Medication errors are one of the most common preventable problems reported in healthcare. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation more than 237 million errors are made every year in this country – and most (42%) of these happen in care homes.
The cause? Inefficient management of stock. Prescribing incorrect or expired medication is a major risk for care homes and one that doesn’t meet the strict standards of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other stock control regulations.
Medicine stock management becomes increasingly complex the larger the care home, but using an online system can help streamline medication admin, the prescription process and ensure you stay compliant.
Here are five reasons why a stock management system is crucial in a care home environment.
To avoid error
In homes with large numbers of residents being cared for, it’s likely medicines are being ordered via multiple GP practices and in some cases, dispensed by more than one pharmacy.
Managing medicine inventories can soon become a tricky and time-consuming task, and if your teams are working with outdated paper systems and spreadsheets, these are open to costly mistakes if medications are not recorded properly – or at all.
With a cloud-based system like MICS, the paperwork is filled out for you, reducing the risk of human error and preventing any mistakes going unnoticed until it’s too late, i.e. causing harm to a resident or being subject to expensive legal claims.
Investing in a MICS system, you’ll see an immediate and substantial reduction in preventable medication errors.
Comply with regulation
In a typical care home, meds are administered by trained care staff, most often three or four times per day – and with all the interruptions they deal with, it’s no surprise that stock control can get out of hand.
The first and most damaging consequence of poor stock control is causing harm to patients. If a med is out of stock or stock on shelves is out of date, you simply cannot provide the care and treatment they need.
This is, of course, the main concern of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Managing your medicine stock is a crucial aspect of maintaining safety and quality.
The CQC reviews not only the safe administration of medicines, but the entire medication management process. This includes supply and ordering, storage, disposal and recording.
MICS outperforms any other system in this sense, with alerts and warnings that automatically prompt staff to comply with the highest standard of medication administration procedures.
The amount of time spent logging and distributing medications in a care home can certainly be put to better use elsewhere.
With MICS, the inconvenience of working with paper-based systems is eliminated, thereby saving time.
Inspection ready at any time
One top benefit of a stock management system is having all the data you need at your fingertips, so you can be ready for a CQC inspection at a moment’s notice. Discover real time information, reports and access to medication information from your care home at the touch of a button.
MICS offers easy accessibility within the web and mobile app. Care home managers and staff can remotely access software, wherever they are. And with its simple and user-friendly interface, it doesn’t matter if you start a process on a tablet or PC and have to pick it up later on your smartphone – you can pick up where you left off on any device.
Care home workers and nurses are most likely responsible for the daily management of hundreds, if not thousands, of medications for residents.
MICS reduces the pressure of this, by providing a centralised system that can be accessed by all authorised staff working within the care home.
It keeps track of every asset you have and will enable regular real-time audits. You can use this to better estimate demand – for instance by seeing something is low in stock or has been dispensed frequently, you can tell you need to order more.
The greater control provided by a MICS system also enables you to reduce the amount of admin undertaken by staff, so that you can increase your capacity, and care workers can spend more of their time with residents.
Our advanced Medicine Inventory Control System (MICS) is a complete solution that integrates leading inventory control software with our secure Smart Locker technology.