Improving patient safety and reducing errors with cMAR

Following a comprehensive review of Osler’s medication system, we have spent the last 18 months implementing a multi-phase Medication Systems Improvement Initiative (MSII). This includes completing the second phase of implementing a computer generated medication administration record (cMAR) over the past year. 

cMAR replaces a paper-based system that required a nurse to handwrite all medication orders to the medication administration record, which outlines all medications administered to a patient while in hospital. The document is reviewed by all health care providers when assessing the patient and is used to determine the best treatment plan. This record would be manually updated as medication orders were changed by the physician. 

The medication orders appearing on cMAR are entered into the computer system by a pharmacist. Every evening, a new or updated medication administration record is printed for patients in the hospital. cMAR helps to ensure that all medication information is clear and legible, information is displayed in a standardized format, and additional information about the medication may be provided by the pharmacist. This is helping to:

  • Decrease medication administration errors resulting from transcription errors

  • Allow for faster identification of errors on a patient’s medication profile.

  • Enable more accurate and updated patient medication profiles in the electronic health record

An additional benefit to the cMAR system is that an up-to-date medication list is available in a patient’s electronic health record, which may be viewed by the physician from anywhere inside or outside the hospital.

Resource Center

Helpful links to the most useful lists and forms for health professionals.

Connect with Osler