IDEA Services first to manage medication online
The online medication management platform 1CHART has now been successfully rolled out to almost 600 residential homes across Aotearoa, making IDEA Services the first disability service provider in New Zealand to introduce an online system.
1CHART links support workers, GPs and pharmacists online and in real time, and replaces an outdated manual paper-based process.
Although plagued by COVID-19 disruptions, staff shortages and extreme weather events, the project team battled to get the last few areas to go live in the middle of this year, bringing on board more than 1000 GPs and almost 100 pharmacies over the past two years.
Prue Lennox, Director of Nursing, says IDEA Services is already seeing the benefits.
“Our goal when we decided to adopt 1CHART was to better ensure the right medication was being delivered to the right person at the right time,” says Prue. “Our Clinical Team now has remote and full visibility of medications, which makes responding to clinical requests for support considerably more effective.
“On-call support for palliative care, for example, has greatly improved by making it easier for staff to give pain relief.
“A significant part of introducing 1CHART was to comprehensively review current prescriptions for all people we support, allowing us to pick up on poor prescribing practices that have now been corrected,” she says.
Through this process, IDEA Services has seen a reduction in incident reports relating to medication by more than a third since introducing 1CHART.
Prue says the new system is making medication rounds a lot easier and less time-consuming for support workers, allowing them to spend more quality time with the people we support.
“Most GPs and pharmacists are also finding it very easy to use and, for the people we support, this has meant beneficial medication changes,” says Prue. “It has been incredibly helpful for specialists and consultants supporting people in our services where face-to-face visits haven’t been possible.
“We’re able to proactively respond to Pharmac supply issues because we can report who is on what medication and manage it effectively ahead of time.”
Unfortunately, a small percentage of doctors were not willing to adopt the 1CHART system, meaning there are still some people we support on the paper-based system. The Clinical Team is now working with these areas to explore options for transitioning people to the new system.
Area reviews are under way to continue education and support, particularly for staff joining the organisation.
Caption: 1CHART is a cloud-based system that gives community pharmacists, general practitioners and aged-care professionals real-time access to their patients’ medication information.