Scan for Safety

Some health boards in Scotland are taking part in NHS Scotland’s Scan for Safety Programme. This means medical devices are scanned before they are implanted into patients. The health boards that have implemented this so far are:

  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital

The Scan for Safety Programme will be implemented across other health boards in Scotland. However, it won’t cover all specialties in these health boards at once. You can ask your medical team whether they’re using Scan for Safety technology in relation to your procedure.

The Scan for Safety Programme is funded by the Scottish Government. It aims to improve patient safety by helping to keep track of medical devices. Examples include stents, pacemakers, breast implants, hip, knee and other joint replacements.

How does it work?

Barcodes are scanned to help record details of your procedure. This will help NHS Scotland to record information about your patient experience, including:

  • your details (such as name, date of birth, and CHI number) to link the procedure with your medical record
  • the date and time of your procedure
  • the exact device which has been used
  • a record of who carried out your procedure
  • information on the specific location of your procedure (hospital and theatre)

What differences in care will I experience?

Staff will be using a new system but your day-to-day care will not change.

If your procedure involves implanting a medical device, details on this process will be shared by your consultant.

Your device will be scanned to record its details. Staff scan barcodes in a similar way to a supermarket checkout. This means NHS Scotland will have an electronic record of devices used for your care. This includes specific information about the exact device used and the procedure.

Rarely, there have been problems with devices. If there are problems, accurate details and records will help NHS Scotland contact you quickly and give you the best care possible.

What will this information be used for?

The information may be used to:

  • improve safety – it’ll be easier to contact you if there’s a problem with a device
  • provide the NHS with better insights into the procedure and the devices in use
  • reduce paperwork, helping the staff to focus on your care

How will this information be stored?

Scan for Safety will store information electronically on a centralised database so it can be easily accessed if required. This will improve current processes which use a mixture of paper-based and electronic systems.

Will I be able to access this information about myself?

NHS Scotland is looking into ways you’ll be able to do this in the future.

If you do need access to this information, your local health board will be able to help you. You should speak to the medical team who arranged your procedure.

Will my data be secure?

Your data will be secure. Like all your electronic health records, the data will be stored and used in line with NHS Scotland standards.

Last updated:
18 October 2023