A new standard for NHS patient identification has been released that should expand opportunities for the auto-ID channel.
The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care has mandated Health and Social Care Standard 1077, which means every patient in England will require a wristband incorporating an approved barcode, with a view to improving hospitals' ability to monitor, manage, and identify in-patients.
According to barcode and RFID vendor Sato, standard 1077 defines how to encode NHS-approved patient identifiers for identity bands and bracelets into a 2D GS1 DataMatrix barcode. All National Health Trusts must ensure their systems comply by 1 October 2013.
Brian Lang, European managing director at Sato, said GS1 is the organisation that develops and administers global barcode identification standards.
"This presents an opportunity to improve patient care through the use of advanced technology, making healthcare facilities as safe and error-free as possible," he added. "Electronic barcode technology provides a greater volume of key data at the bedside, and this new standard will ensure the right care is given to the right patient at the right time."
Sato is a GS1 Solutions Partner and includes patient wristband identification systems and related barcode printers in its portfolio of auto-ID offerings.
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