Independent pharmacy has a very powerful tool forming on our horizon that will enable us to retain our presence in the market of Long Term Care (LTC) patients. This emerging technology is the eMAR or Electronic Medication Administration Report. As this solution becomes more accessible to independent community pharmacists, I urge you to explore and evaluate the potential for use in your practice.
Traditionally, pharmacies prepare MARs by printing data onto paper reports and delivering them to their serviced facilities. The facility would then maintain the report with pen and paper throughout the following month. The initial benefit of eMAR adoption would be to reduce paper and dynamically maintain the data between the pharmacy and facility.
There is a bigger picture though. With the adoption of eMARs, a pharmacy is able to infuse a preferred technology into a facility, strengthening the relationship between providers. The facility becomes dependent on the pharmacy's ability to manage large amounts of data efficiently.
An eMAR solution also provides a level of efficiency and operational savings otherwise unachievable. As time progresses, the choice to remain in a symbiotic relationship gains more and more value. Think about changing your pharmacy management system. Pharmacists dread this event. In most current examples, LTC facilities have no true system ties to pharmacy vendors. With eMAR adoption though, facilities will be less apt to make contract and provider changes as frequently as we experience now. The market essentially begins to stabilize with the adoption of this specific technology.
As long as independent community pharmacies lead the charge of eMAR adoption, we will maintain market position and stifle market turbulence. In the event that pharmacy launched eMARs are not pioneered by the independent segment, it will become very hard for us to enter into or win contracts in situations where our competition has engaged in the discipline.
Start to explore. Continue to innovate.