North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1201: February 2, 2012
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:
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In this issue:

Editorial                                                Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records and Health Identifiers   

Chronic Disease Management            Patients with Diabetes, The Community Asthma Program update, Community Asthma Services Mapping Project       

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      HMR Item 900 and RMMR Item 903

Immunisation                                       Family Tax Benefit Part A, Secondary School Immunisation Factsheet, Updated Information from ATAGI   

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Comment on Recent Media Coverage on Aspirin, Mole and Skin Cancer Assessment, Brain Tumour Support Group, Living with Cancer Education Program, New Sunsmart Summer Campaign, Eltham U3A Campus,         

Mental Health                                      MumMoodBooster, Managing Diabetes in Mental Illness 

News for Practice Staff                       APNA newsletter, Orientation Program for Nurses New to General Practice         

Paediatrics                                           Medical Equipment for Children, Faxing referrals to the Royal Children’s Hospital        

Women’s Health                                  Northern Health Antenatal Service             

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records and Health Identifiers

From July 2012 Australians will be able to apply for their own electronic heath record. The information in the PCEHR system will be accessible only by patients and their authorised healthcare providers. Initially the record will include a medication list, event summary (past history), immunisations and allergies, later expanding to include other health information.

To facilitate this process, 3 types of health Identifiers will be developed which uniquely identify healthcare providers (e.g. the GP), healthcare organisations (e.g. GP practice) and individuals (the patient) who seek healthcare. Medicare Australia is the operator of the HI Service.

·         All Australians will be provided with a unique identifier called an IHI (Individual Healthcare Identifier) when seeking medical services.

·         Healthcare Provider Individuals like GPs, Specialists, and allied health professionals such as optometrist, speech therapists and physiotherapists will be provided with an HPI-I (Healthcare Provider Identifier-Individual).

·         Healthcare Provider Organisations like state health departments, hospitals, medical practices, pathology , aged care facilities or radiology laboratories and pharmacies will be provided with an HPI-O (Healthcare Provider Identifier-Organisation).

Medical Director version 10.12.1a or 10.12.1b has been modified to accept the 3 type of Health Identifiers.

For further information on the HI Service see: Frequently Asked Questions on the HI Service and more information about healthcare identifiers and the Healthcare Identifiers Service is available at or


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Chronic Disease Management

Patients with Diabetes 

Pilot Project “Engaging Private Providers Using the Whole System for Chronic Disease Care”. The focus of this pilot project is to identify community members who have diabetes and may be eligible for a Medicare Benefit Schedule item. A GP Management Plan item 721 and a Team Care Arrangement item 723, where appropriate can facilitate referrals to allied health professionals. This project aims to provide an opportunity for patients who may have used community health services to be linked into private dieticians, diabetic educators and podiatrists.

Patients will be provided with a letter requesting their GP to assess suitability for the MBS items.   

We look forward to your support with the pilot project. Contact Tessa Hughes, North East Primary Care Partnership on 9450 2616


The Community Asthma Program (CAP) update

CAP is a HARP service that provides a free service to young people (0-18 years) and their families, in their own home. Current waiting times are currently three weeks. Waiting times are usually 4 -6 weeks. For information on how to refer to this service click here or call 9345 5295. Or for further information contact:


Community Asthma Services Mapping Project

The Asthma Foundation of Victoria is conducting a Community Asthma Services Mapping Project with the aim to identify current health care services providing asthma advice and education to people living with asthma in Victoria. If your practice or health centre provides an asthma and respiratory service, we invite you to complete a brief survey that can be completed online at The information gained from the project will contribute to the development of a database of community asthma services for consumers and health professionals in Victoria. If you would like more information or would like us to send you a hard copy of the survey, please contact Monika Loskot at the Asthma Foundation of Victoria on or (03) 9326 7088.


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Continuing Professional Development

APPN Natriuretic Peptides Webinar - Do Natriuretic Peptides Have a Role in Primary Care?

Dr Philip Tideman7th March – Online. To register (FREE), visit: (Please sign in to access the webinar registration - blue button).

