Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection reports can act as a great neutral assessor of how valuable care management software is in making services safer and giving the ability to deliver higher quality care.
As the CQC’s senior designer of Strategy and Intelligence recently admitted, inspectors don’t get it right all the time, sometimes having much less knowledge than care providers on the kind of systems that are now commonly used and how to assess them for quality, safety, security and impact. Surely, as the ones doing the inspecting they should be ahead of the curve. This is an area where the CQC needs to step up training and knowledge.
However, there are those examples where technology has made a clear, substantially positive difference that moves a care inspector to dedicate large parts of their reports to how a provider has leveraged technology to drastically improve services.
Here are a few such examples, focused on electronic medication management software in residential care.
RMBI, Prince Michael of Kent Court, Inspected August 2018. CQC Rating: Outstanding (full report)
“We found that the electronic system provided a safe and effective system to administer and manage people`s medicines. No medicine or recording errors were found.”
“For each person there was a personalised indication and frequency for on the electronic medicine system, approved by the GP. MAR charts were electronic which made them easy to interpret and follow.”
“We were told that if a person needed a medicine outside the normal administration rounds these were recorded on the MAR chart. For example, one person who had Parkinson’s required their medicine to be administered five times a day, and timing was critical. We checked this person’s medicine administration record and found that this medicine had been administered at the correct times.”
“Electronic MAR charts had the person’s date of birth and allergies noted. Standard codes were used, for example if a person refused any of their prescribed medicines.”
Marches Care Ltd – The Uplands at Oxon, Inspected May 2017. Rating: Good.
“People received consistent support from the nurses to take their medicines as prescribed. Systems and procedures were in place designed to ensure people’s medicines were managed safely.”
“The provider’s quality assurance had led to a number of significant improvements in the service. These included the introduction of an electronic care planning and record-keeping system for improved information sharing with community professionals and greater staff accountability.”
RMBI, Devonshire Court, Inspected September 2018, CQC Rating: Outstanding (full report)
“The service had introduced a new electronic system of medicines management which reduced the risk of medicines errors to a minimum. This meant that when a pharmacist under supplied a particular medicine this was identified and measures put in place to prevent a similar error occurring again.”
“People received their medicine as prescribed and at the right time.”
Hallmark Care Homes (London) – Kew House, Inspected July 2016. Rating: Good.
“An electronic system was in place for medicines management. People received their medicines as prescribed, and appropriate processes were in place to obtain, store, administer, record and dispose of medicines.”
“People received their medicines as prescribed. One person told us in regards to their medicines, ‘Yes [the staff] sort me out. I take it every day without fail.’ ”
“The system informed staff what medicines were to be given and when. The system alerted staff if a medicine had not been given at the time prescribed. It also enabled the recording of medicines when these were given, on electronic medicine administration records (MARs) and kept an account of stock control.”
“Where people did not take their medicines for various reasons, appropriate coding was used to describe the reason why. We observed medicines being given and saw that these were provided in line with people’s prescription. We also checked how controlled medicines were being managed and we saw that they were being administered with appropriate records being kept. There were arrangements for the disposal of medicines, including the disposal of controlled medicines.”
“Audits were carried out to monitor the management of medicines. The electronic system gave an automatic balance of medicines in stock so it was easy to keep an audit trail.”
See the system for yourself
All these care inspectors’ comments are about one system: Access Medication Management.
It is a complete Electronic Medication Management system, going much further than simple Electronic MAR charts, improving every aspect of medicine management, from prescription processing, to administration, monitoring, auditing, stock control, ordering and everything in between.