Over the last 5 years, we have been asked many questions about electronic MAR Charts systems by care providers actively look the process to transform from paper to digital medication systems.
We have compiled the most common questions and responses here for you.
Q.1. Is the eMAR system simple to use, quick and accurate for the back office and Management?
In a nutshell, yes. Its intuitive, simple to use and accurate.
The user training is more a familiarisation process for clinical office-based staff and management. It covers the eMAR Chart, the detailed logs, eCDR (electronic care delivery timeline report), Safeguarding Alerts, Incidents, Notes and Audits together with the web-based retrieval of evidence for Inspections.
The Client Medication module is where you can set up a recurring (or one off_ medication rota to administer the right medication to the right client on the the right days with the right dosage, times (specific or a time range), route, form and frequency with detailed carer administration instructions which helps reduce Medication errors as the back-office links to carer software.
Easy drop-down menus allows accurate medication administration and to further ensure accuracy each Client's Medication Schedule can be retrieved and checked on both the carers and office software.
Prescriber and Medication Notes, Medication start/end dates, and *side effects are all easily recorded for each Medication. You can also access Interactive Body Maps with numbered areas, colours and notes for Topical Medication Cream or Sprays.
The combination of accuracy, easy of use with secure remote access will help you to reduce Medication Risks and Errors to include Under or Overdosing, Time Sensitivity and Reason Codes with detailed notes (typed or speech to text) removing illegibility concerns.
Your office-based team can respond to any Medication issue promptly whether to arrange an emergency call due to a Missed Medication or to make decisions based on accurate real time information.
The workflow within the Medication portal will enable you to retrieve eMAR Charts based on your desired date range with carer initials, drug details, reason codes and further detailed notes.
Currently being updated: Management will receive Alerts for Missed Medication and Safeguarding directly to the Dashboard, the Business Intelligence (web based) portal as well as by email dependent on individual preference, ensuring critical issues are not overlooked.
Q.2. How easy or difficult is it to use the software for staff administering, assisting, or prompting Medication?
Staff who Administer Medication will already be familiar with Medication Reason Codes, and no doubt have accessed different sorts of mobile apps.
Our technology is no different but has been created specifically with carers in mind whilst delivering and recording medication care.
When carers trial the electronic typing or speech to text they see the ease of use, accuracy and how they can select a Reason Code from a drop-down menu.
Their visibility of medication care is near instant as they will be able to see a timeline history of Medications and PRN’s.
For carers delivering medication, the training is included within the carer app and once they have used it with a few trial calls, they will become proficient with the Medication module.
The carer software integrates eMAR, Rostering, and Care Recording within an easy-to-use carer app that promotes high user engagement.
Q.3. How will you know if a PRN has been administered within the last 4 hours?
Carers can view historic medications with the administered time and Reason Code and the Medications Schedule.
They will also have access to an electronic timeline of care delivery which will also show historic medication, times, reason codes and detailed notes.
All are accessed under the Client’s profile giving care staff full and clear visibility.
Q.4. Is it easy to accurately record all Medication care at the point of delivery?
Yes, the use icons, drop downs and user-friendly displays, with Reason Codes and Electronic Notes specific to each individual Medication make carer medication recording accurate, quick and simple.
PRN’s have their own recognisable icon, and all medication have detailed administration instructions of how and when to administer.
As a side note regarding accountability, each carer medication care event is auto time stamped as well as the carer identity.
Currently being updated:
Q.5. How will Alerts be raised if Medications are Missed, and when / how will I receive them?
When Medication Schedules are created, they will have been assigned times or time ranges and days to be administered.
If a Medication has not been administered on the correct time /day, the system will generate the Missed Medication on the Dashboard in the Management Portal, which can also be set up as an email to Management and as part of a separate web portal for Alerts. The three areas can be accessed based upon permissions and roles.
Q.6. How will the eMAR ensure we deliver the right medication at the right time to the right Individual?
During the initial medication set up process, you will have selected the Client and only then be able to access their Medication. You would then select route, form, frequency, day (s) and time (s), which have been designed to be easy to use with bold text and drop-downs to minimise mistakes.
These are then displayed in the easy-to-read Medication Schedule making sure you have the right medication scheduled to the right Client at the right time.
Q.7. Will the system Reduce Medication errors?
In comparison to a paper-based Medication System, any electronic medications system will reduce the scope for errors.
In particular, integrating with the NHS (dm+d) or dictionary of descriptions and codes which represent medicines and devices in use across the NHS will ensure that when medications are selected to build a medication schedule that any potential for errors from miss typing are minimised resulting in less reduced risk and errors with accuracy maximised.
Q.8. How can I monitor and record Medication Safeguarding Errors?
For each Medication Administration, carer staff can with a single click raise a Safeguarding Alert, with details of the circumstances surrounding the Safeguarding Alert.
They can also attach images or even a document such as a paper prescription or MAR Chart which will be sent to the Management Portal.
The Alert is visible immediately on the mobile app to any carer assigned to the individual Client in several places so it cannot be missed.
The back office will receive an Alert and any attachment, care notes or images together with an electronic copy of a detailed timeline report.
Management can log additional notes for the specific medication under the client’s interactive medication profile notes, or as an Medication Incident with comprehensive details and attach all information directly from the call together with next steps.
All Incidents can be easily found by date, date range or Incident type.
Q.9. What Medication database is the system linked to?
The Management Portal has the database of the 1000 most used commonly Medications in the UK from the Dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) database.
This ensures accuracy, reduce errors and the fast use of the web-based system.
Q.10. How can I view an electronic MAR and does it cover all the information we have on paper?
