Babies to be barcoded

A UK hospital has introduced a new system to keep newborn babies safer than ever

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A hospital in Northamptonshire has rolled out a new barcode system to boost the safety of newborn babies, the BBC has reported.

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The system has seen the handwritten wristbands replaced with barcodes. When scanned, all the info on the baby can be accessed instantly. Things such as who the mum is, sex, date of birth and NHS number will all be included. It means Kettering General Hospital staff will no longer have to write detailed handwritten notes – or read others’ handwritten comments.

“Our new system produces the baby wristband and it also produces a heel prick label which then goes in the back of the red baby book which mums and dads take home with them,” said Paula Lilburn, the information technology project manager at Kettering General Hospital.

“The labels are used by community midwives around days five after birth to identify the heel prick blood sample.

“They send off the blood test and the label together to a regional screening laboratory to be tested for conditions like sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.

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“The new system is quicker and safer because if the bar coded information can be quickly read by the computers without the possibility of human transcription errors.”

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