Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist Oct 2013 Contents 58 Australian Pharmacist October 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Continuing Professional Development
treatments, for reference during the
consultation. The visual stimulus is a good
trigger for finding out what a consumer
understands about their medicines.
Many people will recognise medications
from their visual appearance.
MedsCheck or Diabetes
As Matthew has diabetes it would be
logical to consider providing a Diabetes
MedsCheck. The area you practice in has
very poor access to diabetes educators.
Matthew has been unable to see one for
over 12 months and has no appointment
in the near future.
It is important to be aware that a
consumer who has diabetes and has
medication issues such as adherence
problems can be eligible for a normal
MedsCheck service, particularly if they are
not eligible for or it is not appropriate to
provide a Diabetes MedsCheck service.
Several essential outputs must be provided
to the consumer after the consultation.
1. Medication list
Although many formats of medication
lists exist, it is generally wise in a business
sense to use a format that is currently
used in the pharmacy e.g. the medication
list used in the dose administration aids
(DAA) service. The benefit of remaining
consistent in this area is that if the patient
requires a DAA or ongoing updating of
their list, you are not using more than one
system, thus streamlining your processes
and time efficiency.
2. Action plan
PSA has templates that can be easily
used and paying for additional programs
is not essential for providing the
service. However, MedsCheck specific
computer programs are available e.g.
GuildCare. The action plan is primarily
for the consumer to assist with goals and
actions they have agreed to during the
consultation. It is intended to be a simple
reference for them. It is not intended
as a communication to GPs, although
the consumer may wish to show other
members of their healthcare team.
During the consultation, you will find the
following resources from the PSA guidelines
• Consumer adherence assessment tool
• Key elements of the MedsCheck and
Diabetes MedsCheck consumer report
Detailed discussion of these is outside the
scope of this article.
Matthew returns to the pharmacy
with his medicines. A medication list
has been drafted by your dispensary
technician, who has also prefilled as
much of the required documentation as
possible. You have considered potential
medication issues and entered this into a
draft action plan.
These issues are:
• adverse effects of metformin
• cause of his diarrhoea
• assessment of adherence -- his
MedsIndex score indicates good
adherence which you can double check
during the consultation.(MedsIndex
is a computer program that tracks
If there is a computer in the consulting
room remember to focus on the
consumer, not on data entry. Taking
written notes and then inputting into the
final document may be a consideration.
Reviewing the resources at the end
of this article and reflecting on your
effectiveness in delivering the service
will assist in developing a systematic
approach to determining a consumer's
current knowledge of their medicines and
providing the consumer with education in
a structured and easy to understand way.
Jumping around between issues during
the consultation runs the risk of confusing
How can a MedsCheck uncover
During the consultation you ask Matthew a
very important question:
'What is the main medication-related
issue you think I can help you with today?'
You receive a very unexpected response.
The answer is 'the pain in my knee'. Matthew
has been taking ibuprofen OTC for knee
pain recently and it appears he has had
bowel issues since starting this medicine.
Before this comment, you had no idea that
pain was even a problem for him. He had
not discussed it with his doctor as he
thought the doctor would just reprimand
him for not losing the weight as he had
been previously instructed.
Matthew seems motivated to try the
recommendations you have made and feels
good about having a plan for assisting his
The professional satisfaction gained
from positive outcomes of MedsCheck
services will encourage you to be vigilant
in identifying consumers who may benefit
from these services.
The flow on to additional professional
services provided within the pharmacy,
such as DAA, health promotion and
HMR services should be included in the
Outcome/Recommendation (e.g. referred to GP/
• Avoid anti-inflammatories e.g. ibuprofen due to
adverse effects and risks with diabetes
• Paracetamol 665 mg SR two tablets three times
daily regularly for maximum effect
• Walk at comfortable rate for knee for 30 minutes 5
times a week
• Review with pharmacist especially if pain in knee
• Referral to local exercise physiologist
• Referral to dietician
What does the Action Plan look like? (Simplified example)
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