Ahead of the game on Patient Safety with Barcode Scanning

As NHS Providers are tasked with becoming GS1 complaint by 2020, hearing from a trust about their successful implementation will help you start your own trust's  Scan4Safety journey. It can be daunting to know where and how to start the process.

This website outlines key learnings from Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's own Scan4Safety implementation and can be used as a resource to help you move forward, at speed, on your own transformation.  As well as delivering improved patient safety levels, you can make a commercial impact too.

Over the last few years Derby Teaching Hospitals has witnessed significant patient safety benefits, through reliable traceability of products to patients and has realised financial benefits of over £1.6 million from consumable stock savings and operational efficiencies. Just recently, it was announced that Derby Teaching Hospitals is the first of the six demonstrator trust sites to have completed the GS1 and PEPPOL phases of the Department of Health's Scan4Safety programme.


The starting point for the trust though was some 18 months before the inception of the programme, when they introduced procedure-based barcode scanning and consumption-based inventory management to offer patients the safest possible experience and to create a cost- efficient supply chain.

£'s Stock saving per annum
No. of suppliers on catalogue
GLN's allocated
No of awards won in the UK

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Demonstrator Site Story

Derby Teaching Hospitals began their journey in 2014, initiating a ‘Stock and eProcurement System’ that paralleled the current aims of the Department of Health's Scan4Safety initiative.

Piloted in General Theatres, the solution was rolled out over the course of 12 months to their remaining theatres – 35 in total. Following a successful bid by the Trust for the inclusion of their ‘Stock and eProcurement System’ into the Scan4Safety Programme, Derby Teaching Hospitals was able to speed up their adoption of GS1 and PEPPOL coding standards.

At the time of initiating the project, traceability was a huge driver and quickly became a vital component of the Trust’s patient safety process. Subsequently the Scan4Safety solution at Derby Teaching Hospitals ensures that all items are tracked and traced back to the patient at the touch of a button. Effective consumption-led stock management has delivered reductions in stock;  removed obsolete stock and facilitated the implementation of an efficient automated reordering process.

Also, through continually reviewing the clinical, procedural and consumable data from the scanning solution, better workflow planning and process improvements have been achieved throughout all departments of the Trust.




Stakeholder Engagement Fundamental to Project Success

Find out from the Trust themselves how the Scan4Safety implementation has affected key departments and functions by visiting the following sections of this site:

Released time (hours) for patient care/ Band 5 nurses
No of procedures captured (and counting)
% GS1 compliant patient identification
No. of theatres using barcode scanning

Scan4Safety - A clinical perspective

Getting Buy-in From Clinicians 

Transparency of accurate in-theatre data led to meaningful discussions amongst clinicians over procedures, which resulted in consumable adaptations and significant cost savings, without compromising patient safety.

Vital Patient Safety Measures 

Everything that touches the patient is tracked to ensure that any consumables or implants used are within date. As well as high value consumables, Derby Teaching Hospitals scans low value items, surgical trays and scopes to the patient, so that in the event of any safety concerns, affected patients can be identified in seconds.

Clinical Case Studies

Listen to cost-reduction successes directly from Derby Teaching Hospitals’ eProcurement team and the Clinical Director of Surgery. h-trak barcode scanning data helped to improve coding; identified alternative maxillofacial jaw bones and reduced sterilisation costs with the introduction of individually packed sterile screws – cumulatively delivering significant savings to the Trust’s bottom line.

Work Planning Made Easier

The Trust discusses clinical variation with theatre staff, using scanned procedure data to shine a light on the length of procedures, staff involved and the actual cost.  In addition to improvements in patient safety, the data ensures that theatres are fully utilised.

Adopting New Ways of Working 

Piloted in General theatres initially before the roll-out, the barcode scanning process has now been implemented in all 35 theatres. The easy-to-use h-trak barcode scanner was adopted quickly, and willingly, by the theatre team - and is now an essential part of every procedure.


Total Capture, Total Recall

Witness the barcode process in action - from capturing high cost implants to the smallest of items used routinely in all procedures – all in a few simple moves. Consider how you can configure the handset for your Trust’s own data requirements.

£'s Stock saving per annum
No. of suppliers on catalogue
GLN's allocated
No of awards won in the UK

Inventory Management
More effective Stock and Inventory Management

Achieving stock reductions, addressing wastage

Using the GS1-certified consumption- based stock management solution reduces the risk of data input errors and avoids delays in re-stocking. h-trak stock management software within the theatre stock rooms detects expiring stock, so avoids wastage.

By ensuring that stock inventory is driven by usage, the correct stock levels can be set for each item based on consumption and actively managed through an  automated inventory replenishment approach. Stock therefore is only reordered when it is required.

Derby Teaching Hospitals has also seen a reduction in the time taken for stock taking by 50% using the h-trak scanner – making it ideal for monthly, quarterly or annual reporting.  Streamline your stock and stocktaking today!

Derby Teaching Hospitals was the first Trust to send a full PEPPOL order and invoice transaction in the NHS,  and to see the PEPPOL process delivering great efficiencies throughout the Trust supply chain process.

£'s Stock saving per annum
No. of suppliers on catalogue
GLN's allocated
No of awards won in the UK

Effective Financial Management

Financial Transformation at Derby Teaching Hospitals

GS1 standards will allow every NHS Trust in England to save on average up to £3 million each year while improving patient care, as claimed in Lord Carter’s report.

Derby Teaching Hospitals’ transformation work, prior and during the Scan4Safety programme, is the proof that this can be the case. Capturing and costing all aspects of a procedure results in a more accurate balance sheet.

Cohesive Reporting with Real Data

Cost apportionment has been replaced with real cost data, giving the Trust the means to accurately report on reference costs.

Using the barcode solution, accurate data now feeds seamlessly into Derby’s local PLICs and theatre dashboards – and having accurate stock reporting ensures a validated balance sheet.  


Improved Coding, Improved Recharging

Through the Scan4Safety programme, clinical teams are now more aware than ever of the need to capture all procedure details. As a result of the transformation, the Trust has now seen a sizeable uplift in improved OPCS coding which has led to increased revenues, through more accurate recharging.


Barcodes on Healthlogistics database
hTrak procedures captured worldwide
Product items in Healthlogistics data pool
Trust contracts managed by Healthlogistics



Prospitalia h-trak managed solutions enable NHS Hospital Trusts to dramatically reduce costs and boost revenue, whilst improving patient safety.

Recently acquired by Prospitalia GmbH, Germany's leading hospital group purchasing organisation (GPO), Healthlogistics, through hTrak PTY Ltd, introduced the h-trak system into the UK three years ago to provide a secure, web-based, integrated procedure costing to the UK Healthcare market.

The h-trak system captures and decodes barcodes to accurately identify products used in hospitals, particularly in departments where surgical and interventional procedures are performed. When combined with other data captured in the system, h-trak provides a rich source of procedure information, including procedure costs.

Across both the UK and Australian customer base, h-trak has enabled over 1.9 million procedures worldwide to be fully costed and to date Derby Teaching Hospitals clinical teams have scanned and costed over 120k procedures.

For the NHS, the h-trak system allows Hospital Trusts to dramatically reduce costs and boost revenue, whilst improving patient safety. For award-winning Derby Teaching Hospitals, the system has helped them manage their resources more effectively, save money and reach their Scan4Safety targets.

Building a business case for your Scan4Safety or GS1 barcoding programme can be challenging, so let us help you to start your trust's journey right away. Contact us today!


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