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Published July 2020
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Case Study

How positive patient identification can provide peace of mind for patients and their relatives

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Key Results

Patients tracked in real time throughout their care journey

Greater visibility for staff and patients’ relatives

The problem

Staff working on the postoperative breast ward at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust faced numerous, daily calls from patients’ relatives who wanted up-to-date care information about their loved ones.

However, they had easily accessible means to get this information. Instead, staff had to call different wards and departments to check, each time an update was needed.

The solution

Using GS1 standards for patient identification and for the unique identification of their hospital locations, staff had the capacity to link accurate location information for each patient to the electronic patient record (EPR).

With this system in place, details about a patient’s status could be provided in real time, making the right information easily accessible to staff when needed, and to relatives when they called.

Relative and clinician at patient bedside

"[These changes] have a great impact on the safety of patients. Thanks to the work of the digital and informatics team here at Leeds, we are making world-leading changes to the benefit of our staff, clinicians and, most importantly, our patients and their relatives and carers."

Mark Songhurst, Scan4Safety project manager

The results

In the initial weeks, they experienced a reduction in the volume of calls to the ward, and because the staff have a better idea of the timing associated with a care journey, they are able to provide well-informed estimates for relatives.

The traceability provided also enables the staff to be much more equipped to prepare ahead of time for anything that patients might need for post-operative care.

Operational efficiency has dramatically improved for the ward staff since they can more easily check a patient’s status. And, it is this efficiency that enables them to provide patients’ relatives with greater support.

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