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It is crucial to residents’ health that nurses ensure they are taking their medications as prescribed, which is why point of care eMAR is a major advantage for long-term care facilities. It helps ensure that the correct medication is given at the correct time and with the recommended dosage. 

Proper medication administration via long-term care software makes it less likely that residents will forget to take their medications. Also, it makes it easier for staff to manage complex medication regimens, as residents take multiple medications with different schedules.

In addition, long-term facilities must follow specific guidelines and regulations when obtaining medications from the pharmacy, storing and handling medications, and administering medications to residents. A nursing home software system with point of care eMAR helps with all these medication challenges. 

eMAR Definition and Choosing the Right System

Let’s begin with the eMAR definition. eMAR stands for: electronic medication administration record. A point of care eMAR, or a point of care electronic medication administration record, is a senior living software system that helps nurses manage resident medication and delivery at the point of care

eMAR systems are designed to streamline the process of ordering, receiving, storing, and administering medications. They also help facilities keep track of residents’ medications, schedules, and dosage amounts.

So how does one go about choosing the best point of care eMAR for their facility? Below are some steps that they can follow:

A nursing home management team analyzing whether they should purchase a point of care eMAR
Once a requirements list has been created, the next step is to consider the facility’s budget.
  • Create a requirements list: The first step to choosing a point of care eMAR is to develop a list of requirements that the LTC software must meet in order for it to be compatible with your facility. This list should be created with input from nurses, administrators, and other staff members who use the system on a daily basis. Some examples to include are:
    • the ability to integrate with the facility’s existing EHR system
    • a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate
    • the ability to communicate with other pharmacy software
    • the ability to track resident medications, schedules, and dosage amounts
  • Consider the facility’s budget: Once the requirements list has been created, the next step is to consider the facility’s budget, as eMAR systems can vary drastically in price. To save money, look for vendors offering value-based pricing, negotiating your long-term care software contract, or opting for a subscription-based model instead of a one-time purchase, which would require the facility to maintain its own software.
  • Choose from specialty-specific software vendors: Find a vendor that specializes in senior living software, as they will have better understanding of the specific needs and challenges that long-term care facilities face. While healthcare facilities share things in common, the laws and process requirements of acute care facilities are different from those of post-acute care facilities.
  • Consider the system architecture: Is the point of care eMAR cloud-based or is it on-premise installed software? In general, cloud-based point of care eMAR systems are less expensive to maintain and offer more flexibility than on-premise systems. Cloud-based software also requires less expertise to install in a facility, and software and security updates are typically included at no extra cost.
  • Select software that is HIPAA compliant: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) includes standards for the protection of electronic health information of healthcare patients, and any point of care eMAR system chosen should meet these standards.
  • Gather feedback from facility staff: Schedule a demo and create a demo team to allow staff to analyze how the nursing home software works and get a feel for how it would fit into their daily routines. After the demo, be sure to ask for feedback from staff members and take this feedback into consideration when making your final decision.
  • Test customer support: Ask the vendor questions about their product, such as how often they release updates, the type of training they offer, and what their customer satisfaction rates are. It is also important to ask the vendor whether they have any references from other customers.
  • Review the contract: Ensure that the system you have chosen meets all of your facility’s needs and the contract is one that you are satisfied with. It is also a good idea to have an attorney look over the contract to make sure that everything is in order.

By following the above steps, long-term care facilities can be sure that they are choosing the best point of care eMAR system for their needs. Not only will this save the facility money, but it will also ensure that staff are able to use the system effectively and that resident health information is properly protected. So what are the attributes of the best point of care eMAR systems?

Contact us here if you would like to demo our point of care eMAR in your facility.

7 Features of the Best POC eMAR

POC eMAR is a long-term care software module that comes with a system, like Experience Care’s NetSolutions. Designed by long-term care nurses for LTC nurses, Experience Care’s point of care eMAR is user-friendly and is designed to optimize medication workflows in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. With Experience Care’s eMAR, nursing homes can benefit from the following POC eMAR features:

1. Integration with electronic medication management modules

When we discussed the eMAR definition, we stated that it stands for electronic medication administration record. In terms of eMAR vs. EMR, an EMR is an electronic or digital version of paper charts used in healthcare. Experience Care’s point of care eMAR not only acts as a legal record for all medication administered to nursing home residents, but it also integrates with other additional medication modules, such as ePrescribing, clinical decision support, and Physician Orders.

