As a caregiver, one of the primary responsibilities is to administer medicines to residents. It is necessary that when this task is performed it is done with utmost care. To manage the medicine administration, several care homes use printable MAR (Medicine Administration Record) sheets. Several care homes in the UK have started using different types of electronic medication administration systems to avoid problems associated with printable MARs. Printable MARs are vulnerable to clerical errors due to handwriting. To ensure accurate and complete documentation, it’s important to avoid common mistakes when filling out MAR charts. Some of these mistakes include:
Mistake 1: Failing to obtain and chart health and drug history
It is important to obtain a resident’s health and drug history before administering any medication to avoid any potential adverse reactions or interactions. This information should be recorded in the MAR charts and updated regularly to ensure that any changes or new information are taken into account when administering medication. Not obtaining and charting a patient’s health and drug history can lead to serious medical complications
Mistake 2: Not documenting when medications were given
Not documenting the exact time when medications were given can make it difficult to track the effectiveness of the medication. It can also lead to double dosing or administering of the next dose at the wrong time.
Mistake 3: Using improper abbreviations
Using non-standard or made-up abbreviations can lead to confusion and can have serious consequences, such as administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosage. This is why you must use only standard and approved abbreviations in MAR charts.
Mistake 4: Pre-charting to save time
Pre-charting, also known as anticipatory charting, is a practice that you should avoid. Pre-charting refers to filling in the information in the resident’ MAR charts even before the medication has been administered. You must remember that MAR charts are legal documents and should only be filled in after the medication has been administered.
Mistake 5: Charting for just yourself
Creating accurate MAR charts is an essential part of providing quality care to residents. When you are filling in the information, you should do it not just for your own reference but also for the reference of other caregivers, supervisors and healthcare professionals who may need to review them. Make sure you write legibly so that there is no confusion, errors, and inconsistencies in the charting.
When all the information is recorded accurately, it ensures proper continuity of care. It also helps to ensure that any potential issues are identified and dealt with promptly. You should always chart information with the resident’s best interest in mind and should not just chart for yourself only.
Reduce the Risk of Charting Mistakes with eMAR Chart
eMAR chart allows you to electronically document medication administration in real-time, rather than relying on paper-based MAR charts. It eliminates the need for manual data entry, which can reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies in charting. eMAR systems also provide alerts and reminders to you — this helps in reducing the chances of missed doses or administering medication at the wrong time. If your care home is using an eMAR chart, make sure that you receive the training. This will help you to streamline documentation and also prepare monthly and quarterly reports.