When the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety handed down its final recommendations, the universal adoption of digital technology was of the utmost importance for a number of reasons, including addressing the need to improve medication management.
There was recognition of significant issues impacting the use of medicine within aged care settings, with medication errors among the most commonly reported clinical incidents.
But that’s started to change over the last few years. Ongoing investments into digital technology have been made by the Government and aged care providers, resulting in a switch from paper-based records to electronic records that improves and streamlines information distribution and reporting.
BESTMED has led the field with its medication management system, and now there is a new addition to the repertoire – BESTtrack – that focuses on restricted drugs of addiction (S8) and prescribed restricted substances (S4D).
“In terms of managing and monitoring the use of restricted medications, it becomes much easier having the data in a digital format,” explained Phil Offer, BESTMED Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“We’re moving away from paper, along with the errors and the time that is consumed with filling out that paper and reconciling it.”
“Our customers can already manage medications with BESTMED. BESTtrack extends the concept to managing the physical storage of restricted medications and securing them at an aged care home.”
“BESTtrack helps staff manage medication supply and administration and automates inventory management and S8 restocking. This improves facility compliance and pharmacy supply to the benefit of the residents in the facility.”
Correctly monitoring restricted medicines means staff and management are aware of stock levels and dosages at all times, with BESTtrack providing more touchpoints and intelligence to recognise errors than with a written document.
Providers will also have the ability to instantly respond to queries and information requests during audits or reviews as information can be accessed at the press of a button. That’s particularly beneficial during a time when accurate reporting has never been more critical.
Medication management is a critical component of the Government’s aged care Star Ratings, featured under the Quality Measures, while the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission continues to regulate and monitor all approved residential aged care providers.
Through BESTtrack there is a digital audit trail that delivers efficiency and convenience for everyone involved. Mr Offer said it allows staff to quickly see if there is a medication count discrepancy before moving on to the next task or issue.
“You no longer have to locate the paper book and physically manage that, and when you get questions or investigations, the audit trail is there. It’s much clearer and more accurate,” he explained.
“Then there are the efficiencies of managing medication supplies when every minute counts in an aged care home. This is where this software can really prove its worth.”
“Given the toxicity of these medications, they must be handled correctly and are administered to the right residents at the right dose and time. You want to do anything you can to prevent errors.”
“By building that digital link from when the medication is sitting in the safe to when it is administrated, it gives you an end-to-end view of what’s happening with the medication.”
In addition to benefiting Government reporting, residential aged care providers can also enjoy a streamlined pharmacy supply through BESTtrack. With inbuilt automated warnings and triggers to ensure last-minute orders are a thing of the past, all relevant staff will be well aware of real-time stock levels.
The easy-to-use, intuitive nature of BESTtrack has already seen current BESTMED customers signing up for the program ahead of its midyear launch, while the interoperability of BESTMED and BESTtrack is an enticing option for others looking to adopt new software.
“We’re always on the lookout for the next frontier of improvements to eliminate medication errors, and improving efficiencies for the staff that work in it. BESTtrack was a natural extension for us to build out, as our customers can train staff on BESTtrack while onboarding onto BESTMED,” said Mr Offer.
“You can do both with one implementation, and it has one clear format, so you don’t have to learn a separate system. Everything is integrated so it’s easier for the customer to manage.”
BESTtrack is set to be released in July and it can be introduced as standalone software or integrated with BESTMED.
You can register your interest directly with BESTMED and a number of webinars will be held to provide more information.