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eMAR system: which electronic medication systems to choose?

February 27, 2024
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In this post, you'll discover how to choose your future eMAR system.

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, 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.

What is an eMAR system?

An eMAR system, also called Electronic Medication Administration Record, is an electronic medical records system that is used by healthcare providers to store and manage patient medical records.

eMar systems are designed to improve the efficiency and quality of care by providing a central repository for all of a patient's medical information.

They can be used to track patient medical history, prescription medications, lab results, and imaging studies. eMar systems can also be used to schedule appointments, send reminders, and track patient compliance with treatment plans.

Why do you need an eMAR system in your home care business?

Approximately 30% of social care providers are partially digitised, with a further 30% still using entirely paper based systems (NHS 2024).

The government states, in a 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

But, you don’t have to make the change right away. Before choosing your digital provider, read through the tips in this article and refer to our blog: eMAR: how to select an eMAR system for your dom care business too. 

What types of eMAR systems are available?

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. 

All-in-one eMAR systems 

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 and 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.

Birdie care emar system
Birdie's medication monitoring system

eMAR software and 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).

Read also - Top 10 Best Staff Rostering Software

eMAR system integration

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, and ColdHarbour 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. 


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. You should also check out the best software systems for dom care, here, to make sure you're choosing the right system for your business.

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eMAR is difficult to get right. Harrison from Caring Forever discusses how Birdie has helped with his:

Future trends in eMar

As care professionals strive to provide the highest quality of service to care recipients, the future trends in eMAR systems offer a glimpse into a more efficient, safe, and integrated approach to medication management.

The advent of AI and Machine Learning technologies is set to revolutionise eMAR systems. Predictive analytics will enable care professionals to anticipate care recipients' medication needs, identify potential adverse drug interactions early, and customise care plans with unprecedented precision. This means not only enhanced safety for care recipients but also a more streamlined workflow for care professionals, allowing them to focus more on personalised care rather than administrative tasks.

Integration capabilities are expanding, with future eMAR systems poised to offer seamless connectivity with a wider array of healthcare devices and platforms. Wearable technology, for instance, can monitor a care recipient's vital signs in real-time, feeding data directly into the eMAR system. This integration will facilitate immediate adjustments to medication regimes based on real-time health data, ensuring optimal care outcomes.

Moreover, the user experience for both care professionals and care recipients is a key focus area for future eMAR systems. Developers are working on more intuitive interfaces, simplifying the process of recording and verifying medication administration. This not only reduces the margin for error but also enhances training efficiency for care professionals.

Looking ahead, regulatory compliance and data security remain paramount. As eMAR systems become more sophisticated, ensuring the protection of sensitive care recipient data is critical. Future developments will continue to prioritise robust security measures, in line with evolving regulatory requirements, safeguarding the privacy and trust of all stakeholders involved.

For homecare and domiciliary care providers, staying on top of these trends is crucial. Embracing the future of eMAR systems will not only elevate the standard of care provided but also position your services at the cutting edge of healthcare technology.

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Here's a 30 second rundown of the Birdie Medication Manager feature (eMar):

We hope this blog helps you narrow down the field of eMAR solutions. If you want to hear more about Birdie and how our eMAR works, you can book a demo to get a personalised walkthrough from our team.

Your business already delivers great care. With Birdie by your side, you’ll take it to the next level. Want to see how Birdie works? We think you’ll love it. However, there’s no obligation to buy, no sales pitch, and no commitment.

Let us show you how birdie can help

You're the expert. You deserve home healthcare technology that motivates your team and helps you grow.

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