The PSI’s Inspectors have discovered that less than half of pharmacists who provide services to residential care home patients carry out regular medicine reviews as recommended by the PSI, the Pharmacy Regulator in Ireland.

What are the requirements for medication reviews for patients in a residential care home setting and pharmacist’s obligations?

The PSI produce guidance for pharmacists who provide care and services to patients in residential care. The underlying premise is that pharmacists must ensure that they provide the same level of professional care and attention as they would to those patients who attend personally at their pharmacies.

For example, they must review the appropriateness of the medication prescribed for that patient, taking into consideration their other medication. They must also provide counselling to each individual patient and be able to demonstrate that the counselling has taken place. There must be an interdisciplinary review of patients on long-term medication and pharmacists must participate in these reviews for these patients at least once every three months.

They should take special consideration when reviewing specific medications as set out in the HIQA standards, including antipsychotics, sedating medications, anticonvulsants and analgesics. Pharmacists should also be available to advise prescribers and other members of the healthcare team on the safe and rational use of medicines, including interactions and therapeutic appropriateness.

In effect, the documentation to be maintained as part of the service to Care Homes is significant. Keeping the right records in place ensures you can provide the best service you can for both the patient and the nursing home. Providing a service to a care home can be time-consuming for pharmacies and it is important to identify the most efficient way of keeping the required records.

Ask yourself, where do you keep these records currently and can your system and service to the Care Home be improved? Are your services to Care Homes running as smooth as they can be or could you be reporting and communicating in a more efficient way?

The Pharmapod system can help pharmacists record your medication reviews quickly and effectively and helps share information and any actions with the prescriber and nursing home team. The system helps improve your workflow and improves your service to the Care Home and its patients, keeping effective records, improving communication and demonstrating your compliance to required regulations. It also helps you audit your service effectively and carry out the clinical audits that are increasingly required.

Implementation of the Pharmapod system is quick and simple. It is accessed online through a standard web browser on all laptops, mobile phones or tablets. This means that pharmacists can use the service while at the Care Home and manage their teams’ activity and progress from wherever is convenient. They can also provide access to the system to the Care Home team, delivering significant added value – in a competitive environment, this really helps to differentiate your service from that of other providers.

If you are a pharmacy providing a service to a Care Home and you wish to maximize the efficiencies of your service and use a best in class reporting system, please contact Pharmapod today at for more information.