For registration enquiries, please contact: APPN on (08) 8201 7843 or (08) 8201 7845 | Email:


Organ and Tissue Donation Education Event

Wednesday 7th March 6.30 - 9.30pm at Greater Eastern Primary Health, 1350 Ferntree Gully Road, Scoresby 3179

This training has been funded by the Organ and Tissue Authority to assist GPs and practice nurses to explain the facts about organ and tissue donation, raise awareness and encourage family discussion about donation. Flyer.


Polio - Essential Information for General Practitioners

Tens of thousands of Australians are currently living with the late effects of polio which means that you are likely to see people with post-polio in your practice. They may not be aware that their symptoms are related to polio. It is important for you to know more about all aspects of polio. This session will provide current information on eradication and vaccination issues and on recognising and managing the post-polio patient.

Tuesday 20th of March 7-9pm (6.30pm Supper and refreshments) at General Practice Victoria, 4th Floor, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton.

Click here to register


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Home Medicines Review

HMR Item 900 and RMMR Item 903

There has been a small increase in rebates for GPs in these item numbers:

HMR Item 900:  $148.90

RMMR Item 903:   $101.95

HMR referrals can be sent either to the usual pharmacy that the patient attends or directly to an accredited  consultant pharmacist.

These may be found on the website :   

RMMR referrals must be sent to the accredited consultant pharmacist who holds the contract with the Aged Care Facility.


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Family Tax Benefit Part A

The 2012 school year marks the first year in which children need to be fully immunised for parents to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement which is worth $726 per child. This new incentive comes into effect on July 1 2012. The Family Assistance Office will get this information from ACIR so they can pay the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement.

The changes to Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement were announced last year and will replace the Maternity Immunisation Allowance which comes to an end July 1, 2012. These changes mean that children need to be fully immunised according to their age for payments to be made at ages one, two and five years of age.

Even though the adjusted incentive linked to the Family Tax Benefit Part A doesn’t take effect until July 2012, the relevant paperwork confirming a child’s immunisation status must be lodged by the end of this financial year.


Secondary School Immunisation - Information for Parents.

This new factsheet assists parents to be aware of the school based immunisation program, what they need to do or if the vaccine is missed at school, how they can follow up to be eligible for free vaccine for their child. A web based resource for download only.


Updated Information from ATAGI

The updated information from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation regarding use of Pneumovax 23 is available here. The updated ATAGI recommendations are for adults over 65 years of age, and replace what is currently in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Adding to the drop down list of Available Tests

This can be done either without a patient file open or from the patient clinical screen. In the following example we will use FOBT.

  1. Select Tools and then Options…
  2. From the Options screen select Lists.
  3. Click on the Pathology requests radio button,
  4. Insert FOBT into the text area, click on Add and then select Save.

Please note:

When the GP is selecting FOBT from the drop down list it can be slow and tedious to scroll through the long list of available tests. A quicker way is to type FO in the Search box to highlight FOBT under Available tests and then simply double click on it.


This week’s IM problem - The F5 jump to caret (^) not working properly

Question:  I have been told the keyboard shortcut for jumping to the ^ character within a current Progress Note has been changed from F5 to CTRL+F5. But it only jumps to the first ^. What can I do?

Answer: On testing this I found that F5 still works as does Control+F5, but it only jumps to the first ^ in both cases. You can click on the ^ button in the Progress Notes toolbars to achieve the same “jump”, but once again it only jumps to the first ^. HCN have been told of this glitch. Also if you accidently press Shift+F5 you get taken to the Health Summary Sheet.


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Items of Interest

Comment on Recent Media Coverage on Aspirin

“The findings from a recent research paper which questioned the benefits of aspirin are not new or applicable to the elderly,” said aspirin researcher Professor John McNeil, Principal Investigator of ASPREE. The paper was a meta-analysis of nine studies with an average participant age of 57 years.

