What is a MAR and Why is it Important?

When it comes to the field of nursing, there are a lot of ways to keep track of records. Often, several diverse ways are utilized simply to ensure accuracy and efficiency. In fact, there is an ongoing joke among nurses that half their day is spent “saving themselves” with records about records. When you’re dealing with people’s lives, however, accuracy is of the utmost importance, and all nurses – joking aside – know this.

One term people outside the medical field may not be familiar with is MAR. Used in any patient care center, including a nursing home, MAR stands for Medication Administration Record and is sometimes referred to as an eMAR if it is done electronically. This is a record of all the drugs which have been administered to a patient.  It is attached to their chart and kept in the patient’s folder.

The reason this log is so important is that it helps decrease the number of mistakes – or potential mistakes – made via medical personnel. When shifts change, the MAR is still available detailing what medications were administered during the previous shift.

Included in the MAR alongside the name of the administered medication are the dosage, time, and date information. It will also have the name or signature of the nurse or doctor who gave the patient that medication, so any questions later can be referred to them.

nursing home, MAR

The reason this record is so vitally important is that it prevents mistakes. Giving a patient too much or too little of the right medication, or the wrong medication completely, can have dire consequences. Many hospitals now utilize electronic records. To further prevent errors, many hospitals now require the scanning of hospital identification bracelets to verify the person receiving the medication. The barcodes located on these bracelets will pull up their information, including their MAR.