It’s a good idea to consider providing MedsCheck within your hospital service framework. Since the introduction of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement, the federal government has committed to improving health outcomes through pharmacist review of patient’s medications.

This is a service that HPS Pharmacies has always provided to hospital inpatients, however it can now be extended to patients who are transitioning back into the community, or who have already been discharged. Providing medication profiles for patients discharging from hospital is a valuable aspect of the service.

There are two different types of MedsChecks. The first one is a normal MedsCheck, an in-pharmacy patient focused service aimed at educating the patient on, and self-management of, their medication. The main aims of the MedsCheck are to;

  • identify any problems the patient may be having with their medication,
  • help the patient learn more about their medical condition,
  • explain how their medications work,
  • improve the effective use of the patient medication, and
  • educate the patient about how to best use and store their medication.

These are all things that will benefit the patient after leaving hospital as they may have had a significant medical event and could now be using new, or different, medication since their admission.

The second type is a Diabetes MedsCheck, which is focused on patients who have type 2 diabetes mellitus and the management of their diabetic medication. The aims of the Diabetes MedsCheck are to optimise the patient’s effective use of, and compliance with, their diabetic medication. Additionally to educate patients on the use of their blood glucose monitoring device and the risks associated with having uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes MedsCheck is only approved for patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last 12 months, or who have very uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and don’t have access to a diabetic nurse educator (as a pharmacist is the next best person to educate them in this situation).

The pharmacy needs to establish a private area where a registered pharmacist can perform the MedsCheck. The private area needs to be somewhere in the pharmacy which allows the pharmacist and patient to talk at normal speaking volumes, without being heard by other people.

The two main things that the patient should receive once the pharmacist has reviewed the medication regimen, and assessed their adherence to the schedule, is a medication list and an action plan. HPS Pharmacies already offers discharging patients a medication profile, which is a list of all the medication that the patient will be going home on. The medication profile also summarises what each medication is used for and how best to use or take it.

The action plan is a new service which HPS Pharmacies is developing. Action plans arise from issues that the pharmacist identifies, which may extend beyond the reasons for the patients admission to hospital, and are goals agreed with the patient that may need to be addressed by their GP, or other health professionals.

As there may have been a number of changes, and a lot of confusion for the patient while in hospital, the medication list and action plan provides them with a better understanding of their medications and medical conditions when they leave hospital, so they can better manage their own care to prevent future admissions.

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