Home Medicine Reviews (HMRs)
The Kersbrook pharmacy offers a range of services that can be used to help you get the best out of your medications. One of these services is called a Home Medicines Review (HMR), a special process that allows your doctor and the pharmacist to work together to produce recommendations and actions that will enable you to get the best from your medication treatment. When a doctor requests an HMR, a specially trained pharmacist from Kersbrook pharmacy will visit you in your own home at a time that is convenient, and have a discussion about your medications. At this time please important that the pharmacist should be able to see all of the medications that you are taking, including any medications or other products such as supplements or complementary medicines that have been obtained without a prescription from the doctor. For this reason the pharmacist will usually ask to see all of the medications, and can make a check to ensure that they are all in good condition, in-date and stored appropriately.
During the HMR are the pharmacist will carefully assess all of the medications you are currently taking, and determine whether your current use of medicines lines up with the way in which your doctor has prescribed the treatments. The aim of this process is to allow you to use your medications in a way that is the most effective possible, and at the same time reduces the risk of you suffering from side effects or interactions between your medications. After all of the information has been carefully gathered, the pharmacist will then prepare a detailed report for your GP in which the findings of the HMR will be discussed. Later, your GP will discuss the report with you at a consultation and together you can make a plan about how the recommendations of the report can be put into practice. There is evidence that confirms that people who use this kind of service get better results from their treatments, and have less likelihood of needing to go to hospital.
Recommendations from the HMR can be varied depending upon the medications in use, your medical profile, previous reactions to other medications, and the results of various tests that your doctor may have ordered. The pharmacist may use the report to confirm everything is going well with your medications, but sometimes will make some suggestions for possible changes to the way they are used. Some of the more common recommendations might be to increase or decrease the dose of a particular medication, or to suggest a change from one medication to another. Sometimes no change is recommended for the medications, but the pharmacist may suggest extra tests (e.g. blood tests) that can be used to increase the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
Another action that can arise include making arrangements for a dosage administration aid (a pill organiser) to help you remember to take your medications as intended. The pharmacist will also help you get rid of any medications you no longer need, you can take them back to the pharmacy for disposal or even donation to a developing country. The pharmacist will supply some education about the medications, and may leave written information with you to read and discuss with your doctor at the next visit. In some cases the pharmacist will use the opportunity to educate about specific medications (e.g. puffers, eyedrops, nebulisers etc).
You can play an important and active role in getting the best out of you HMR. There are many things you can talk to the pharmacist about during the HMR visit: it is best if you mention any concerns, including:
- Let the pharmacist know if you are having trouble with remembering to take your medications as intended – it is possible that a Dosage Administration Aid (a “pill organiser”) may be of assistance, and can be organised through the pharmacy and can be delivered to your home. Sometimes it is also possible to review the mix of medicines to design a simpler plan that makes them easy to remember.
- Mention if you are having trouble with a specific medication – for example a pill that’s difficult to swallow or a puffer that is difficult to use. If a medication is not affordable to you, this is also important to discuss.
- It is important to tell the pharmacist if you have new, unusual or serious symptoms or problems. In some cases, these might be arising because of medication side effects or an interaction between medications.
- Be sure to discuss with the pharmacist the purpose of all of the medications you are taking. If you know what the medication is being used for, it is possible to decide if you are getting the intended benefit (e.g. pain relief, reduction of indigestion, better sleep or mood etc). In some cases, the pharmacist might raise this with the doctor in the report.
- Highlight any difference between the medications that the doctor has mentioned in the referral to the pharmacist, and the medications you are actually taking at the time of the review. Sometime discrepancies and inconsistencies can arise. Sometimes your GP may not be fully aware of medications that have been started by other prescribers such as medical specialists, a dentist, a traditional medicine practitioner or herbalist, or during a hospital stay.
- Tell the pharmacist if you’d like to dispose of any medicines you no longer need or use. It is best to send these back to the pharmacy rather than leaving them around the home.A HMR is a perfect way to get a “medication check-up” to keep on getting the best possible results from your medications, and to prevent problems from happening. Our specially trained staff are friendly, courteous and always keep your information completely confidential. Why not call the pharmacy or click here to discuss the services in more detail.