Health Care Professionals


MedsCheck Program Standardization and System Requirements

Pharmacist's Role in Optimizing the Quality of the MedsCheck Program

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists


What is the MedsCheck program?

The MedsCheck program is an appointment-based medication review service in that it is separate from the dispensing-related service and it takes place in a community pharmacy.

The program is voluntary and requires the patient's consent for the pharmacist to provide the consultation. If the patient is not able to attend the pharmacy, a designated caregiver may attend provided the appropriate consent is on file with the pharmacy.

In order to qualify, patients must be taking a minimum of 3 prescription medications, living in Ontario and holders of a valid Ontario Health Card.

The MedsCheck in-person discussion between the pharmacist and the patient is approximately 20-30 minutes. A sufficient level of privacy and safety for the patient must be provided by the pharmacist.

Why is the Ontario Government standardizing MedsCheck medication review form?

As the Ontario Government moves forward in expanding the MedsCheck program, the advice from the Ontario Pharmacy Council was to first incorporate standardized formatting to the current MedsCheck program (MedsCheck Annual and MedsCheck Follow-up) to ensure that all pharmacists are consistent in the medication management information provided to patients and those shared with other health care professionals.

A number of recommendations were identified as enhancements to the current MedsCheck program including the development of a standardized medication review form. The ministry and the Ontario Pharmacists' Association are working together to develop a standard form.

Are pharmacists required to complete the MedsCheck medication review form according to the updated system requirements, or is it optional?

Yes. Recognizing the need to transition these changes, pharmacists will be required to include these changes by January 1, 2012. Fields indicated as recommended or optional do not need to be included however they may be included if the information is available. A standardized medication review form is under development in collaboration with the Ontario Pharmacists' Association. Any new form must follow this standard.

Am I able to create my own medication review forms based on the MedsCheck form?

Yes. Pharmacists may develop their own MedsCheck forms by following the system requirements outlined. In the near future, the Ontario government will provide a standardized form for pharmacists to use with the program.

What is the benefit of completing a MedsCheck medication review form?

The MedsCheck medication review form represents a detailed medication history based on the accuracy and completeness at the time of the appointment. It is also part of the patient's pharmacy health record and is a program requirement for auditing purposes. Patients are encouraged to carry their MedsCheck medication review with them when visiting their physician, other health care providers or if they go to the hospital.

What is the billing process for completing the MedsCheck medication review form?

The pharmacist bills for the MedsCheck service through the Ontario Drug Benefit Health Network System (HNS) using a product identifier number (PIN) upon completion of the MedsCheck medication review which also includes the follow-up of potential drug related problems (for ODB recipients) resulting from the review. Payment is to the community pharmacy.

Am I required to keep a copy of a patient's MedsCheck medication review form in the pharmacy?

Yes. All documentation forms and pharmacy records submitted through the ODB Health Network System PIN mechanism are subject to audit and must be maintained in a readily retrievable format for a minimum of 2 years for the purposes of audit under the ODB program; and for a minimum of 10 years as part of the patient health record as per O. Reg. 58/11 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act.

MedsCheck Form

In terms of form requirements, what is the difference between mandatory, recommended and optional information?

Mandatory information represents the minimum standards for a completed MedsCheck medication review form. The 'recommended' fields should be completed if possible, and the optional fields are to be competed at the discretion of the pharmacy or patient.

What can I do if I run out of space on the medication review list?

If the patient's medication review list exceeds 1 page, the pharmacist may insert additional pages as required to capture the information. Please label the sheets as "X of Y" to indicate the use of additional pages.

Why does the MedsCheck medication review form contain a disclaimer?

The disclaimer confirms that both the patient and pharmacist agree to the possibility of sharing the patient's completed MedsCheck form with other health care professionals within the circle of care. In addition, the patient must read and understand the conditions set out in the disclaimer. Patient consent is mandatory.

Why is the patient's OHIP health card number optional on the form?

While the patient’s OHIP health card number is necessary for program eligibility and billing purposes, it is not mandatory that it be included on the printed form that is provided to the patient.

It is recommended to include the patient’s phone number and smoking status (current user, former user).

Does a pharmacist provide documentation for the patient to take when they leave the pharmacy?

Yes. The pharmacist must provide the patient with a MedsCheck medication review list upon completion of the review. The completed MedsCheck is signed and dated by both parties and is considered the best possible medication history on the date indicated.

Is a patient required to share their MedsCheck medication review form with their physician?

No, a patient may share their MedsCheck medication review list with their physician if they choose. The patient must however review the disclaimer and understand their medication review form may be shared with other health care professionals within the circle of care, regardless of intent.

Is the pharmacist expected to provide a copy of the patient's completed MedsCheck medication review form to the primary physician?

Providing the completed MedsCheck to the patient's primary physician is recommended however pharmacists should be considerate of adding workflow for the physician. Pharmacists should indicate whether the MedsCheck is for information purposes only or whether it requires action such as a drug therapy issue.

For More Information

To learn more about MedsCheck talk to your Pharmacist or contact ServiceOntario, INFOline 1-866-255-6701 or TTY 1-800-387-5559