Long Term Care Software Interoperability


During a recent luncheon discussion among LTC-based nurse managers, we explored the topic of Long Term Care Software Interoperability. In particular, we discussed at great length the duplication of effort by LTC Facility’s staff and the Pharmacy’s staff in managing the data necessary to produce monthly paper Physician’s Orders and Medication Administration Records. Everyone agreed that it’s critical to reduce the effort and associated costs for both the facility and the pharmacy, not to mention reducing opportunity for brand cialis for sale errors.

One Director of Nursing (DON) said her facility recently implemented the tablet-based MedTablet® eMAR provided by her Pharmacy. She explained that it exchanges information between her Facility and the Pharmacy’s computer system (i.e. is “interoperable”) using a cloud-based HIPAA-compliant method. Benefits include nurses spending less time on the phone with the pharmacy, and elimination of faxing and sending duplicate telephone order forms to the pharmacy. A bonus is that they don’t have to handwrite their admission POs and MARs anymore, and they no longer have to conduct an end-of-month review and verification of the upcoming month’s PO and MARs. Information is kept up-to-date and recorded electronically as it happens – in fact, she said the nurses are now training the physicians to review, update, and electronically sign their resident’s orders on the tablet when they visit. 

Another DON said she was told she couldn’t use MedTablet because it did not interface with her facility’s computer system. One nurse posed the point that if using a paper MAR provided by the pharmacy isn’t an issue, then why would using the pharmacy’s eMAR be an issue? After all, those monthly paper Physician’s Orders (PO) and MARs are created with the same data used to create the eMAR. A bonus is that you use the device to generate the PO while the Physician is seeing the resident, and any changes are automatically transmitted to the pharmacy, while the MAR is updated at the same time.

After all, the beauty of “interoperability” between various software packages used in the LTC setting is that you can choose those that are considered “the best” in a particular domain and that work cooperatively with each other, and those that work best for your unique setting and priorities.