Medication solutions provider Omnicell has called for a national drive to reduce care home medication errors.
The call follows a UCL School of Pharmacy study into medicine administration which identified 178 errors and 2,493 opportunities for error.
Paul O’Hanlon, managing director of Omnicell, said: “It’s great to see that multi-compartment compliance aids, like SureMed by Omnicell, can help to improve patient safety in a care home environment and we’d like to think that in most cases this is standard practice.
“However, there is now an even safer way to administer medication to these patients and it’s one that we are pleased to see care homes starting to turn to.”
Following the launch of eMAR in autumn last year, Omnicell is now working with 32 pharmacies to service more than 49 care homes. A further nine care homes will have Omnicell eMAR implemented by the end of October 2017. Omnicell eMAR looks to help care homes reduce the risk of medication errors and drives-up patient safety standards.
The Omnicell eMAR system automates the entire medication management and administration process, making it safe, simple and compliant. It gathers information, provides prompts and accurate instructions for staff and gives managers real-time medication administration data at the touch of a button, so staff can be sure that the right dose has been administered, at the right time, to the right resident.
Paul added: “While it’s great to see that some pharmacies and care homes have started to embrace automation as a way of improving patient safety, we are now calling for other care homes to review their practices and do the same in the light of this new research.”
Julie Spencer, head of care at Avery Group Care Homes, which uses the system in two of its specialist dementia homes, said: “Prior to using Omnicell eMAR, the checking in of medication would take five hours per floor, totalling 15 hours of staff time per month for three floors.
“Since we have introduced the system this has been reduced significantly to two hours per floor which is now only six hours per month. This reduction of 60%, means our staff can spend more time providing face-to-face patient care. Our staff have really embraced the new system and we have had multiple reports detailing just how easy it is to use. Our previous systems always meant there was a risk of human error, but since we’ve introduced Omnicell eMAR the risk of this has been significantly reduced and our residents’ safety has increased.”