Home medicines review
What is a Home Medicines Review?
A Home Medicines Review (HMR) is when an accredited pharmacist checks the medicines you are taking at home.
Taking lots of different medicines can be complicated. A Home Medicines Review makes sure that your medicines are safe. A Home Medicines Review also checks that:
- you are taking your medicines correctly
- your medicines are working for you
An HMR involves your doctor and your preferred community pharmacy. It may also involve other health care team members, such as carers or nurses in community practice.
If you handle someone’s medical care, it’s important to manage their medicines very carefully. Not taking them properly or mixing the wrong ones can have serious consequences.
An HMR is different from a medication review by your doctor or in hospital. Doctors make sure you are receiving the right medicines for your condition.
How do I get a Home Medicines Review?
Your doctor will assess your need for a Home Medicines Review. If your doctor thinks you will benefit from the service, they will write a referral to a pharmacist.
Usually, your doctor will choose a pharmacist for you. They must be:
- an accredited community pharmacist
- an independent pharmacist
You can also search for a pharmacist near you on the healthdirect service finder.
FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.
How much does a Home Medicines Review cost?
You do not have to pay for the home medicines review. However, you might have to pay to see your doctor for the referral, unless they bulk bill.
What happens during a Home Medicines Review?
Before your HMR
Before the pharmacist visits you at home, make sure you gather all the medicines you are taking. Remember to include:
- your prescription medicines
- any over-the-counter medicines you buy from the chemist, shops or order online
- any vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take
Remember to include your:
- eye or ear drops
During your HMR visit
The pharmacist will visit you in your home.
They will talk to you about the medicines you are taking. This will include any:
- prescription medicines
- over-the-counter medicines
- vitamins and supplements
The pharmacist will:
- check your medicines haven’t passed their use-by date
- check how you take your medicines
- suggest ways of helping you remember to take the right medicine at the right time
- show you how to store your medicines properly
The pharmacist can also show you how to use and look after any medical devices you might use. For example, inhalers, blood pressure monitors and blood glucose monitors.
After your HMR
The pharmacist will write a report and send it to your doctor. You should make a follow-up appointment with your doctor after your HMR.
Your doctor will discuss the report with you and write a plan for managing your medicines. The report might suggest that some of your medicines could be changed.
Your doctor will talk to you about any changes they make. If you agree, a copy of your plan will be sent to your local community pharmacy. This will help your pharmacy support you with any changes to your medicines.
After going through the report with you, the doctor will give you a ‘Medication Management Plan’. This should be shared with all your healthcare providers.
What happens if I live in an aged-care home?
When you live in an aged-care home a medication review is known as a Residential Medication Management Review.
Your doctor will need to refer you for the review.
The pharmacist will visit you at your aged-care home. They will talk about your medicines with:
- your family
- staff at your aged-care home
The pharmacist will write a report for your doctor and healthcare team. The report might make suggestions on how to improve your medicine management.
How often should I have a Home Medicines Review?
If your circumstances change - for example, you start taking new medicines - you may need another HMR. Otherwise, you can have a Home Medicines Review every 2 years.
If you think your medicines are affecting your daily life, talk to your doctor.
Is an Home Medicines Review right for me?
It’s a good idea to ask for an HMR if you:
- take lots of medicines
- have medicines prescribed by different doctors
- start a new medicine
- have recently been in hospital
- feel unwell after taking medicines
- don’t always remember to take your medicines
- are concerned about your medicines
Tools to help you manage your medicines
These tools and resources can help you manage your medicines.
- Visit the NPS Medicinewise website for hints and tips on managing medicines.
- Create a My Health Record. This is a secure online summary of your health information. You can control what goes into it, and who can access it. You can choose to share the health information with doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.
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Last reviewed: August 2022