(Standing together at the August 31st celebration were, left to right; Michael Yannotta, Paula Royal, Najwa Haddad, Erica Stewart, Gloria Trinidad, Kay Loricka, and Sarah Rauber. Photo by Harry Glazer)
The benefits of changing from paper medical forms to electronic records are fairly easy to identify. Reduced storage space needed, improved search-ability, increased points of access, and enhanced readability are just some of the features that come readily to mind.
What people might not realize though is how much time and effort is required to effectively transition from paper forms to electronic medical records. It is by no means simple or easy.
Three nurses at Parker’s Landing Lane home can describe, in vivid detail, some of the demands of successfully making this change. Erica Stewart, Gloria Trinidad, and Najwa Haddad spent the better part of a full week sequestered from their coworkers, comparing two sets of paper medical forms with new digital files in Parker’s Electronic Medication Administration Records (e-MAR) program for 52 residents.
E-MAR is a feature of the Answers on Demand (AOD) electronic medical records system that Parker started implementing in 2010. AOD enables Parker to create and store a broad variety of records in electronic form. Parker’s AOD system has the capability to encompass admission assessments, advanced directives, physician orders, lab reports, narcotic reports, interdisciplinary care plan notes, consultation reports (eye, hearing, dental, podiatry, and psychiatrist), and many other forms.
Parker began implementing the Electronic Medication Administration Records (e-MAR) feature in January 2015, starting with the Stonegate assisted living residence. Implementation moved to Parker at Landing Lane in July.
A large part of the work in successfully implementing e-MAR is focused on reconciliation – comparing the existing paper medication administration records and doctors’ orders with the new electronic medication administration records created by PharmCare, Parker’s pharmacy provider, and loaded into the AOD system. Reconciliation requires careful checking of all aspects of the new electronic records, to make sure they fully reflect the standing records. Any discrepancies between the records could have troubling consequences.
On the last day in August, the team overseeing the e-Mar implementation at Parker – Michael Yannotta, Paula Royal, and Kay Loricka - held a celebration to mark the successful completion of e-MAR at Landing Lane. And they saluted Najwa, Gloria, and Erica for their dedication, in performing the time and detail intensive work of reconciliation that made the implementation possible.
The rest of Parker salutes them too!