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Isis Press Release

Isis Integration sponsor GS1 UK Patient Safety Forum and Exhibition: GS1 coding saves lives in the NHS

LONDON, 23 June 2008 – GS1 UK, the independent global supply chain standards and solutions organisation, has announced that over 100 hospitals have signed up to its NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CfH) initiative to improve patient safety. Ann Keen MP, parliamentary under secretary for health services, has provided further support to the initiative by recommending the use of GS1 codes throughout the healthcare system, both for manufactured products and for coding systems used within healthcare settings.

Speaking at the recent Patient Safety Congress in London she said, “We want to support the use of technology where this can lead to service improvement and are actively encouraging the uptake of coding in healthcare. We believe that this can help staff do what they want to do – deliver the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time. We know it works – patient safety is improved and, therefore, we have recommended the use of GS1 codes.”

“Growing support from government and NHS agencies has helped to drive the adoption of our initiative. In the last year, we have seen a 22% increase in the number of members in the healthcare sector,” said Gary Lynch, chief executive for GS1 UK. “We are delighted with the widespread adoption of the initiative that is helping to improve patient safety in hospitals across the UK.”

The list of hospitals signed up to the GS1 UK NHS CfH initiative includes Epsom General Hospital, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Kent and Canterbury Hospital. NHS hospitals that have implemented the standardised coding system have been able to reduce the threat posed by the cross contamination of surgical instruments and to ensure that patients are receiving the correct medication.

GS1 UK, with the support of the GS1 Healthcare User Group UK, will be organising a one day healthcare conference and exhibition – GS1 UK Patient Safety Forum – on 10 September 2008 at Leicester City Football Club to encourage the adoption of the GS1 coding system amongst the wider healthcare community, including NHS suppliers, manufacturers and NHS hospitals. The event will feature high-level speakers within the healthcare sector including the Department of Health, NHS Connecting for Health, NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, NHS Supply Chain, National Patient Safety Association, Association of British Healthcare Industries and Molnlycke Health Care.

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