One of the most important IT initiatives within a long-term care facility is to implement an electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) program. With the help of eMAR, facilities can eliminate a number of paper centric processes, such as monthly reconciliations related to MARs and printed physician orders. This can lead to a decrease in drug events usually associated with errors in transcription. The prime justification for implementing an eMAR is related to increased productivity through the improvement of work flow for nurses but also, more importantly, resident safety.
Changes in work flow
In a paper centric medication administration environment, nurses generally use a medication cart and a big book of paper MARs to go about their medication pass times. When they use eMAR, nurses use a thin client computer or a laptop on their carts to record medication administration information. There are numerous advantages to utilizing an eMAR. They include, but are not limited to:
|♣ Enhanced access to view, in real time, whether the MED pass started and ended on time or whether it took too long.|
|♣ Which residents are receiving specific medications.|
|♣ Whether or not the nurses are signing off the administration of the medication immediately after medication is administered to the residents, in-line with the regulations governing medication administration.|
Superiority over paper MAR
The eMAR system is superior to paper MAR for a number of reasons:
|♣ The Administrator and/or Director of Care have complete access to all of the reports within the system that will provide accurate up-to-date information about all scheduled medications for a specific MED pass in real time.|
|♣ A bird's eye view of all eMAR operations throughout the facility can be seen at a glance.|
|♣ The ability to examine the start and stop times of all medication pass times assists in the evaluation of staff performance and accuracy while administering the medications.|
|♣ The system may also prompt the nurse to check the vitals of the resident prior to administering select medications.|
Facilities currently on paper MARs may want to evaluate the option of implementing a fully functioning eMAR system.
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