North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1112: May 5, 2011
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record - Concept of operations consultation 

Aged Care                                             National Palliative Care Week 22-28 May

Chronic Disease Management            Having a Healthy Baby – Diabetes and Pregnancy information session    

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Immunisation and Travel Health course      

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Living Well with Prostate Cancer, Primary Care Infrastructure Grants, Discharge Summary – New Format, Northern Health Ear Nose & Throat Specialist Clinic Referral Alert, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Newsletter, GP Network News        

News for Practice Staff                       Clinical Waste Definitions, Two Day Diabetes Update for Nurses 

NPS                                                       Managing Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care, New Edition of MedicineTalk, NPS GP Clinical Audit Update, New Schedule 8 Poisons Policy

Women’s Health                                  Ovarian Cancer Australia                 

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record - Concept of operations consultation

The Commonwealth Government has released the draft Concept of Operations: Relating to the introduction of a personally controlled electronic health record system, prepared by the National eHealth Transition Authority (NeHTA), which provides detail on how the PCEHR system may look, what information it might contain, and how it will function and connect with existing clinical systems. The draft also covers participation issues, information management, privacy and security, and matters of implementation, evaluation and consultation.

Feedback on the Concept for Operations (ConOps) is now being sought through this web submissions form. Feedback channels close Tuesday 31 May 2011.

The PCEHR consumer booklet, eHealth - Have your say, which describes key elements of the PCEHR system, and the impact it will have on health care, is now available. You can also find out more about the Concept of Operations process by reading this Fact Sheet.

The division will be holding an information session on the PCEHR for practice managers on Wednesday evening, June 22 at La Trobe University.


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Aged Care

National Palliative Care Week 22-28 May

This year the theme for National Palliative Care Week is Let’s chat about dying. The resources have been given a fresh look and we have 4 new posters. We have also put together information sheets. The resources can be viewed and downloaded from the PCA website. Should you require more information about any of these resources, please contact Palliative Care Australia at or on (02) 6232 4433.


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Chronic Disease Management

Having a Healthy Baby – Diabetes and Pregnancy information session

Presented by Diabetes Australia – Vic. Expert speakers include an obstetrician and endocrinologist from the Royal Women’s Hospital. Tuesday 17 May 7 – 9.30pm. At Ground Floor Conference Room A, Royal Women’s Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville. Free for DA-Vic members and one guest. $15 for non members.  Bookings essential – 1300 136 588.


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Continuing Professional Development

Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Treating Blood Pressure in Aneurysmal Disease” Speakers: Dr Jia Chee, A/Prof Chris O’Callaghan and Dr Min Goh.

Wednesday 11th May, 12:30pm at John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Lance Townsend Building (opp. Medical Library), Austin Campus. Informal lunch at 1.15pm outside the Lecture Theatre.


Bowel Cancer Screening CPD

General Practitioners and Practice Nurses are invited to attend an update on Hepatitis C treatment followed by an update on Bowel Screening & Hydrogen Breath Testing.

Speakers: Dr. Scott Patterson and Dr. Steve Lontos, Department of Gastroenterology, Austin Health

Thursday, 26th May, 6:30 – 9:15pm at Barrio Restaurant, 77 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe. [Application Form]


Managing Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care

Tuesday 31st May - This NPS workshop provides a valuable opportunity to discuss up-to-date, independent, practical, evidence-based information on managing acute low back pain. The interactive case-based workshop includes a presentation by a specialist and an opportunity to discuss important aspects of care.

Speaker: Dr William Howard (Austin, Acute Pain Service). Other  members of the Austin Pain Service multidisciplinary team will also be present including Sara Brentnall, Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist) and Psychologists.

For more information contact Dr Mary Levidiotis on 9496 4333. See flyer to RSVP.


Managing Alcohol Problems in General Practice

Saturday 14th of May 10am – 2pm a half day skills extension workshop open to GP’s and Practice Nurses at GPV, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton. Flyer


Haematology Update for General Practitioners

Wednesday 18 May 7.15-9.15pm (Dinner from 6.15) at Epworth Richmond, Auditorium, Level 2, 89 Bridge Road. Contact Jenny Jones on 9426 8504 or email Flyer.

