Spring 2018 (Volume 28, Number 1)
Ontario MedsCheck Program Integrates Pharmacists into Patient Care
By Carolyn Whiskin, RPh, BScPharm, NCMP
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care funds a medication review for any Ontario resident who is taking three or more chronic disease medications. Known as the “MedsCheck Program,” this consists of a one-on-one interview between the pharmacist and patient to review all prescription and non-prescription medications. A lifestyle assessment is also conducted to address smoking, alcohol, illicit drug use and exercise routine. At the end of the appointment, a complete list of all medications is provided to the patient and shared with their family physician, and any drug-therapy problems that are uncovered are shared with the prescribing physician.
Recognizing the opportunity of MedsCheck for arthritis patients, a joint committee of the Ontario Pharmacists Association and the Ontario Rheumatology Association was established. The goal was to identify how the MedsCheck program could help provide an accurate medication profile for patients to share with their rheumatologist. One of the committee recommendations was to have the intake person at the rheumatologist’s office request that patients book a MedsCheck appointment with their community pharmacist prior to their clinic appointment. The resulting medication list could then be faxed to the rheumatologist's office directly by the community pharmacy, and copies provided to the patient for distribution to any of their other health care providers.
A communication was subsequently distributed to every Ontario pharmacist and rheumatologist through their respective associations in an effort to maximize uptake of the MedsCheck program in rheumatology.
Ms. Carolyn Whiskin, Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health,
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. MedsCheck. Available at www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/drugs/medscheck/medscheck_original.aspx