Improving care and reducing errors with electronic Medication Administration Records
The number of Canadians aged 65 years and older is expected to rise from 17% in 2017 to 20% by 2024,1 with long-term care costs also expected to triple within the next 30 years, from $22B to $71B.3 In the United States, the number of paid long-term care service users is expected to double from the 13 million in 2000 to 27 million by 2050.2 In 2012, total spending for long-term care in the United States was $219.9 billion (or 9.3% of all U.S. personal health care spending), with this too projected to increase to $346 billion in 2040.4 These figures highlight the fact that as the average age of our population increases, so does the need to continue to update our systems to provide adequate and efficient medical services to those who needs it most.
During my previous tenure at a long-term care pharmacy, I learned firsthand how industry developers and leading professional have introduced new methods and technologies to evolve the very idea of long-term care. With the transition from paper Medication Administration Records to electronic Medication Administration Records (eMARs), a nurse is able to save critical time when providing care to their patients, and pharmacists are able to accurately dispense current medications efficiently and effectively. Of the many different eMAR options on the market, oneMAR® was the preferred method among myself and my colleagues. In fact, I was so passionate about oneMAR® that when I moved from Saskatchewan to British Columbia, I joined the Catalyst team to apply my clinical skills in a new, innovative way.
oneMAR® is connected in real-time with AdhereNet®, which is used in the pharmacy to consolidate and communicate data from pharmacy management software (i.e. Kroll), packaging automation (i.e. McKesson Canada PACMED, Synergy Medical SynMed), and facility customers. In facilities, nurses use oneMAR® to safely administer medications, track vitals, make notes and maintain a patient’s chart online, something that was previously tedious and time consuming with paper MARs and charts. Not only can oneMAR® improve efficiencies by 2.6 times over the paper MAR process, it can reduce med-pass time for nurses by 52%, saving valuable time when providing patient care. Since the software used by nurses and the pharmacy are fully integrated, information, such as new, changed, and discontinued medications, are shared instantly. As a pharmacist who used AdhereNet® and oneMAR®, I can confirm that these features were crucial in delivering safe medications to our patients in a timely manner.
Taking care of our aging patients is no small feat, however with technology growing and changing the landscape of long-term care, we can find comfort in knowing that our healthcare professionals have the best tools at their disposal to provide safe and effective treatment.
- Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. “Health Reports: Transitions to Long-Term and Residential Care among Older Canadians.” The Daily - , 16 May 2018, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180516/dq180516c-eng.htm.
- National Institute on Ageing. “Long-Term Care Costs in Canada Projected to Triple to $71B in Only 30 Years.” National Institute on Ageing, National Institute on Ageing, 8 Oct. 2019, www.nia-ryerson.ca/commentary-posts/10/7/long-term-care-costs-in-canada-projected-to-triple-in-only-30-years.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of Labor. The future supply of long-term care workers in relation to the aging baby boom generation: Report to Congress. Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, (2003).
- National Health Policy Forum (2014) The Basics: National Spending for Long-Term Services and Supports. Retrieved (January 2015) from http://www.nhpf.org/library/the-basics/Basics_LTSS_03-27-14.pdf✎
In facilities, nurses use oneMAR® to safely administer medications, track vitals, make notes and maintain a patient’s chart online, something that was previously tedious and time consuming with paper MARs and charts.
Kristen Antunes holds a BSP in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan. She is the Director of Clinical Outcomes and her experience as a clinical pharmacist, spin instructor, and meditation teacher make her a well-rounded health and wellness expert. She leads patient engagement initiatives and works with community pharmacists to obtain meaningful results. For a patient or a population, improving health outcomes is her jam!