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5 questions to ask before using eMAR

January 27, 2019
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So, you’re thinking about going electronic with your MAR sheets?

Whether you’re tired of endless audits or just looking for a better way to record, log and track medication, using an eMAR system means less manual data entry, reducing risks by helping your carers to minimise any mistakes.

Before you get started, take a read through five questions to ask yourself before going electronic with your MAR sheets and choosing your eMAR software…

Is the software safe?

There are plenty of tools offering eMAR, all with various features and functions. It can feel overwhelming, but the first thing to consider is safety. MAR sheets hold lots of patient information about their medications and dosages — which you need to ensure you keep safe.

Using a paper MAR chart means there’s more chance you could lose the data; the records could get damaged or lost and illegible handwriting or rushed notes could end up causing a serious error. Moving to eMAR reduces those risks — and using a tool like Birdie means that your data is protected. We’re fully GDPR, NICE, NHS Digital, and ICO compliant, plus all data exchanges between the Birdie application and the Birdie systems are encrypted over HTTPS.

If access is required, how can you share it?

Sometimes, you might need to share patient notes or MAR information with external sources — like in the unfortunate event of an emergency, or with a district nurse. It’s important that this information is shared quickly and securely. Not all eMAR software offers a secure way to share data — and that’s where Birdie is different.

If you need to share access, Birdie offers a secure way to do so, with the input of a code. The code can only be used within a client’s home, can be accessed in seconds and the open window is restricted to 15 minutes.

Only Care Managers and those who have access to your agency hub can generate codes, so you can be safe in the knowledge that these are being used correctly.

If you need to generate another code for the same client, you can do this quickly and easily from your Agency Hub, as many times as you need over the time you care for a client.

Are the medications accurate?

If you’ve made the transition from paper sheets to eMAR, or you’re thinking about it, you’ll already know that digital notes can eliminate troubles with legibility, reduce the risks of data loss and make it easier to update information, instantly.

But, not all eMAR software was created equal. Some eMAR software allows you to free-type medication — which basically means that it’s up to you make sure you spell everything correctly and set the right dosage.

When you set up your client’s eMAR using Birdie, we do things a little differently.

Our medications are pulled from a database of approved NHS medications, including blister packs, dosage amounts and frequencies — it’s all there for you. All you need to do is start typing and choose from the drop-down menu, which reduces the chance of human error and reduces your medication risks when using eMAR.

Can you track care delivery in real-time?

Going digital with your eMAR system is great, but if you’re simply creating electronic versions of your old paper MAR sheets, you’re not maximising the benefits.

When you create a medication schedule in Biride, this means that every time one of your care staff makes a call, they’ll have a list of medications and dosages at their fingertips.

All they need to do is check-in, choose the medication they’re administering and record whether it’s been fully, partially or not taken.

If it hasn’t been fully taken, they’ll have options to choose from to record why, like: refused, destroyed, nausea, error or a free text field to record any reasons why they weren’t able to administer it (like a family member has given them the dosage instead, for example). And when that happens, you’ll get an instant alert, letting you know, right away.

When a carer calls they’ll be able to see straight away what medications have already been taken, any outstanding and when the next dose is required, right from their phone. As everything is laid out in front of them, they don’t have to rely on previous carers handwritten notes or decipher from paper sheets.

How quickly can you make changes?

Updating, auditing and reviewing paper MAR sheets can rack up hours of your time each month. By logging all of your clients’ medication requirements digitally, when things change, you can update your records instantly, saving you time to focus on what’s important.

Want to know more? Take a brief walkthrough of how to use Birdie’s Medication Manager with Beth, our Care Manager, here, or request a demo here so one of our team can show you how Birdie can help with eMAR and more. And don’t worry, if you’re new to eMAR, Birdie can help you with eMAR training, eMAR set up and anything and else you might need.

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. 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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