Figures show there is a continued need to tackle never events in hospitals. At the same time healthcare providers are seeking ways to increase efficiency to reduce the longest ever waiting list for elective surgery as a result of the pandemic.
When it comes to patient safety, the answer isn’t always black and white. So, how can barcodes help? Simon Dawkins looks at how smart patient tracking technologies can provide a solution to these pressing challenges.
Never events are, by definition, serious incidents in medical care that are entirely preventable. In other words, the kind of mistakes that should never happen. Yet, a 2013 study estimated that more than 4000 surgical ‘never events’ occur yearly in the US alone. Meanwhile, the most recent summary from NHS England shows that 226 never events occurred between 1 April – 30 November 2020, including 87 categorised as wrong site surgery, 52 retained objects, and 18 misplaced naso- and oro-gastric tubes.1
Patient safety is rightly a priority for everyone in healthcare. More than ten years has passed since the National Patient Safety Agency published the first list of eight never events in 2009, with the aim to support better quality care for patients and emphasise the importance of learning from their occurrence, which technically should stand at zero.
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