The MedsCheck Program
The original MedsCheck program was launched on April 1, 2007. It is for those Ontarians taking a minimum of three medications for a chronic condition. MedsCheck is a one-on-one 30 minute appointment with a pharmacist to review medications and help a patient better understand their medication therapy and ensure that medications are taken as prescribed. There is no cost to the patient.
The expanded MedsCheck program was launched in 2010. It is reaching Ontarians who were not eligible or able to benefit from the original MedsCheck. The expanded programs now reach residents of licensed Long-Term Care Homes, all people in Ontario who are living with diabetes as well as those who are home-bound and not able to attend their community pharmacy for the service.
MedsCheck for Long-Term Care Home residents
The MedsCheck for Long-Term Care consists of quarterly medication reviews and an annual in-depth medication analysis. The reviews are conducted by the pharmacist in the Long-Term Care home with objectives that include:
- Promoting healthier patient outcomes and better resident-focused care
- Improving and optimizing drug therapy for residents of LTC Homes
- Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in patient care.
The quarterly reviews should include medication selection, dosage, hours and route of administration, duration of therapy, treatments, allergies and drug interactions. They will identify any possible drug related problems that may require a more in-depth therapy analysis (annual review) and follow-up in collaboration with the patient, caregiver and health care team.
MedsCheck at Home
The MedsCheck at Home medication review program is intended for those patients taking a minimum of three chronic prescription medications who are not able to attend their community pharmacy in person because of their physical and/or mental health condition and/or the distance to a community pharmacy.
MedsCheck at Home involves a pharmacist's visit in the patient's private home for the one-on-one consultation. In addition, the pharmacist conducts an assessment summary that includes a medicine cabinet clean-up during the visit and the ability to remove unused medication for proper disposal at the pharmacy.
The objectives of the MedsCheck at Home include:
- Improving and optimizing drug therapy for those who are frail, elderly and living in isolated conditions
- Achieving safe, effective and appropriate use of all types of medications and medication devices
- Promoting healthier patient outcomes and quality of life
- Ensuring proper disposal of unused and/or expired medication.
MedsCheck for Diabetes
A patient with diabetes who was taking three prescription medications for a chronic condition may have received a MedsCheck in the past. MedsCheck for Diabetes is for anyone who is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In some situations, a patient with diabetes may be taking only one medication or may be managing their diabetes without prescription medications; for these patients the program is new.
Prior to the MedsCheck for Diabetes program a patient with diabetes and taking less than three medications was not eligible for a MedsCheck. A patient who is newly diagnosed with diabetes and taking less than three medications now benefits from the one-on-one consultation with the pharmacist towards overall disease management.
Patients may benefit from the on-going medication management of their diabetes with their pharmacist. It is an opportunity for pharmacists to engage the patient in a focused medication review including advice, training on devices, monitoring and diabetes education.