LONDON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Barcode technology widely used in supermarkets and industry is to be introduced into Britain's National Health Service (NHS), it was announced Thursday.
Scanning will be used for the first time on breast implants and replacement hips and other surgical tools used during surgical procedures, according to NHS officials.
The barcodes will also be used to trace NHS patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and monitor the effectiveness of equipment.
The scanning project, at a cost of 12 British million pounds (14.76 U.S. dollars), will help medical staff to quickly and easily track each patient through their hospital journey, according to a spokesman for the Department for Health.
"By using barcodes, anything that might develop a fault years later, for example a screw used in a knee operation or breast implant, can be traced.
"The details, such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure, can be found quickly and easily," added the spokesman.
The technology will also help to eliminate avoidable harm in hospitals, including errors such as patients being administered the wrong drugs and surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body.
Early results from 6 pilot "Scan4Safety" projects show scanning has the potential to save lives and save up to 1.25 billion U.S. dollars for the NHS over 7 years.
Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said "Scan4Safety" is a world first in healthcare.