Amidst the rush of the hospital stay, patients may find themselves going home without a full understanding of their new prescriptions. This confusion contributes to potentially 20% of hospital readmissions that occur within 28 days of discharge.

Providing a professional service includes ensuring that patients understand the purpose of their medicines and commit to the administration schedules involved (which can be difficult to achieve before they are fully independent), and is improved with communication and education about medication management.

Many HPS Pharmacies can now offer a free personalised consultation to patients either through the discharge process, or as an outpatient service. The MedsCheck service occurs within the pharmacy, and aims to:

  • Help patients learn more about their medicines including how medicines
    affect medical conditions;
  • Identify problems patients may be experiencing with their medicines;
  • Improve the effective use of medicines by patients; and
  • Educate patients about how to best use and store their medicines.

The ideal candidates for MedsCheck are patients living at home, taking five or more medicines, have had a recent significant medical event (hospitalisation), or are demonstrating signs of confusion about their medicines and when to take them.

Patients taking ‘high risk’ medicines such as warfarin, amiodarone, tramadol, digoxin, and lithium would also benefit.

Diabetes MedsChecks are also offered for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. This review focuses on their diabetes medicines, monitoring devices and self management.

If you think your patient would benefit from a MedsCheck or Diabetes MedsCheck, please advise your visiting pharmacist, ring your local HPS pharmacy, or recommend us to your patient and their family.

References:

  1. PSA. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Parkville, Australia. Available from www.psa.org.au. Accessed 8 January 2013.
  2. Rothwell M, Jukka C, Lum E, Mitchell C, Kyriakides P. Retrospective analysis of emergency readmissions to rural and regional hospitals. JPPR 2011; 41(4): 290–4.