Department of Health Skip to content

Please note that this website has a UK government access keys system.

Page menu

You are here:

Coding for Success: Simple technology for safer patient care

  • Document type:
    Guidance
  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    16 February 2007
  • Product number:
    Smart No. 279660
  • Gateway reference:
    7763
  • Pages:
    52
  • Copyright holder:
    Crown

New guidance to promote and support use of auto identification (barcoding and similar technologies) to increase patient safety and improve efficiency has been launched. There is evidence of real improvements to patient safety when coding systems are used to match patients to their care – reduced medication errors, reduced risk of wrong site surgery, accurate track and trace of surgical instruments, equipment and other devices and much better record keeping. Using coding to manage supplies and purchasing electronically can cut costs dramatically as well as improve efficiency.

This document has been written in partnership with DH, NPSA, MHRA, CfH and PASA. It recommends both industry and NHS adopt the GS1 system of coding standards and sets out an action plan that supports both NHS and industry.

Hard copies of this document are no longer kept at Prolog.  It can now be ordered directly from the Department of Health, who have a limited stock available. Please send requests to:

Access keys