Reduce Exposure to risk (Providers)

Healthcare is a risky business.

Implementing and using product identification can assist in:

  • Reducing for example, medication errors: wrong patient, wrong dose that can result in patient harm, increased and costly treatment and even litigation. A case study example where these improvements have been realised is Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA; the case study was published in May 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine: Effect of Bar-Code Technology on the Safety of Medication Administration
  • Confirming a products authenticity or that it has not been recalled; scanning the identifier provides access to a database, populated by the manufacturer/supplier, to authenticate the product. A recent example is the pilot undertaken by EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) to verify pharmaceutical product at the point of dispense. The “Product Verification Pilot Joint Final Report” is available here.
  • Traceability (Track and Trace) of medical product, for example surgical instruments. Coding for success (Feb 2007) mentions that “recent advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that instruments are kept in their allocated trays… and individual instrument marking is widely thought to be the most effective way to counter this” and cites the case study of Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust. Other more recent case studies from around the world include: The Robert Ballanger Hospital in France and Kanto medical Centre NTT EC in Japan.

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