Next month will see significant changes to the Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program aimed at making
sure the right person gets the right service at the right time based on clinical need.
The program, which commenced in 2000, is designed to assist individuals living at home to maximise the benefits of their medicine regimen and prevent medication related problems.
Under the program, in cooperation with the patient’s general practitioner, an accredited pharmacist visits the individual at home, reviews their medicine regimen, and provides the general practitioner with a report.
The general practitioner and patient then agree on a medication management plan which is used to ensure continuity of patient care by the community pharmacy and GP.
Under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, changes are being made from 1 October which will:
- Highlight the importance of the patient’s clinical needs at time of referral
- Empower the patient to choose the most appropriate pharmacist to interview them at home
- Enable the GP to refer to either the patient’s preferred community pharmacy or an accredited
pharmacist of the patient’s choice
These changes are a natural evolution of an established and proven service. They are consistent with the National Medicines Policy, acknowledging that relationships between the patient and the pharmacist are important when support is being provided to a patient in their home.
The changes have a strong patient focus – allowing patient choice, and an emphasis on patient health outcomes and continuity of care. They enable a general practitioner to refer to either the patient’s preferred community pharmacy or an accredited pharmacist of the patient’s choice. A key aspect of this change will be ensuring that patients are aware that they have a right to choose. The changes also address evidence from the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement which found scope for more data collection and improved targeting of the service.
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