“Good quality records underpin safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care” (CQC, 2023). Technological advancements, such as electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR) systems, not only support CQC inspections, but also increase operational efficiencies within care homes, and help to reduce medication errors.
Camascope’s eMAR system is designed to complement CQC inspections, and assist care homes in achieving positive ratings. In fact, many users have seen improved CQC inspections, with reports highlighting enhancements in medication optimisation.
How does the CQC inspect?
In light of the CQC inspection framework changes, the frequency of assessments will be governed by the evidence that’s collected (such as data on outcomes of care), and not based on previous inspection ratings. However, the CQC will continue to use a four-point ratings scale, guided by the same 5 key questions:
Is the service safe? – Does the service ensure protection for residents, staff, and visitors from avoidable harm and abuse?
Is the service effective? – Does the service deliver care, treatment, and support that achieves good outcomes and promotes a high quality of life?
Is the service caring? – Does the service foster a culture of kindness, compassion, dignity, and respect towards individuals?
Is the service responsive? – Is the service organised to meet people’s needs, and does it adapt to changes in preferences and requirements?
Is the service well-led? – Does the service’s leadership, management, and governance assure the delivery of high-quality person-centred care? Do they support learning and innovation? Do they promote an open and fair culture?
Medication optimisation is assessed within the ‘Safe’ key question, and for this reason, the use of eMAR Is often referenced here. However, the use of eMAR, and exceptional medication practice, will also influence the outcome of the other key questions. As such, we will cover the ways in which Camascope’s eMAR system can help care homes to achieve upgraded CQC ratings across all questions.
Safety is paramount in any care setting, and it is no surprise that this question is always assessed by the CQC. eMAR systems assist here by reducing medication errors and promoting medication adherence. Features of Camascope’s eMAR system, such as person-centred information displayed at the point-of-care and barcode scanning ensure that the right medication is given to the right resident at the right time. Medication clash warnings and the capacity to schedule complex doses and time-sensitive medications further reduce medication errors. Witness verifications are embedded within the system to provide an extra layer of safety when checking-in and administering specific medications. The ability to quickly generate historic logs of MAR charts can help demonstrate robust medication processes to CQC inspectors.
In a recent CQC report of a Camascope customer, the inspection summary stated that:
“The provider had recently moved to an electronic system to record medicine administration which sent an alert if there were any missed medication. Medication errors were thoroughly investigated, and appropriate action taken to prevent reoccurrence.”
Effectiveness in medication management, such as ensuring that all medication is accounted for and that there is a sufficient supply for residents, will positively impact this key question. Camascope’s eMAR system helps care homes track medication stock levels while pharmacy connectivity assists with ensuring that the correct medication is checked-in and assigned to each resident. The ability to generate order and stock reports help to visualise monthly medication orders, allowing care homes to proactively manage prescriptions and liaise with GPs and pharmacies as needed.
Camascope’s eMAR system supports a caring environment within care homes. Tracking the instances and reasons for medication refusal can provide valuable insights into resident preferences and needs, helping to shape a more personalised care approach. Additionally, the time savings gained through increased operational efficiencies by eMAR, means that care staff have more time for person-centred care.
Camascope’s eMAR system supports a care home’s ability to adapt to a resident’s changing needs and circumstances by providing real-time updates on medication administration. The documentation of PRN protocols within the system, and the capacity to set follow-ups ensures that PRN administrations are done efficiently, and permits a quick response if the PRN is not effective.
In a recent CQC report, use of the Camascope system was cited as improving medication management responsiveness:
“By looking at the person's eMAR and their GP records through the shared care records they could identify that the GP had made the change to the person's prescription that day and then get this sent through to the pharmacy to be dispensed with their other medicines, providing a more responsive approach to medicines management.”
A well-led care home is one that promotes high-quality person-centred care. eMAR implementation demonstrates a drive to improve person-centred care through leadership innovation. By providing a central dashboard and daily reports for monitoring, eMAR ensures that a care provider’s management team is actively involved in medication management processes, promoting an open and fair culture. The ability to see potential issues, such as unacknowledged clashes and skipped medications in real-time, enables a manager to intervene and prevent a negative health outcome through medication errors.
Improving standards in care
Integrating Camascope’s eMAR system into daily operations enhances safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness, and leadership in care homes. While eMAR is not a silver bullet to improving CQC inspection reports, when used alongside other high-quality processes, inspection ratings will undoubtedly improve.
If you’d like to know how Camascope's new eMAR solution can work for your organisation, contact us to find out more.