eMAR: which electronic medication tracking systems are best for home care?
September 10, 2020
The world of eMAR systems and home care software technology can feel like a minefield. But, with government and social care bodies aiming for full digitisation by the end of 2020, now’s the time to get clued up on your options. You don’t want to have to make a last-minute decision on your eMAR system when using digital technology becomes mandatory for social care.
Why do you need an eMAR system in your home care business?
Social care is a sector of more than 18,500 providers, and roughly 70% operate their business on paper. The government states, in its report that:
“Health and care organisations must discard old ideas about IT skills. In future, all members of the health, care and social care workforce must have the knowledge, skills and characteristics that are necessary to embrace information, data and technology, appropriate to their role.” HM Government: Personalised Health and Care 2020
In short, there are many. We’re one of them. We’ll break down some of your choices here with a few pros and cons to help you understand which eMAR systems are best for your business.
You’ll find some software companies that offer eMAR alongside other features, like rostering and care management.
While these may seem to be your best choice, be wary of the functionality of systems that encompass anything. Refer to the quote: “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” Many eMAR systems with other functionality might be lacking in areas like reliability, design and may not have essential features that your business needs to succeed. Specialised eMAR systems can be integrated with specialised rostering systems, so don’t let the fear of using ‘two systems’ put you off.
eMAR + care management
This is probably the most popular type of eMAR system (and it’s where you’ll find Birdie). The quality of the software in this market varies, so be sure to get a demo if you’re considering choosing an eMAR system which includes care management tools too. (We’re incredibly proud of how easy Birdie is to use, but not all software was created equal, so be wary). Combining eMAR with care management tools like task planning and care plans is a great way to make a move to an entirely paperless system.
eMAR + rostering
For many, the first foray into digital is by digitising their rostering process. Using eMAR alongside rostering is a great way to get more visibility (and reduce those monthly audit headaches). However, you still won’t be completely paperless as you’ll still need your comms sheets for daily visit observations.
eMAR + integrated rostering
If you’re set on having everything in one place, integration might be the best way to get value for money and ensure you’re getting the best features from the best software providers. Many people don’t realise that integration is possible, but if you choose a reputable eMAR provider, they’ll likely be able to facilitate rostering with your chosen solution. You can understand more about how integration works here.
At Birdie, we integrate with CareFree, CarePlanner, Malinko, ColdHarbour and StaffPlan, and we have more lined up for the future. So you can be sure you’ll get the gold standard in eMAR and care planning and management software, alongside the functionality and features of the rostering provider you’re already familiar with.
For a full list of eMAR systems and care management software, you can check out Tech for Care’s directory, here.
We hope that this blog helps in understanding your options when it comes to eMAR systems. If you’re still not sure, why not talk to our team who can give you a personalised breakdown of what’s available and walk you through your options? You can book a free demo here.
P.S. It’s a good idea to brush up on these five questions to your sales rep before signing the contract on your new eMAR system too. Bookmark the page and come back to it when you have your demo.