- Stephen Boulanger
eMAR Series Part Five - Implementation
Implementation of eMAR
Many long term care communities in the greater Seattle area are aware of the advantages of eMAR but still use paper MAR because changing over seems so overwhelming.
Implementation is necessary in order to reap the many benefits of eMAR, but the good news is that implementing a new system is not as invasive and difficult as many people fear. And communities do have the power to manage the amount of change they experience.
A successful transition starts with professional involvement. The most vital step you can take is to leverage your relationship with your pharmacy and your eMAR vendor, who can support your community during implementation and beyond in order to resolve any issues or uncertainties.
eMAR ushers in a real-time interface between your pharmacy and resident data. Expect your pharmacy to designate a contact person to manage this data, somebody fluent not only in the pharmacy system, but the eMAR program you’re implementing and the interface between the two.
There are many eMAR platforms that are easy to learn. Quality training over the course of a month will leave your staff confident and proficient. It helps that eMAR is based on traditional MAR, so the appearance and basic functions of the electronic system will be immediately familiar to your staff.
Support From Your Management Staff
The role of your community’s staff in implementation can not be overstated. Change is difficult for the majority of people to embrace, let alone people as busy as your caregivers. Make sure everyone involved in managing your community understands why you’ve decided to make the change to eMAR. Verse them in the benefits that your entire community will reap for the long term because of your investment now.
Implementations don’t fail because people can’t learn the system. They fail when management doesn’t buy into the benefits for the community. Don’t let this be you. Take the time to demonstrate to your management staff the value of the implementation so they will be able to present a united front for the rest of your staff.
An In-house Expert
Along with training your staff, be sure to appoint one person as an in-house expert, somebody who excels in understanding the system and can help troubleshoot issues when they arise, train new staff and spearhead your partnership with your pharmacy and eMAR vendor. This will greatly reduce the impact of changing to a new system by providing your staff with the assurance that they have all the support they need moving forward.