The multitude of benefits eMAR can offer home care agencies
With over 350,000 older people receiving home care in the UK (Wittenberg and Hu 2015) and the demand on a carer’s time increasing, there is a continuous need for home care agencies to look at ways to become more efficient in delivering high quality care.
Many carers still use paper-based MAR (Medical Administration Records) charts to record medication administered on an on-going basis. Nevertheless, many home care agencies are now employing eMAR (Electronic Medical Administration Records) and enjoying the numerous benefits it can offer both the business, the carer, and the client.
In short, eMAR can save time and provide accurate medication administration, however the full benefits for a home care agency are more extensive. Care Management Systems, such as CareLineLive, include eMAR as an integral function, as well as their software providing a rostering, invoicing, and call monitoring solution.
One of the key benefits of eMAR is that it can help reduce errors in care delivery as carers are kept continuously up-to-date of a client’s medication administration needs as changes are instantly updated, so carers can be responsive to a client’s needs. Medication information is usually logged for each client within a Care Management Platform; details such as day, time, date and route for each medication administered is recorded. With some end-to-end Care Management Systems, medication information is synchronised with an app, such as CareLineLive’s Carer Companion app, that a carer can easily access via their mobile phone whilst in a client’s home.
eMAR systems are much easier to use than paper-based MAR sheets as they are simple to complete, consequently carers spend less time on paperwork, are more efficient and have more time to care for their clients. Certain eMAR systems, such as CareLineLive, also provide the functionality for carers to make any comments on their clients and can also include standard client tasks, for example housekeeping duties.
For those Home care agencies that need flexibility, certain systems can provide modifiable completion codes e.g. for Local Authorities. And as all data is stored electronically, eMAR audits, reports and medication administration information can be shared with professionals and other carers easily, as required. eMAR also supports the NHS and Social Care’s aim to become paperless at the point of care by the end of 2020.
As detailed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, any eMAR system used needs to follow the medication administration process of the six ‘Rs’: Right patient, Right drug, Right dose, Right formulation, Right route and Right to refuse.
As well as ensuring client safety, eMAR allows for continuous monitoring as records medication given and alerts staff when there is a concern in real-time e.g. medication has been missed, and the reason why. Any changes made to eMAR data recorded needs to be auditable - eMAR systems such as CareLineLive allows auditors to see who has changed the data, what the data was changed to and when the data was changed, providing a trail for all medication administration activity which can also help with CQC inspections.
“In short eMAR solutions that are integral to Care Management Systems, like CareLineLive, can bring no end of benefits to a home care agency, their carers and their clients. It simplifies the medication administration process with more speed and accuracy than any manual system” commented Josh Hough, MD, CareLineLive.
Using an eMAR system results in saving time, can help to reduce costs and ultimately enables home care agencies to provide a higher standard of care to clients on a day-to-day basis, all of which provide a strong reason for implementing eMAR.