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Harland Simon and GS1 Ireland partner to support GS1 Ireland’s healthcare members to use next generation technologies to improve patient safety, increase efficiency and cut costs

Harland Simon has today announced participation in the GS1 Ireland Solution Provider Programme.

As Partners, GS1 Ireland and Harland Simon will work together to support organisations in using GS1 identifiers, barcodes and RFID technology to provide cost effective solutions for real-time location tracking and inventory management.

In particular, Harland Simon is supporting healthcare providers to improve their utilisation and tracking of medical devices and other assets to deliver on patient safety and cost effectiveness objectives. This is achieved through the use of GS1-compliant labels incorporating a passive RFID tag. Individual devices and assets can be barcode-scanned in line of sight, while multiple assets can also be captured quickly with mobile or fixed RFID readers. By doing so, location data can be recorded easily and accurately even in “curtained-off” areas. An additional benefit is that Inventory Audits can be carried out in a fraction of the time it takes using traditional forms of asset tags. Harland Simon’s asset tracking software RFiD Discovery, drastically cuts down the time nurses and other clinical staff spend looking for equipment. Additionally, it assists medical engineers in identifying the devices in need of maintenance and repair, thus increasing patient safety.

RFiD Discovery systems from Harland Simon are in use at over 20 Trusts throughout the UK including Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), the first NHS Trust in the UK to implement GS1-compliant asset labelling for their 37,500 medical devices. Its use has delivered multiple benefits, including better inventory management through quicker and more frequent auditing. For example, a test audit on six wards used to take 2 weeks with up to 35% of devices unaccounted for, the same process now takes just 10 to 15 minutes with more than 90% of inventory detected. The system has also improved the process of risk management by minimising the circulation of potentially dangerous, unsuitable or unmaintained equipment.

In addition, CUH are now also ready for the UK’s Scan4Safety initiative which means that equipment can be scanned against a patient’s wristband to identify which exact device is used for each patient.

Since the implementation at CUH, Harland Simon has helped numerous other hospitals on their way to GS1-compliant asset labelling, including Kingston Hospital in London, East Kent Hospitals and Heart of England NHS Trust. The company has also provided labels for St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and advised on GS1 labelling techniques for their early stage studies.

Commenting on the collaboration agreement, Mike Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of GS1 Ireland said:

“GS1 Ireland’s primary objective is to support healthcare providers in their goal to deliver patient safety while also achieving high levels of efficiency and cost reduction through the use of GS1 standards. Partnering with companies like Harland Simon helps us achieve this goal for the benefit of our members”.

Andy James, Director of Healthcare Solutions for Harland Simon commented:

“We have supported the use of GS1 standards for medical device labelling in the UK for a number of years and are excited about the opportunity to help hospitals in Ireland on their journey to benefit from GS1 compliant asset labelling.”

Andy James
Andy James
As RFID Sales Manager at Harland Simon Andy’s main responsibilities include developing new business and managing existing customers in the healthcare sector. He regularly advises healthcare organisations throughout the UK on the best suitable RFID technologies for their specific requirements. Andy is devoted to promoting the use of RFID technology to help manage change in the NHS and over the past 9 years has assisted numerous Trusts to successfully adopt this technology.

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