Human errors can occur at any stage of medication administration, whether it be administering the right drug, measuring the right dosage, or following the right route. This is especially true when using conventional paper-based MAR sheets for medication.
To lower the risk of preventable human errors and improve medication administration safety, switch to electronic MAR charts of eMAR (electronic medication administration record).
Apart from using electronic MAR, your team can follow these steps to improve medication administration safety:
1) Labelling drugs with similar names
Drugs that have similar names, similar brand names, similar looks, or similar packaging are a threat to resident safety. Such drugs often create confusion when transcribing new prescriptions and/or administering drugs. Therefore, it’s important for the care workers to take extra caution when filling and dispensing such drugs.
One simple and inexpensive way to lower the risk of medication errors caused by sound-alike, look-alike drugs is to carefully label them in a distinct way. Care workers can write the names of the similar drug names in the label tags to make it easier to distinguish them.
2) Auditing MAR sheets to demonstrate accountability
In many care home systems, hidden issues such as a particular care staff member not following protocols or not reporting problems that have occurred with a specific medication can lower medication administration safety.
To make sure that there’s complete accountability within the care team, audit MAR sheets on a monthly basis. With electronic MAR, auditing electronic MAR sheets gets easy as the software has a built-in Medication Balance Calculator.
3) Educating the residents
It’s a good idea to let the residents learn about the purpose of the medication their doctors have prescribed them. Doing this helps in maintaining their safety when a new care staff member starts handling medication administration of a particular resident. Another upside of this is it empowers the residents to take caution about their medication safety.
4) Setting alerts for dosages
When administering medication, care workers, at times, miss out on giving a specific drug. This, in turn, leads to medication errors and compromises resident safety. To make sure that your care team doesn’t miss out on administering any drug, use electronic MAR’s alerts feature.
The software automatically sends alerts to the devices (using it) whenever a medication is due. This way, it becomes possible for care managers to build compliance.
Make the switch to electronic MAR sheet medication administration
Electronic MAR eliminates all the paper-based hassles involved with conventional MAR sheets and streamlines medication administration. The software is easy to use as it is designed to be a digital version of the traditional MAR sheets.