Minor Surgery for General Practitioners

Saturday and Sunday, 4 & 5 June. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne is conducting this two-day workshop at Skills Laboratory, Level 1 East Wing Skills & Education Centre, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Corner of Spring Street and Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Flyer.


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Immunisation and Travel Health course

Information about this course, run by Melbourne University, can be found here. Please note it does not currently lead to endorsement as an accredited nurse immuniser.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Forcing templates to appear at the top of the list

Rather than scrolling through a long list to find your most used LetterWriter templates you can force your favourites to the top by putting a space as the first character of the file name.


This weeks IM problem - Adding printed borders to a table

Question: When I print a template that has a patient’s medication list there are no printed borders around the cells of the table. On the screen however you do see these borders. I would like the borders to be printed as it makes the medication list much easier to read.

Answer: The screen version show the non-printing gridlines which can be turned on or off from the Table menu of LetterWriter. In order to have these lines print you must do the following:

1.      Highlight the medication table

2.      From the Table menu select Properties…

3.      Click on the All or Grid icon

Note that you can do the same for the History list.


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Items of Interest

Living Well with Prostate Cancer 

The next free community education session will be held on Tuesday 17 May 6-7.30pm (5.30pm for registration) at Level 4 Education Centre, Austin Tower, Austin Hospital, 145 Studley Road, Heidelberg. The session is aimed at providing information to men, partners and family members living with prostate cancer.  General public and health professionals with an interest in this topic are also welcome. Please click here for further details. Flyer


Primary Care Infrastructure Grants

The Department of Health and Ageing’s Primary Care Infrastructure grant round 2 is now open. These grants can be utilised by existing general practices to expand or upgrade space for GPs, nurses, and/or allied health professionals, with grants of up to $500,000 available. For further information or a copy of the 2011 guidelines and invitation to apply documentation, please visit Applications for this round close 2 pm Friday 10 June 2011.


Discharge Summary – New Format

On June 15th Austin Health will commence using a new electronic Patient Record System – the CERNER system.  As a consequence, the discharge summary that you receive from this date will have a different format.   However the Emergency Department and Day Surgery Discharge Summaries will remain unchanged. 

With the introduction of the CERNER system, Austin Health will be relying on the Human Services Directory (HSD) to access GP details.  To ensure that communication is addressed correctly, I would encourage all GPs to check that their details on the HSD are up-to-date.  Should you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the GP Liaison Officer, Dr. Wendy Fisher,


Northern Health Ear Nose & Throat Specialist Clinic Referral Alert

Due to reduction in Consultant availability for the next 12 months (til May 2012), Northern Health has reduced its Ear Nose & Throat Clinic to 2 sessions per month (1 paediatric & 1 adult). Northern Health's Ear Nose & Throat Service will continue to accept referrals however it is likely that only the most urgent referrals will be seen. When making a referral please provide sufficient information for Northern Health Triage to ascertain the level of urgency. You will be notified if your patient has an appointment booked or is to be added to the extended waiting list. Patients on the extended waiting list are unlikely to receive an appointment within 100 weeks. Please monitor the status of patients on the extended waiting list and notify Northern Health of any change in condition. Please note that Austin Health does not have capacity to provide service to patients from the Northern Health catchment. The wait time for an appointment at Austin for non-urgent, Ear Nose & Throat patients is in excess of 100 weeks at this time. Referrals to other Health Services and Royal Children's Hospital may need to be considered. For further information, please contact the Northern Health Ambulatory Service on 8405 8335.

Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Newsletter

April edition is here.

GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Senate Inquiry; Health and Wellbeing of Doctors and Medical Students; Veterans’ Medicine Advice & Therapeutics Education Services (MATES); AMA Platinum Edge Credit Card from American Express; Post new comment.


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News for Practice Staff

Clinical Waste Definitions

A newsletter from Marg Jennings on clinical waste which gives a good explanation of what to and what not to put in those yellow bags.


