eMAR Deep Dive: Features & Benefits

Following on from the eMAR overview article, let’s take a deeper dive into the features of an eMAR solution and the benefits to your organisation.

eMAR (Electronic Medication Administration Record) is a digital system used to manage and document the administration of medications to residents/ people you support within various care settings. The traditional Medication Administration Record (MAR) is a paper-based, manual record that staff use to document details of medication administration with an increased risk of human error throughout the process. The eMAR system digitalises and automates the medication administration process, offering several advantages over the traditional paper-based methods.

Many care providers often consider the option of implementing eMAR and Care Planning either simultaneously or sequentially. Certain Care Planning solutions offer Medication Management features, facilitating the recording of dosages, scheduling medications, and logging them on an electronic MAR chart. This sets them apart from a comprehensive eMAR system, which encompasses a broader range of electronic medication administration functionalities with the key difference of having a direct Pharmacy integration which automatically updates medication prescriptions to reduce manual entry further.

Key Features:

Medication Schedules: eMAR systems hold a digital schedule for administering medications for residents/ people you support. This includes information such as the names of medications, dosages, frequencies, and specific administration times. If there is an active integration with the pharmacy, then this information can be pulled across directly from them for checking, reducing the risk of manually transcribing from the medication label.

Residents/ People you support Information: Many eMAR solutions integrate with electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information systems to access resident/ people you support data. This integration ensures that care providers have up-to-date information about the residents/ people you support’s medical history, allergies, and other relevant details.

Barcode Scanning: To enhance accuracy and reduce errors, some eMAR systems incorporate barcode scanning technology which supports staff with their checking processes to ensure that the right medication is given to the right resident/ people you support at the right time. Some solutions also optimise the ability to barcode scan and use this for the booking in of medication, reducing the time taken to complete this regular task.

Alerts and Notifications: eMAR solutions will generate alerts and notifications to users for various purposes, including reminders for upcoming medication administrations, warnings about potential drug interactions, and alerts for missed doses.

Documentation: Instead of manual documentation on paper, eMAR systems allow care providers to electronically record medication administrations. This digital documentation is more efficient and can be easily accessed with real-time information and reviewed.

Reporting and Analytics: Many eMAR solutions come with reporting and analytics features. This allows care organisations to analyse trends in medication administration, monitor compliance, and generate reports for auditing purposes.

Integration with Pharmacy Systems: eMAR systems may integrate with pharmacy systems to facilitate the ordering, dispensing, and administration of medications. This integration helps ensure a seamless flow of information between different stages of the medication management process.

Remote Access: Some eMAR systems offer remote access capabilities, enabling care providers to access medication information and make updates from different locations, which can be especially useful in telehealth scenarios.


By leveraging technology to streamline the medication administration process, eMAR systems aim to improve accuracy, reduce medication errors, enhance resident/ people you support safety, and provide care professionals with better tools for managing and documenting medication-related activities.

Alongside some of the key features of eMAR, there are many benefits to be recognised, including:

Overall Benefits:

  • Enhanced medication safety and adherence for clients through reduced errors and real-time alerts.
  • Improved efficiency and time savings for staff, enabling more focus on residents/ people you support care.
  • Enhanced documentation, compliance, and data-driven decision-making for management teams.
  • Cost savings and improved inventory management for the organisation.
  • Better communication and collaboration among care professionals, supported by some eMAR solutions’ integrations with pharmacy/GP systems.
  • Remote access capabilities and remote support enhance accessibility and flexibility for care providers.

Benefits for Residents/ People You Support (Clients):

Accuracy and Reduction of Errors: eMAR significantly reduces medication errors by automating the medication administration process, ensuring the right resident/ people you support receive the right medication in the right dose and at the right time, minimising the risk of human error.

Medication Safety: By reducing medication errors, eMAR contributes to enhanced resident/ people you support safety. Many eMAR solutions provide alerts for potential drug interactions, allergies, and other safety concerns, helping care providers make informed decisions when administering medications.

Benefits for Staff:

Efficiency and Time Savings: Automation of medication administration processes saves time, allowing staff to focus more on residents/ people you support care rather than paperwork and manual documentation.

Real-time Information: eMAR systems provide real-time access to medication administration data, enabling care providers to make timely decisions, track the resident/ people you support progress, and respond quickly to any issues, even in emergency situations, for example when a resident/ people you support is taken into hospital you can share real-time information of their medication.

Benefits for Management Team:

Improved Documentation and Compliance: eMAR ensures accurate and timely documentation of medication administration, helping care organisations comply with regulatory requirements and standards, thus reducing the risk of legal and regulatory issues.

Data Analytics and Reporting: eMAR solutions offer built-in analytics and reporting tools, providing valuable insights into medication trends, compliance patterns, and outcomes, enabling data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.

Benefits for your Organisation:

Cost Savings: While there is an initial investment, eMAR solutions lead to long-term cost savings through reduced medication errors, improved efficiency, and better resource utilisation.

Inventory Management: eMAR supports inventory management through digital tracking of stock coming in, being given and discarded/ wasted, reducing the risk of stockouts or overstock situations and facilitating medication ordering with accurate stock information.

Remote Access and Support: Some eMAR systems offer remote access capabilities which may be particularly beneficial in situations where care providers need to access medication information and adjust remotely.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: Some eMAR solutions offer integrations with pharmacy/ GP systems, allowing for better collaboration among all care professionals.

With the help of eMAR, care facilities can enhance medication safety, minimise errors, improve communication among care professionals, and simplify medication administration workflows. This technology enables more efficient and effective practices, leading to better resident/ people you support outcomes and overall quality of care.

Next Steps…

  1. Evaluate the benefits for your organisation.
  2. Compare products and prioritise measurable benefits, like increased productivity and revenue.
  3. Ensure the software is suitable for the size and type of your care service.


It’s important to note that successful implementation of an eMAR solution requires careful planning, training of staff, and ongoing system optimisation to maximise the benefits. Before investing in software, you should be sure to understand and evaluate the benefits for your organisation. It’s also suggested you compare products available on the market, prioritising measurable benefits such as reduced medication errors and increased staff productivity.

Ensure the software is suitable for the size and type of your care service, some eMAR solutions work better in Care Homes for example whilst others work well in Domiciliary Care. Be sure to ask questions about their current client base to understand whether they would be suitable for you!


You can find all eMAR solutions here.

To read more of our Knowledge Hub Articles on other Care Tech click here.