supply chain and logistics transformation, large scale IT deployment and operating model design allows us to reduce risk for NHS Trusts.

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Sara Ford

Sara Ford

Managing Director
Health & Public Service

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Niamh McKenna

Niamh McKenna

Managing Director, Accenture Health, UK
Health & Public Service

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Katie Davidson

Katie Davidson

Business Strategy
Health & Public Service

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Jonathan Hoggins

Jonathan Hoggins

Management Consultant
Health & Public Service

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