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In the long term care industry, facilities must accurately document medication administration and reporting. As a result, many facilities are now using PoC eMAR, replacing the traditional paper charts in favor of an eMAR software system that is more accurate and efficient. 

It is easy to see why PoC eMAR has gained popularity in recent times—primarily because of its enhanced features that improve several areas of medication administration. Some of the most significant advantages of PoC eMAR include more accurate nursing and medication documentation, more efficient reporting processes, improved time management, and better medication inventory tracking. 

What Does eMAR Stand For?

Before we discuss how eMAR is used in long term care, you may be want to know: what does eMAR stand for? eMAR stands for: Electronic Medication Administration Record. 

PoC eMAR, meanwhile, is point of care eMAR. This means that care can be documented immediately, even while beside residents or patients, and then entered into electronic medication administration records. 

Features of PoC eMAR include:

Doctor using POC eMAR's enhanced features to document medication administration.
Doctor using POC eMAR’s enhanced features to document medication administration.
  • Alerts – An efficient eMAR software system comes with alert features that informs caregivers when and how much medication is to be administered. This allows caregivers to ensure timely treatments, so the correct dosage is administered at the right time.
  • Audits – Caregivers are expected to prepare extensive end-month reports on numerous items such as physician orders, PRN results, corrections, and resident barcodes. This means they need to compile vast quantities of resident information. By using eMAR software, caregivers can easily and quickly generate detailed and accurate medication and treatment reports that are easy to review. 
  • Notes – Caregivers often need to prepare and record additional resident notes using the long term care software. This allows them to flag any orders of concern on any documentation. To ensure these notes are accurately entered, efficient long term care software systems will also have interdisciplinary progress notes that are segmented into appropriate categories, forming part of a resident’s electronic medical record.
  • Connected Vitals Charts – Caregivers and other medical staff need to access specific vital checks like a resident’s weight, temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and blood glucose levels. These results are automatically shared in the Vital Parameters dashboard and the Progress Notes on specific order deliveries.
  • Real-time Orders – An efficient PoC eMAR software system will include new orders and real-time updates. New orders are often color-coded for the first seventy-two hours so staff can easily recognize the most recent treatments. 
  • PRN Orders – Most eMAR software systems will display PRN orders (Pro Re Nata)—an order for a medication given only when a patient manifests a specific clinical condition and consents to take the medication. After a PRN session is complete, the PRN results become available in the Physician Orders and display the outcome of the PRN medications delivered. 
  • Lab and X-Ray Orders – PoC eMAR charting can also include orders for lab and x-rays as listed and entered in the Physician Orders. During a PoC eMAR session, it is helpful for healthcare staff to have reminders to prepare the resident for the test or x-ray and chart their actions accordingly. 
  • Barcode Identification – State-of-the-art eMAR software will also have built-in barcode technology that can verify a resident’s identity by scanning a resident’s barcode (for example, the barcode on their bracelet). Studies show that barcode technology improves patient safety by decreasing the rate of transcription errors and reduces administration errors.

eMAR Nursing Requirements and Advantages

A facility must always look into whether their PoC eMAR software meets eMAR nursing requirements, including the stringent requirements outlined by CMS’ incentive program for eligible professionals

Medical staff gaining familiarity with eMAR.
What does eMAR stand for? Point of Care Electronic Medication Administration Record. 

The CMS incentive program states that healthcare providers must record resident data electronically. It also details the capabilities that a given long term care EHR software system must have, meaning they must do more than simply record resident information. The CMS also sets the benchmark for improving resident care as well as specifying reimbursements payments. 

Additionally, PoC eMAR documentation serves as a legal record for all medication and treatments administered to each resident during their stay. These records make up a resident’s permanent medical charts that are updated regularly and accurately. Authorized caregivers will have access to these records to effectively diagnose, administer, and treat residents with the proper care. 

Streamlined Processes and PoC eMAR

Data in PoC eMAR software is thoroughly secured using a centralized backup system, allowing authorized staff to access resident data when needed. This improves the reliability and efficiency of services in the facility, ensuring everything runs like clockwork. 

PoC eMAR software reduces errors due to its streamlined medication processes that improve resident safety and allow for better transparency between external healthcare providers and resident caregivers. Studies show that 70% of medication reporting errors result from secondary adverse events like negligence, with a further 90% of errors judged to be preventable. Meanwhile, implementing a PoC eMAR system reduces errors by 35% and results in an overall reduction of 45% in documentation time. 

Healthcare providers who have upgraded and implemented PoC software systems into their care settings have seen significant improvements in physicians, nurses, and other caregivers’ workloads. This has resulted in better management and organization of resident data.

By moving documentation to a PoC eMAR system, an organization can expect better patient and resident outcomes in healthcare facilities across the nation. The increase in work efficiency and reduction of medical errors are significant factors aided by this technology. Coupled with more effective and innovative training techniques, facilities can expect a noticeable difference in workflow, staff motivation, and contentment. This positively impacts its staff retention levels, resulting in lower staff turnovers.  

The Financial Advantages of Using PoC eMAR

Not only do PoC eMAR systems improve efficiency and thus the bottom line, but facilities can also receive incentive payments when they purchase or replace an effective long term care EHR software system that meets CMS’ specific requirements. Therefore, facilities would be wise to conduct extensive research into the eligibility of a long term care software system before they seek to replace or upgrade their nursing home software. 

Choosing a PoC eMAR 

Before deciding upon a long term care EHR, facilities must assess what problems they encounter on a daily basis with their current long term care software. Most facilities decide to upgrade and implement a PoC eMAR software system because they are experiencing a high level of medication errors. Traditional paper charting can be hard to decipher, especially because handwritten notes are less organized and challenging to read. These factors lead to an increased risk of medication omission or overdose, which can have fatal consequences. 

Still, money is always an issue. That is why leadership should take the time to evaluate how the organization will use the long term care EHR, which modules are most relevant, and whether or not the software is compatible with their current hardware and devices. 

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Improve Outcomes With PoC eMAR Software 

Doctor using PoC eMAR software to meet CMS' eMAR nursing requirements.
PoC eMAR software must meet the CMS’ eMAR nursing requirements.

The advantages of eMAR and eTAR charting are numerous. One of the most-mentioned benefits is increased time efficiency. One nursing home in Wisconsin was able to save over five thousand hours per year on documentation by implementing a long term care software solution. 

Improved medication administration processes have redefined eMAR by allowing better access to resident data in easy-to-read formats and convenient summaries, like in an electronic Kardex. Meanwhile, the financial team can benefit from PoC eMAR in assessing the facility’s reimbursements, co-insurance, and other payments

Ultimately, a facility can only maximize PoC eMAR software if its staff are on board and fully trained to use the software’s tools and features. To do this, facilities need to ensure they maintain a high level of trust between leadership, staff, and residents. When a new PoC eMAR software is implemented, its staff will embrace its technology and processes with minimal resistance. Facilities that have successfully implemented PoC eMAR software have seen better compliance, better communication, and better performance. 

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