Two Day Diabetes Update for Nurses 

Diabetes Australia – Vic holds two-day update sessions in Melbourne and Geelong for division 1 nurses working in general practice, acute care or community health to update their diabetes management skills and knowledge.  The seminar covers a variety of areas including anatomy/physiology overview, medications, monitoring, nutrition, physical activity, complications, psychological aspects, foot care, hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia and care systems overview.  The next seminar is scheduled for 19 and 20 May 2011 at DA-Vic 570 Elizabeth Street Melbourne.  DA-Vic member $300 – non-member $350. For further information please visit our website at


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National Prescribing Service

Managing Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care

See under CPD


New Edition of MedicineTalk

The 36th edition of MedicinesTalk is now available and features articles about:

    Medicines when pregnant and breastfeeding

    Pain relievers

    Measuring liquid medicines for children

    Why be medicine wise?

General Practices may wish to download or order copies for their waiting rooms.

Community groups may reproduce, in whole, material from MedicinesTalk provided that MedicinesTalk and NPS - Better choices, Better health as publisher, are acknowledged. You don't need to ask for permission.

Read the latest edition of MedicinesTalk here.


NPS GP Clinical Audit Update

The following audits are available for the new QPI year: May 2011 – April 2012.   Note that there are only two paper audits available in this period and quite a few e-Audit options. Clinical e-Audits:

• are quick and easy to complete

• are free and area an independent quality improvement activity as are paper audits

• provide evidence-based clinical guidance and patient resources as do paper audits

• offer secure data transmission

• offer immediate individualized feedback

• compare improvements in your practice against best practice clinical indicators and your peers as do paper audits

Topic: Clinical e-Audit: Review of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescribing.

Topic: Clinical e-Audit: Optimising management of type 2 diabetes.

Topic: Clinical e-Audit: Management of hypertension. Note, this e-Audit involves review of only 10 patients.

Online enrolment for these topics at


Topics coming soon:

Topic: Osteoporosis paper version - will be available in June 2011.

Topic: Clinical e-Audit: Lipid management - will be available in July 2011.

Topic: Antipsychotics paper version – will be available in August 2011.

New Schedule 8 Poisons Policy

The policy for the issue of permits to prescribe schedule 8 poisons has been updated (new version dated May 2011, to replace old version dated August 2009).

The Victorian Department of Health is sending letters to GPs this week, advising them that they are ‘required to be familiar with the updated policy’ available on the Drugs and Poisons Regulation website. A copy of this new document can be sourced here. More general information about schedule 8 poisons can be sourced here.

The use of a Pain Management Plan is highlighted in the new policy documentation and failure to provide confirmation of such a plan may result in an application being refused. The current NPS program titled ‘Opioids in Chronic pain – use a planned approach’ discuses Pain Management Plans and provides resources for GPs to enable the development of such plans.

Regular participants in the NPS Practice Visit Program from now on, will receive copies of the updated policy documentation at their next visit. If you do not take part in the NPS visiting program and would like to know more about it please call Dr Mary Levidiotis on 9496 4333 or email


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Women’s Health

Ovarian Cancer Australia

The April e-newsletter is here.


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Fairfield - F/T or  P/T VR GP required for GP operated, computerised, fully accredited medical centre with nursing support.  A friendly and supportive team environment with flexible family friendly working hours. Excellent remuneration. Please contact Rosa Merigan on 03 9481 4861 or 0417 596 180.


Ivanhoe Medical Clinic - PT VR GP for 2-4 sessions/week - must include Thursday & Friday afternoons. Modern, large supportive group(10 GPs), FT nurses, computerised, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly ,flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact: Dr. Stephen Smith or Dr. David Doig9499 1245.


Northcote – FT/PT VR GP or Subsequent Trainee GP position. Fully accredited, computerised, long established doctor owned practice in a new purpose built facility with a fabulous work environment. Ancillary Health, Pharmacy and Pathology services on site. Inquiries Diane Cronin (Practice Manager) 9481 1214. Visit our website


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Old Sea Story...
There's an old sea story about a ship's Captain who inspected
his sailors, and afterward told the first mate that his men smelled bad.
The Captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally. The first mate responded, "Aye, aye sir, I'll see to it immediately!"
The first mate went straight to the sailors berth deck and announced, "The Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear."
He continued, "Garrett, you change with Bowen, Smith, you change with Crean, and Brown, you change with Ferguson."
Someone may come along and promise "Change"…

….but don't count on things smelling any better.


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And remember


            …Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.