What is happening in terms of digital care services, and how pharmacies and care homes can benefit?
In a pandemic world where protecting the health of our elderly population is of the utmost importance, UK pharmacies have quickly looked to adapt and implement changes to ensure outstanding pharmaceutical care, especially for residents in care homes. More than ever, care homes need reassurance from their pharmacy provider that high quality services and expert support is still available.
The role of technology, including remotely implemented services, has been paramount to effectively and safely achieving this. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently submitted proposals to the government for legislative changes that would close regulatory gaps in online prescribing, which have been ascribed to patient deaths. Another recent issue pharmacies are having to transparently address is their number of claims for the pandemic delivery service as the NHS Counter Fraud Authority is reviewing “some possible threats and vulnerabilities within the pandemic delivery service”.
Working closely with the care homes they service, and in collaboration with eMAR and Care Planning software providers such as MED e-care, pharmacies can ensure that the highest standards of clinical practice are in place when medicines are dispensed.
Providing the right digital tools is an important part of the solution. The best of breed eMAR software can interface with a wide range of external systems and PMR’s so that information can be safely shared with care homes, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. These software solutions have been designed to replace paper-based MAR charts, to reduce transcription errors, to minimise storage requirements and physical transportation of records as well as tracking the administration of medication and automating reports relating to the care that has been provided.
eMAR helps manage and audit this critical aspect of caring for residents by directly interfacing with the pharmacy’s dispensing system. National pharmacy chains and independent community pharmacies, GP’s and other healthcare professionals can utilise eMAR to review care and medication data remotely, saving valuable time and reducing medication waste.
The NHS long term plan (which has been produced to ensure that the NHS is fit for the future) makes a commitment to a more concerted and systematic approach to reducing health inequalities and addressing unwarranted variation in care. In today’s society, digital exclusion can be seen as a form of inequality. Affordable care technology is now firmly woven into the fabric of joined up outstanding, person-centred care delivery. It is no longer for the few.