Ash View House scores outstanding results with Invatech's ATLAS eMAR products
Ash View House based in Kingswood, Bristol, has achieved 'outstanding' status from CQC following a recent inspection. The care home implemented ATLAS eMAR to help with its medicines management and Joe Holmes, Assistant General Manager, told us of his experience.
About Ash View House
Ash View House was established in 2004 and provides care to residents with Asperger Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and co-existing mental health conditions. Many residents will have other related conditions and may present challenging behaviours. People in the care home receive nursing or personal care and the service has been developed in line with best practice guidance. We have a dedicated and experienced team committed to high standards of medicines management for our residents.
What’s your goal for your care home?
I want to provide best practice on medicines management to care homes and reduce any risk of harm to residents, which is why I chose to implement the ATLAS eMAR system - it helps improve resident safety and mitigate harm. When I researched the ATLAS eMAR system, I was really impressed with the compliance checks, the barcode scanning to ensure that the right medication is administered to the right person at the right time, and the safety and layers of checking surrounding it.
What challenges have you faced at your care home?
Prior to implementing ATLAS eMAR, we were experiencing a high volume of recording errors and/or errors where staff were not completing paper MAR correctly. Sometimes it would require two members of staff to check medicines and administer them. The highest proportion of errors were recording errors, which then led to more management response time.
To overcome these problems, we implemented ATLAS eMAR in September 2017. Prior to this, I visited other care homes who used the ATLAS eMAR. I met with senior members of staff to get a better understanding of the device and how the technology behind ATLAS eMAR has benefited their care home medicines management, especially regarding compliance and safety. My team and I then made an informed decision to implement ATLAS eMAR based on the feedback we had received.
How did you come across Invatech’s ATLAS eMAR solution?
I did quite a bit of research exploring different systems and solutions for medicines management. I liked the management and auditing features ATLAS eMAR offers, and the idea of a login portal to pull off information and access content surrounding medicines compliance in a smarter way. My team had some questions about how ATLAS eMAR would fit into and meet CQC criteria. We met with another care home using ATLAS eMAR who explained that ATLAS eMAR had been positive for their CQC inspection because it had helped them highlight to the CQC how technology had helped to improve medicines management. So I approached Sajid Ramzan at Invatech Health - the rest is history.
How has the implementation of PCS worked out for you?
Quality is important to us at our care home. We loved the fact that ATLAS eMAR helps speeds up processes and doesn’t compromise compliance, and liked the idea of an electronic system that would allow us to oversee compliance checks to provide better care. Using ATLAS eMAR means that I do not physically have to be in a medicines room in the care home to check administration and issuing. And because ATLAS eMARs has expedited the process, it has freed up time so the staff spend more time with residents and provide better care.
I like how you can manage medicine stock levels through ATLAS eMAR. This helps free up time. Before implementing ATLAS eMAR a member of staff would have to go through each individual paper MAR sheet, which was very tedious and there was a lot of room for error. Now, we can check and order medicines accordingly, and print off a copy of this list and hand it to the GP/pharmacy.
The medicines administration process is much smoother with ATLAS eMAR too. I can login on the ATLAS Central website and see which medicines are being administered to residents. Many more of my staff are engaging with the technology now because it's so user-friendly and transparent (it's an interactive touch screen, like an IPad). And auditing is a lot smoother because are preset codes that staff can select from drop-down menu.
CQC wrote the following about Ash View House in July 2018:
"Medicines were managed safely in line with national guidance by well trained staff. People told us they were involved in working towards managing their own medicines. One person had written their own medicines risk assessment with staff support. This was an excellent way to fully involve people in their own care. The person told us it was much better following their own risk assessment and made them more independent. The provider had invested in a digital medicines management system. This was linked to the pharmacy and the staff told us this was a very safe way of managing medicines. They said it gave them a better overview of stock, improved the audit trail and provided more accountability. There was also a reduced risk of mismanagement and better oversight. Medicines recording were accurate".
Where do you see yourself going from here?
Ultimately, ATLAS eMAR helped us achieve our outstanding rating, which we're incredibly pleased about and I would give Invatech Health's ATLAS eMAR technology 10 out of 10. Using this technology assures our clients and residents that we are safe and responsible, and ATLAS eMAR will also help with integration, so we do not have to use several systems for medicines issuing auditing, tracing and recording.
I have provided details of ATLAS eMAR at a Care Provider Conference and am hoping to introduce ATLAS eMAR to other homes we support and manage so that it streamlines our services across sites. This will improve the experience for our staff and residents.