Enhancing resident outcomes and reducing medication errors
Care homes are increasingly using Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) systems to reduce medication errors, ultimately improving residents' health and safety.
An eMAR system’s key functionality is to provide care home staff with real-time information on medication orders, dosage, and administration schedules - this significantly improves the efficiency and quality of care provided and saves staff time when doing their medication rounds. However, not all eMAR systems in the market are developed the same.
When selecting an eMAR system for your organisation, it is important to consider the following features to ensure you have access to the best system. This blog discusses the top 5 essential features an eMAR system should have to enhance resident outcomes and reduce medication-related errors.
- Barcode Scanning
A barcode scanning feature on an eMAR system allows care home providers to scan medication labels to ensure the right medication is given to the right resident. This feature is vital to help prevent medication errors and reduce the risk of adverse drug events.
ATLAS eMAR’s handheld device, used by care staff, shows the medications that should be administered to residents at the right time. To use ATLAS eMAR’s barcode scanning feature, staff would simply pick the packet up and scan the pharmacy label using the barcode reader. ATLAS eMAR’s handheld device also runs automatic safety checks (medication, dose, timing, recipient) and flags any potential issues to staff.
- Centralised Dashboard
Having a centralised dashboard feature in an eMAR system is important as staff will be able to have a comprehensive overview of all medication-related information in one place at their care home.
In the ATLAS eMAR system, every transaction related to medication in the care home can be logged, along with staff codes - this creates a full audit trail (displayed on the system's centralised dashboard), giving care providers complete oversight of everything. This information can be used when conducting internal investigations and as evidence to regulators. In addition, the reports available from the centralised dashboard give managers the ability to identify staff training needs and areas of practice that need to be addressed. Senior management can also be alerted to care homes falling short of expected standards and take appropriate action.
- Group Reporting
Having an eMAR system that has the ability to do group reporting and analytics allows care home providers to monitor all medication administration or errors in single or multiple homes. It also helps to identify areas of improvement in their medication process. The group reporting and analytics tool within the ATLAS eMAR system, designed especially for care homes, provides a single rating for medicines management. The feature is created for groups that want to compare performance between services; the group reporting tool takes data from the system, allowing care homes to drill down and identify the areas that need improvement quickly.
- Stock Control
A stock control feature in an eMAR system allows care home providers to manage medication inventory more efficiently. This feature is critical to ensure that medications are available when needed and to prevent medication errors due to stockouts or expired medication.
Balancing medicine stock levels is fundamental to good medicine management and plays a key part in the overall quality of service provided to residents in care homes. The ATLAS eMAR system helps manage stock levels to avoid any overstocking whilst ensuring that medications don't run out.
The system has been developed in a way that helps enforce good practices throughout care homes. Adherence to PRN policies, stock ordering protocols, homely remedies, topical creams, and controlled drugs procedures is enforced on the system, which improves compliance, and issues such as missing entries on MAR charts become a thing of the past
- Medication Ordering
Medication ordering is a feature in an eMAR system that connects care homes to pharmacy dispensing systems where care home staff can order residents’ medications digitally and directly to their chosen pharmacy. This feature ultimately improves the transparency of the medication prescribing process, saving a lot of time and reducing errors associated with handwritten prescriptions, improving residents’ safety.
ATLAS eMAR brings together pharmacies and care homes in one place, allowing for a more efficient reordering of medication.
Book a demo with our friendly team today to learn more about how our feature-rich ATLAS eMAR system can benefit your medication management in your care home.