Medicines system will boost care across homes

A revolutionary system to boost safety in the delivery of medicines has been unveiled by Shropshire’s largest independent care provider.

Coverage Care Services has made a £150,000 commitment to the new platform which provides a range of enhancements and safeguards to the complex demands of giving millions of doses of medications to thousands of service users each year.

The system, known as eMAR, is backed by the country’s largest pharmacy group, Boots, and this will be by far it’s biggest deployment in Shropshire, as well as being among the first.

Carer Keith Harding and manager Irene Rouse put the new medications system to use at Shrewsbury’s Coton Hill House

Carer Keith Harding and manager Irene Rouse put the new medications system to use at Shrewsbury’s Coton Hill House

The Coverage Care roll-out has begun at its Coton Hill House site, in Shrewsbury, where staff have been trained to use the laptops and scanners. The technology governs all medicine provision by accurately informing them of doses and times for each patient’s needs and recording stock levels, to allow for efficient re-ordering.

Coverage Care, which is a not-for-profit company, operates nursing and residential homes in the county and is currently building Shrewsbury’s newest care home, Montgomery House, on Sundorne Road, which is due to open in November.

Once fully up and running across the 12 Coverage Care sites which are due to receive it by October, eMAR will be operated on 70 laptop computers, each equipped with handheld scanners to read and record medicine labels.

Coverage Care chief executive, David Coull, said: “The introduction of the eMAR system is a huge step for us and a large financial commitment, spread over five years, but we consider it crucial and a game-changer for everyone who lives and works in our homes.

“It records everything and if anything doesn’t follow the plan, such as someone not getting their medicine, it quickly alerts first the home manager and then, very shortly afterwards, the operations director. It will ensure that stock of crucial medicines is always at ideal levels.”

“It has also proven to reduce round times by an average of 35 per cent, which allows staff to spend more time doing other things with residents, as well as cutting wasted medications by 30 percent, which is a bonus to the NHS and anyone who has to pay for their prescriptions. We’re very excited about the difference this will make.”

Coverage Care has made a five-year commitment to eMAR and has installed wi-fi across all of its homes to support the system – with the added bonus of making internet connectivity available to all residents and visitors. The extra laptops will also boost the company’s web-based staff training capability.

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