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Impact of the 2016 policy change on the delivery of Medscheck services in Ontario: an interrupted time-series analysis

Shakeri A, Dolovich L, MacCallum L, Gamble JM, Zhou L, Cadarette SM. Pharmacy. 2019; 7(3):E115. Epub 2019 Aug 12. DOI: 10.3390/pharmacy7030115.


MedsCheck (MC) is an annual medication review service delivered by community pharmacists and funded by the government of Ontario since 2007 for residents taking three or more medications for chronic conditions. In 2010, MC was expanded to include patients with diabetes (MCD), home-bound patients (MCH), and residents of long-term care homes (MCLTC). The Ontario government introduced an abrupt policy change effective 1 October 2016 that added several components to all MC services, especially those completed in the community. We used an interrupted time series design to examine the impact of the policy change (24 months pre- and post-intervention) on the monthly number of MedsCheck services delivered. Immediate declines in all services were identified, especially in the community (47%–64% drop MC, 71%–83% drop MCD, 55% drop MCH, and 9%–14% drop MCLTC). Gradual increases were seen over 24 months post-policy change, yet remained 21%–76% lower than predicted for MedsCheck services delivered in the community, especially for MCD. In contrast, MCLTC services were similar or exceeded predicted values by September 2018 (from 5.1% decrease to 3.5% increase). A more effective implementation of health policy changes is needed to ensure the feasibility and sustainability of professional community pharmacy services.

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