The e MAR can be selected for any Client for a specific date range from cloud based Management Portal, which can be accessed from anywhere with a secure internet connection.
It will show the Client’s name, their medication details, date ranges with the carer identity, reason code and detailed notes.
It’s like a paper MAR chart with the exception that the electronic version is auto stored to the Client profile and can be retrieved for a selected date range.
Q.11. How will the systems account for PRN’s, CDs and creams and sprays?
All Medication types, routes, frequency, timings, PRN’s and Topical Application are included within the Medication portal.
Q.12. Will it provide all Medication information in one central point that I can find quickly?
Certainly. This is one of the great strengths of cloud-based systems. You will be able to access any Client’s portal where you can immediately view all the Medications, History, Schedules, Prescriber Notes, Incidents, Care Delivery timelines, eMar and detailed carer medication notes using simple labelled tabs and fast navigation.
Q.13. Does it Integrate with other aspects of my care service?
The eMAR and Medication Management System resides within a single digital platform. In other words, you will not need a separate system for Rostering, Care Recording, Invoicing, Incident Reporting or Document Management.
Q.14. Will I receive Live time information displaying all the correct information?
Yes. Medication care delivery recording is transferred in real time to the Management platform. Management can also view information on their mobile devices.
Q.15. What are the Reports that can be created, and retrieved historically for CQC Inspections?
A.15 e MAR, Medication Notes, Medication Schedule, eCDR, Incident Reporting, and Audits
Q.16. Does the system have a Family and Client portal for Medication?
Yes. They will be able view the electronic care delivery timeline report which will include medication care
Q.17. Does the system synchronise Medications between the back office & the person administering Medication or do I need to have a separate care recording app for daily care activities?
The carer software and back office synchronises in real time based on internet connectivity.
You will not need an additional or second system to record daily care activities.
Q.18. Can I control the e MAR system access for different people & roles?
A.18 Yes. This is controlled by a person you nominate within your organisation who will have “admin,” rights. They can easily grant and remove access to any part of the system or any user of the system.
Q.19. How will I record Medication Incidents?
There are several avenues as to how a Medication Incident can be flagged or staff are alerted to.
Once alerted the Incident reporting module allows you to raise a Medication Incident entry with a detailed log with supporting evidence, where you can follow up, escalate or mark as resolved.
Q.20. Can I conduct Medication Risk Assessments and Reviews without paper?
Yes. You can either recreate a template of your current Medication Risk Assessment or Review or use our standard template(s).
You can then select the template from the individual Client portal and fill in the relevant entries for the entire form or part of it.
It will save within the system to the Client portal with a time and date stamp.
Furthermore, you can continue working of the Assessment or Review in the community, at home or from the office.
Q.21. Does the system have standard forms and check-lists, or can I create my own?
Regarding forms please see the answer A.20.
The system is very flexible and will allow you to create most types of check-list e.g. stock checks, returns, disposals and even to create an one off or recurring check-lists.
The checklists can be created with carer instructions. Staff responses can be Yes, No, tick boxes, text boxes for electronic notes, image or documents to attach.
Q.22. How can I securely share Medication information with GP’s, ambulance crews and inspectors?
You can download information (based on permissions) from the management portal, and then securely share with your own encrypted email to GP’s and Inspectors or you can grant them temporary access to the mobile app or the web portal with limited access and view rights.
With ambulance crews, carer staff can access and show them what they need to see on the carer mobile app, and also securely share via their encrypted email if required.
Q.23. Can I conduct a Medication Audit, and does it have any reminders or alerts?
Yes. Audits can be conducted and stored together with the Individual Client records.
Q.24. Will the system submit Medication notifications to the CQC?
No not at present. This is an aspect they we may consider in the future and as part of our Quality Improvement (QI) programme. But for now, this is not something we have.
Q.25. How can we record and highlight Risks, and feedback to you?
Risks can be recorded within the Management portal at several areas.
Firstly as each Call has its own eCDR to which you can attach notes and documents.
Secondly for each Client member you can attach Notes to their profile under the Prescriber Notes, Client Notes, Client Incidents, Client Reviews and Client Audit.
This will ensure that you do not overlook Risks that you have identified.
For each Medication you can log any side effects and when the appropriate circumstances as to when to use the drug and when not to use the drug or any negative drug interactions.
Q.26. Will it reduce my burden of relying on paper and storage boxes?
Data requirements within healthcare mean you will need to store all your care records for the last seven years.
Perhaps you have been storing a proportion of these digitally on storage solution providers like Google Drive, Drop box or SharePoint.
We have an Integrated Document Suite (link) which has been developed specifically for adult social care.
You can upload historical or current documents by both carers in the community and management, which will reduce your burden and costs of future storage with quick secure retrieval.
Q.27. What savings will I make in terms of paper, travel time / fuel after the cost of the system?
Naturally, this will depend on the size of your organisation. The more aspects that you use of our integrated System the higher the percentage of savings.
Q.28. How long does it take to transform to an electronic medications system with management information?
Again, it will depend on the size of your organisation, but we can familiarise your company Trainer or Training department within a few hours.
Data entry times can be reduced significantly if you have your data on an excel spreadsheet as we will automate the data entry where possible.
Care Recording, e MAR and Rostering can be running within a couple of weeks.
Q.29. What will be the ROI?
As technology improves and more care providers move to a digital based medications system based in the cloud with intuitive interfaces, training and implementation costs tend to fall compared to older technologies resulting in higher returns on investment.
Q.30. Does the supplier have support and a Quality Improvement (QI) Programme?
Yes, we are committed to a Quality Improvement Program.
We would love to hear from you if you have a Medication issue that needs addressing.