The electronic medication administration record (eMAR) system is a segment of the broader electronic health record (EHR). Its primary role is to capture the specifics of drug administration in healthcare settings. This platform has a wealth of information, from patient-specific drug data, dosages, and prescriptions to potential drug interactions and side effects, all stored in a centralised database. Healthcare practitioners can explore this data, making informed decisions about treatments. Here, we discuss some of the useful insights on how an electronic medication administration record system works:
- The eMAR platform usually requires a password for access and might feature additional protective measures, such as biometric verification, guaranteeing entry only to validated users. Depending on their professional roles, different practitioners such as doctors, pharmacists, and nursing staff might experience varied access privileges.
- When a doctor prescribes a medication for a patient, they input the specifics into the eMAR platform. This includes the drug’s name, its dosage, administration frequency, method of delivery, and other important features. The platform might possess functionalities that notify the physician of potential medicinal interactions, given that it already has the patient’s health records.
- Post prescription input, a pharmacist scrutinises it within the platform. They assess potential concerns, such as dosage accuracy, and the suitability of the drug concerning the patient’s ailment. Should issues arise, the pharmacist communicates with the prescribing physician for clarification or requisite modifications.
- After the pharmacist approves the prescription, they or the pharmacy technicians prepare the medication. The eMAR system may be integrated with automated dispensing machines that help in accurately dispensing the medication.
- Designated healthcare workers, often nurses and caregivers, administer the medication to the patient. Prior to the administration, they check the eMAR platform to confirm the drug’s accuracy, its dosage, patient’s identity, and other important information. Several eMAR platforms feature barcode validation tools. The healthcare worker scans both the patient’s identification and the drug, ensuring that the right medicine is administered to the right patient at the right time with the right dose. Post administration, the healthcare worker records the time of delivery and any other pertinent information into the platform.
- The platform can generate reports on various aspects of medication administration, such as missed doses, medication errors, and patient responses. This data can be used for quality improvement initiatives and to ensure patient safety.
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