Harpenden business creates simple app to eliminate NHS misidentification

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 29 October 2018

A mobile phone.

A mobile phone.


A Harpenden electronics business has created a simple app to help patient identification in the NHS.

After hearing of misidentification incidents in NHS hospitals, SB Electronic Systems were concerned that many people do not know their unique patient number or does not even know it exists.

Doctors can use names and addresses to access medical records, but the ten-digit reference eliminates confusion.

Mix-ups can have disastrous consequences - in 2009 surgeons at a London hospital accidentally operated on the wrong man’s lung because his namesake had also been on the ward.

The tool is called NHS Number. It is now available on Android and iPhone.

A spokesperson from SB Electronic Systems said: “It is really important you can find it quite readily, and basically I am very aware that there have been problems in the past.”

Unique NHS numbers are printed on medical cards given out at the point of registering with a GP practice. The app is secure because no data is transmitted within it.

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