This means that nurses can enjoy access to medication information when and where it is needed, process medication ordering and re-ordering from pharmacies electronically, and receive and manage residents’ physician orders, all from one screen. For a facility, this means fewer medication errors and faster delivery of medication for its residents.

2. Point-of-service documentation

A nurse using an eMAR system, having understood the eMAR definition and why it is essential for long-term care residents.
NetSolution’s eCharting enables nurses to document all aspects of care at the point of service without having to sit down at a computer.

Thanks to NetSolution’s eCharting, which comes with the point of care eMAR software, nurses can document all aspects of care at the point of service without having to wait until they have time to sit down at a computer.

Point-of-service documentation (also called point of care documentation) ensures that all care is documented in real time, making it less likely they will forget. It also saves them the hassle of going back and documenting care later. 

Point-of-service documentation also makes it easy for nurses to track resident care progress. By having all care and medication administered and documented in one place, nurses can easily keep track of the medication that was administered, which is particularly helpful during shift changes.

3. Note sharing

To further optimize point of care documentation, Experience Care’s point of care eMAR enables note-sharing between nurses. This means that if one nurse documents something in the point of care eMAR software, another nurse will be able to see it when they pull up the resident’s chart. In addition, note sharing enables the flagging of medication orders that require documentation at the time of delivery and the sharing of any interdisciplinary notes.

4. Real-time order updates with drug interaction warnings

One of the most important features of a point of care eMAR is that it provides real-time medication order updates. This means that physicians can make medication recommendations for residents, which are immediately displayed to nurses when they log into the system. It is worth noting that new medication orders are color-coded for the first 72 hours.

Additionally, warnings will be issued by the software for any potential drug interactions. By providing nurses with real-time order updates, Experience Care’s point of care eMAR helps to ensure that residents are getting the right medications in the right dosage and with minimal risk of interaction.

5. Easy access to vitals charting

Some medications may require the weight, temperature, and blood pressure of the resident prior to their prescription. With Experience Care’s point of care eMAR, residents’ results and relevant text notes from nurses are automatically shared in the vital parameters area and with progress notes in a note associated with the specific order delivery.

6. Barcoding identification capabilities

Nursing home resident with a wristband barcode, which can be scanned by a POC eMAR
To ensure that the right medication is given to the right resident, the best point of care eMAR system should have barcoding capabilities.

To ensure that the right medication is given to the right resident, the best point of care eMAR system should have barcoding capabilities. This means that each resident will have a wristband with a barcode, and every time a nurse administers medication, they will scan the barcode.

The point of care eMAR will then pull up the relevant information for that resident, including their allergies, medications, and physician orders. This helps to ensure that the right medication is administered to the right resident every time.

7. On-demand reports

On-demand reports are a valuable tool for facilities, as they allow staff to quickly and easily identify trends and areas for improvement. Additionally, on-demand reports can be customized to meet the specific needs of a facility. Experience Care’s point of care eMAR comes with on-demand reports, such as late orders, PRN results, corrections reports, and transaction reports.

The Benefits of Point of Care eMAR

Having defined what a point of care eMAR is and the features Experience Care’s POC eMAR offers, we can conclude by listing some of the financial benefits of this nursing home software. These benefits include:

  • More timely reporting
  • Enhanced workplace efficiency
  • Fewer medication errors
  • Ease of medication auditing and inventory control
  • Improved communication between the long-term care provider and the pharmacy

Experience Care’s point of care eMAR software offers many features that benefit both nurses and administrators in nursing homes. By implementing this POC eMAR, nursing homes can expect better care and better health for their residents.

For more on recent trends in long-term care, read our blog and subscribe to the LTC Heroes podcast.

Elijah Oling Wanga