Advances in E-HR/E-MAR solutions to enhance improved patients outcomes in LTC

by Ryan Hodge

On March 6th, 2019 I had the opportunity to participate in a technology track panel to discuss “Advances in E-HR/E-MAR Solutions to enhance the improved patients outcomes in Long Term Care Pharmacies” at the MHA 16th Annual Business Summit in Las Vegas.

This panel consisted of Jeremy Chrysler from QuickMar, Matt Hopp from Guardian Pharmacy, and myself (Ryan Hodge) from SoftWriters.

Having this type of representation across the panel (EMAR vendor (QuickMar), a Pharmacy (Guardian), and a LTC Pharmacy Operating Software (FrameworkLTC)) helped to identify salient benefits of each solution to ultimately benefit the LTC pharmacy customer.

I found this panel’s insights in to the implementation-related aspects more beneficial to our LTC Pharmacy customers.

Here are a few items to keep in mind when implementing (or even considering implementing) an EHR/EMAR solution:

  • Identify key stakeholders from each of the following: EHR/EMAR vendor, pharmacy, pharmacy software.

  • It is critical to have staff at the pharmacy who have a very good understanding of both the EHR/EMAR software as well as the pharmacy software.

  • Understand prior to implementing or considering a new EHR/EMAR just how it will potentially impact the pharmacy and facility workflows in positive or disruptive ways.

  • Map out current workflow processes for both the facility and pharmacy. Then map out proposed new workflow for facility and pharmacy this will allow you to see the potential efficiency gains or issues ahead of time.

  • Get the buy-in from your facilities to implement an EHR/EMAR.
    Do this by showing them how it will benefit not only the pharmacy but also the facility. Explain to them how it will improve patient care and outcomes.

  • Invest in the post-implementation work as well. Provision for resources so that ongoing support and enhancements to the workflows are possible.

When it comes time for an integration with your next facility it is crucial that you have the buy in of all parties involved in the implementation process, then identify the key stakeholders from each party so that communication and responsibilities are no longer road blocks.

As a summary, I would say it is extremely beneficial to plan the E-HR/EMAR implementation project well in advance, making sure that all dependencies are called out and changes in the workflows and best practices are approved by all concerned parties.

Ryan Hodge is the Senior Product Manager at SoftWriters, a Pittsburgh-based company that offers pharmacy management software solutions to pharmacies serving the long-term care community. Ryan works closely with customer pharmacies to obtain feedback on varied ideas or issues and to understand LTC pharmacy industry trends and future regulatory changes, lending an open ear to customer voices.