There has been a trend in the recent years to take up electronic medication management (EMM) systems. Many homes are looking to improve the medication oversight process and its possible outcomes. Since medicine the medicine at homes is administered by people, medication errors occur at some point. By employing a system such as eMAR (electronic Medication Administration Record) we not only ensure that preventable medical errors don’t occur, but also achieve a whole host of advantages.
At a nursing home operating with paper-based systems, staff waste valuable time going through the records when each medication round comes up. Not only is this process lengthy, but it also invites opportunity for errors and discrepancies. By employing eMAR, the attending will see all the relevant information including the preferences of residents accompanied by a photo reducing the possibility to mix patients up.
Apart from improving workflow, the eMAR system significantly reduces medication administration errors. Research has shown that these errors can be reduced by 87% once eMAR is implemented. To also avoid errors in medicine, orders are linked directly to the pharmacy. Since the inventory is now controlled from a central point, inventory is updated automatically, medication can be discontinued, ordered or even put on hold during a MED pass. By having an eMAR in place, there can be a reduction of up to 30%.
The eMAR system is set to automatically give an alert when an hour passes after a PRN is given. It also measures how much of a particular drug is needed by the patient. In cases of patients who need insulin, the eMAr system will tell the nurse how much insulin to administer based on prevailing blood sugar levels. When medication is missed, the system will continuously give an alert until said medication is administered or an exception created.
As we can see, eMAR is here to stay. Not only will it streamline service delivery in nursing homes, it will also assist management to get better, more complete picture of the situation on the ground in real time. In addition to providing more safety, the system being able to provide important patient data at the point of care means less inefficiencies, less pressure on the care staff and compliance risks.
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