January 22, 2023

eMAR system: which electronic medication systems to choose?

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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.

Emar systems 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?

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

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). However, you still won’t be completely paperless as you’ll still need your comms sheets for daily visit observations. 

eMAR system and 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. 

Find out more about what integration means here.

For a full list of eMAR systems and care management software, you can check out Tech for Care’s directory, here. 

To find out more about how to get started with Birdie and the steps involved in going digital: click here. Worried about training your staff? Read more, 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. 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.

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

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, or you can find out more about Birdie’s eMAR here.

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