St. James Hospital, Dublin

St. James Hospital, Dublin – Case Study

St James Hospital Ireand

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‘We know that we are working with a professional team, who provide clean data and would willingly recommend them to other organisations who would benefit from a coding system”


Pat Bailey
Materials Operations Manager
St James’s Hospital, EIRE

St James’s Hospital is one of the largest acute teaching hospitals in Europe with over 750 beds, 3,000 staff and over 110 consultants. Formerly known as the “Supplies’ department, the Materials Management Department has transformed into a corporate division of the hospital in line with their IT, HR and General services departments and as such has had to implement a corporate approach to their responsibilities.

With such a vast organisation to support, the materials management department is critical to the smooth running of the hospital. To assist him, Pat chooses to use the Coding International TRACK-IT database.

Pat explains why they chose this solution,

‘Materials Management has to cover a wide range of products from medical, laboratory, paramedical, engineering, janitorial and foodstuffs. This equates to over 20,000 different items spread over 160 different cost areas with varying delivery needs. The system we needed to support this had to be comprehensive and flexible. We found that by using Coding International this was easily achieved, whilst also providing us with extensive management information. We have actually used the system since 1995 after being introduced to the software from hospitals in Northern Ireland. We were very impressed when we first saw the system particularly by the range of product descriptions that already existed on the database. We tried to give some really obscure examples in the demonstration, but each time Coding International already had the codes an place’.

St James Hospital were one of the first organisation outside of the UK to use Coding International, however non-UK sourced products were not a problem, as most codes again, were already on the system. Says Pat,

 ‘we went from using a paper based system to a computerised system and have been delighted at how smooth the transition has been. We were expecting some issues with non-UK sourced products but have not found any, which has been great. The smooth transition was also down to the very experienced team at Coding International who helped at every stage of the implementation. We had the system up and running ahead of schedule and in budget’.

As with any database system, keeping it up to date and clean, is of vital importance and says Pat,

‘we find the system is updated regularly and not just with new codes. Coding International also takes time to remove obsolete codes from the system, so you know that the data is always up to date. In addition it we want new codes added, we are able to submit a batch of codes through to the team who incorporate them into the system very quickly. They also do this job intelligently. For example, they don’t just take our word that the information is correct, they always check it with the manufacturer before adding data to the system. We also benefit from other users of the database around the UK as they request new codes’.

Pat is very pleased with Coding International and says,

 ‘There are no restraints or restrictions with Coding International. They are very flexible with their approach and always pay attention to detail when providing CD updates. They also take time to understand your organisation and don’t add things like ‘pet’ names for products, which can be confusing, when you have new members of staff. We know that we are working with a professional team, who provide clean data and would willingly recommend them to other organisations who would benefit from a coding system’