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Reimagining eMAR for Assisted Living

Aline’s assisted living eMAR provides communities with a modernized, secure system for medication management. Here’s how.

Amanda McGrory-Dixon, 7th August 2023

More than 90% of Americans over age 65 take at least one prescription drug, and the average senior requires at least four medications every day – 39% take at least five different medications recommended by their doctors.

One of the biggest challenges senior living providers face is making sure residents receive the proper doses of their medications at the correct times. This is where Electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR) play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of older adults while also allowing owners and operators to remain compliant with regulations related to medication management.

Assisted Living eMAR

Medical facilities and senior living communities have kept paper records of medications for many decades, but it wasn’t until 1994 that a nurse developed the first electronic version at a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in Kansas. Five years later, this innovation was released as the bar-code medication administration (BCMA) system, which became the standard at all VA facilities. By 2012, eMARs had become the industry standard for tracking prescriptions and ensuring patients received the right medications.

What Does Assisted Living eMAR Offer?

eMARs let users electronically verify the “five rights of medication administration” before giving medications:

  • Right patient: The patient to whom the medication is to be administered matches the medication to be administered.
  • Right medication: The medication to be administered matches the medication ordered for the patient.
  • Right dose: The dose of the medication to be administered matches the dose of the medication ordered for the patient.
  • Right route: The route of medication delivery matches the route specified in the medication order.
  • Right time: The time that the medication was ordered to be administered compared to when it is actually given.

All five of these rights are critical in senior living facilities because staff has 100% responsibility of ensuring resident safety and wellness. Today, eMARs have become the industry standard for medication management in an era dominated by smartphones, wearables, and real-time data collection.

Top Benefits of Using an Assisted Living eMAR System

Managing medication for one person is a daunting challenge, but when you multiply it by dozens or even hundreds of residents in a senior living community, the complexities grow. It’s one thing to make sure that an individual gets four or five pills a day, but the possibility for error increases exponentially when thousands of pills are distributed. This is where eMARs earn their keep because in a perfect world, they remove all the friction points that make medication management difficult.

Senior living industry veterans founded Aline to address some of the biggest challenges owners and operators face every day. And one of the biggest is medication management, which is why Aline eMAR securely manages resident medical records and medication administration for improved efficiency, safety, and compliance while offering a seamless integration with pharmacy partners.

There are many medication management solutions on the market, but Aline eMAR was the first specifically developed for the unique needs of senior living communities. It’s also flexible enough to fully support industries beyond senior living, including communities that support individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), treatment centers, and behavioral health facilities.

Unique Feature of Aline eMAR for Assisted Living

It’s no accident thousands of senior living communities throughout the United States rely on Aline eMAR to ensure the safety of their residents while also improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs. After all, there are a number of unique features and functions that make Aline the undisputed eMAR leader.

  1. Batch scanning: As a modern technology platform, Aline can cluster multiple tasks into a single action. Not only does it save time but it also increases profitability by freeing staff to focus on revenue-generating work. Aline can scan one barcode per pill pouch and account for the accuracy of the package’s entire contents, including resident information, RX accuracy, and contents. This is infinitely more efficient than requiring a barcode for each individual pill, and it saves staff time during the medication verification process while reducing the potential for giving incorrect medications to residents.
  2. Multiple source scanning: When prescription medications come from multiple sources, properly cataloging them in a single system is challenging. Aline eMAR can scan drugs from the interfaced pharmacy as well as drugs that come from other sources, such as mail order and the VA. This supports total medication barcode scanning compliance for all residents, simplifying the medication dispensation process and reducing potential for errors and noncompliance.
  3. Offline functionality: In a perfect world, every internet-connected device would have 100% uptime, but as we know, that’s not always the case. Mobile devices fall out of range. Computers unknowingly turn off. Servers go down.This can have devastating consequences for organizations that lack redundancy because important information can be lost or corrupted. Aline prevents this problem by allowing caregivers to work offline indefinitely and then syncing the data once the connection restores. This improves continuity of care and resident safety while securing sensitive data in the event of power outages, natural disasters, and other serious situations.
  4. Advanced pharmacy integration: Aline eMAR has the industry’s most robust integration with pharmacies, including complex orders, such as refills that require a new RX number and those with alternating or tapering doses. This gives pharmacists total control over the management of medication order entry, delivering higher efficiency for communities and improved safety for residents through higher order accuracy.
  5. Narcotic inventory tracking and management: Aline eMAR helps provide more accountability for staff and transparency around the administration and storage of controlled substances on premise. Medication inventories are controlled by safeguards that require accurate counts by shift and caregiver.

A Complete Assisted Living eMAR

Aline eMAR provides communities a modernized, secure system where caregivers scan prescription labels before they hand medication to a resident, and all the important care details are securely documented. Residents and families are more confident, staff are better informed and more efficient, and operators realize higher efficiency and safety in med passes.

An eMAR reduces errors, cuts cost, ensures compliance, and puts resident safety first.

To learn more about how Aline can help your senior living community improve medication safety, request a free demo.

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