Department of Health Pressurize NHS to Adopt Bar Coding

Department of Health Pressurize NHS to Adopt Bar CodingThe British Department of Health recently released a statement pressuring National Health Service (NHS) trusts across the country to begin adopting bar coding technology as a way to reduce health care costs.

Using a standard bar coding product, known as GS-1, different hospitals and health trusts across the country could benchmark prices for the nearly £6 billion worth of goods and products that are purchased every year. This would allow all hospitals to find the lowest prices and could also make the National Health Service procurement process more efficient.

Savings are likely to be found for hospitals that are currently paying too much for some goods. According to an official from the Department of Health, some hospitals are paying almost three times as other hospitals for the same items. Some believe that the simple technology could save the NHS millions.

"Most importantly this is a vital opportunity to save money for reinvestment in frontline care at a time when the NHS needs to make efficiency savings", said Health Minister Simon Burns.

It is also believed that bar coding technology could be used to improve patient safety by tracing surgical instruments, equipment, and other devices and by limiting medication errors, improving record keeping, and reducing errors, malfunctions, and contamination.