More and more healthcare systems are making their Electronic Health Record (EHR) an essential part of the care setting. They are equipped with a number of tools to help physicians, nurses, and pharmacists manage their patients and organize their data. eMAR (electronic medication administration record) is an innovative, bedside function — mainly used by nurses — that plays a vital role in the delivery of care and becomes a must-have for your organization. Below are ten ways how the addition of eMAR can benefit your healthcare facility.
- Encourages communication between clinicians
Oftentimes, there is miscommunication between nurses and other clinicians regarding treatment, medication dosage, etc. Through eMAR, doctors can send instant messages and leave specific notes or instructions for the nursing staff, minimizing confusion and assuring accuracy and safety.
- Provides staff with full patient profile
Critical patient information is made readily accessible to clinicians of all disciplines with a complete patient profile. Each profile includes personal information, a photograph, demographics, allergies, vitals, diagnoses, patient and family health history, integrated lab and radiology results, admission date, and more! The profile also contains his/her/their complete order history that can be filtered to simplify data retrieval. All clinical actions are audit logged with time, date, and status in reverse chronological order to be referenced during an assessment.
- Integrates with other modules
eMAR is directly integrated with the other EHR modules, including CPOE and Pharmacy, keeping all clinicians in the loop. For example, when the pharmacy submits an order for a new prescription, it automatically appears on the screen, so the nurses know what medication to give their patient at what dosage. When nurses input new information on the patient, the pharmacy can view it through their profile, which may alter the decision on which prescription/dosage is best suited.
- Medication Automation
eMAR makes it very easy for clinicians to manage patient prescriptions. It tracks medications from order inception to administration and can even automatically place refills when needed. The system is set up to alert nurses when there are expiring orders, to which they could intervene and update the prescription.
- Decreases Burnout
Burnout has been one of the biggest issues in the US healthcare system for decades, and it has only gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. Physicians who are exhausted and overworked tend to make more medical mistakes than those who are not. Studies have shown that eMAR can produce a 50%-75% reduction in staff labor hours,1 reducing feelings of burnout.
- Builds patient-provider relationship
The motive behind working in the healthcare field is to help people and interact with patients. This goal becomes challenging when there is a tower of paperwork to complete. eMAR eliminates the need for paper records, giving them more free time to spend getting to know and building trust with their patients. Studies show that a strong patient-provider relationship can help improve health outcomes. Learn more here.
- Clinical Decision Support
With any good eMAR system comes Clinical Decision Support (CDS), which improves the quality of care by providing staff with a variety of tools to enhance decision-making. These tools include computerized alerts and reminders; clinical guidelines; condition-specific order sets; focused patient data reports and summaries; documentation templates; diagnostic support, and more! CDS leverages machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics to help clinicians make more informed and accurate decisions during care.
- Identification Verification Technology
eMAR uses Identification Verification Technology (also known as Barcode Medication Administration) to ensure the Six Rights Checking when treating a patient, which are the right patient, medication, time, dose, route of administration, and documentation method. To achieve full system approval, nurses are required to scan their ID badge, their patient’s bracelet, and the medication label. With near-perfect barcode compliance, it will help reduce administration mistakes.
- Eliminates Errors
Along with Identification Verification Technology, there are many other ways eMAR can reduce medical errors. Doctors’ poor handwriting skills are commonly mocked in the healthcare space, but the damage it can cause is no laughing matter. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 1.5 million injuries occur each year because healthcare workers misread sloppy handwriting.2 eMAR systems contain adverse drug alerts. When there is a clash between a prescription and a food, allergy, or other medication, it will notify the nurse, prompting them to make an adjustment. It also allows them to set scheduled reminders, mark recent medication changes, and remind them when the medication time expires. According to research in the New England Journal of Medicine, implementing eMAR is associated with a 41% reduction in non-timing administration errors, 51% reduction in potential drug-related adverse events from those errors, and a 27% reduction in timing errors.3
- Improve patient safety and outcomes
Maximizing communication, decreasing burnout, and improving staff satisfaction are all important, but in healthcare, the patient’s well-being is the bottom line, and eMAR can improve the outcomes of your patients. With this system, staff members have a wide view of all aspects of the individual’s health, and it is equipped with the right tools to aid in the treatment, administration, and decision-making surrounding the patient, creating a safer and more efficient care environment. An organization operating without an eMAR system in place is making a huge mistake and is putting its patients at risk.
The Convergence Clinicals Module by Cantata Health Solutions allows providers to access Pharmacy (Rx, CPOE, eMAR) a Community EHR, ePrescribing, and more. Our eMAR system automatically documents the administration of medication into our EHR by using electronic tracking sensors (radio frequency identification) and electronically readable tagging (barcoding).
- RxCARE. “EMAR and EHR Systems.” RxCARE, 11 Dec. 2020, www.rxcaremeds.com/emar/.
- Gilman, Charles. “Doctors Bad Handwriting Causing Fatal Injuries.” Gilman & Bedigian, 25 Feb. 2021, www.gilmanbedigian.com/doctors-bad-handwriting-causing-fatal-injuries/.
- “What Is EMar?” Mac’s LTC Solutions, 20 Aug. 2020, www.macspharmacy.com/blog/what-is-emar/.