Until ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) the benefit vs. risk of aspirin for primary prevention in the elderly has never been studied. The elderly have potentially much more to gain in terms of disease prevention than middle aged people.  However, they are also at greater risk of side effects such as bleeding. Results from ASPREE, which currently has over 5000 participants, should be known by 2017/2018. Any GP concerned about media reports about aspirin should contact ASPREE on 1800 728 745 or email


Mole and Skin Cancer Assessment

Dr Chris Clifopoulos has recently completed his post graduate degree, Master of medicine (Skin Cancer), and he is happy to receive referrals from other medical practitioners for mole and skin cancer assessment as well as clinical photography and mole mapping. Appointments can be made in the usual way by phoning 9489 3900. Clinical pictures can be sent to the referring practitioner for electronic storage and a clinical opinion preferred as necessary. Practice address: The Croxton Medical Centre, 4 Robbs Pde, Northcote VIC 3070.


Brain Tumour Support Group

The Brain Tumour Support Group is for people with a diagnosis of a primary brain tumour, and their families/friends.  The groups are relaxed and accompanied by a cuppa and some cake.

Next support group features: Di Cummins, co-founder of the John Cummins Memorial Fund. Di will be talking about her personal journey with brain tumour, as well as the work of the JCMF in supporting the community.

Wednesday 8th February, 11am – 1pm, at Wellness Room, Level 9, Harold Stokes Building, Austin Health, Burgundy Street, Heidelberg

RSVP/QUERIES:  Dianne Legge on 9496 3315 or


Living with Cancer Education Program

Commencing on Feb 13th 10.45am – 1pm (Monday mornings for 4 weeks) at North Wing Meeting Room, Heidelberg Repat Campus, Waterdale Rd, Heidelberg. This program is free and open to all people with a primary brain tumour and/or family & friends. For more information and to RSVP call 9496 3315 or email: 


New Sunsmart Summer Campaign

Victorians adolescents and young adults are the focus of a melanoma awareness campaign being shown for the first time in Victoria this summer.

The Wes Bonny story tells the true story of a 26 year old young man who died of a melanoma in March 2010. The commercials feature interviews with Wes' family and close friends. The campaign challenges beliefs that skin cancer and melanoma are not serious and do not affect young people. It also reminds the audience that there is more that most people can do to protect themselves from the sun and to prevent skin cancer.

Wes’ story will be shown alongside the Dark Side of Tanning advertisements, which are running for the third consecutive season in Victoria. The commercials are complementary and will help to further achievements in skin cancer prevention in Victoria.

For more information, go to


Eltham U3A Campus

An informal meeting to assess interest in establishing an Eltham U3A campus to be held 10am Thursday February 9 at the Nillumbik Community Health Centre, 917 Main Road, Eltham. This is a first step in creating a seniors hub to expand opportunities for any local residents in or near their third age – the age of active retirement. The only qualification needed to join the worldwide U3A movement is to be in your Third Age.  The U3A is a learning cooperative of older people which encourages healthy ageing by enabling members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. For more information: Mal Harrop : 9439 1696 or Daryl Brooke ; 9430 9100.


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Mental Health

Better Access to Mental Health

The very latest changes to the Better Access to Mental Health Services can be found on the NEVDGP website – click here.



The Parent-Infant Research Institute (Austin Health) is conducting a study to evaluate a new internet-based treatment program for women experiencing postnatal depression.  See here for further information.


Managing Diabetes in Mental Illness - A Team Approach

Presentations, case presentation and panel discussion format, involving STV Director of Endocrinology, STV Head of Diabetes, STV Psychiatrist, GP, Practice Nurse & Diabetes Educators.

Wednesday 7th March. For further details & registration click here.


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News for Practice Staff

APNA newsletter

The latest newsletter is available here


Orientation Program for Nurses New to General Practice

This 2 day workshop will support nurses who are working in general practice and are new to the nurse’s role or for the nurse who would benefit from an overview of the general practice setting. The aim of this program is to develop the knowledge and clinical skills of the nurse to assist the General Practitioner to provide comprehensive interventions and population based primary health care within the scope of practice of professional ethical and legal responsibilities.

Program and registration form for March 22-23 or April 19-20.


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The RCH Equipment Distribution Centre – Medical Equipment for Children

The Royal Children’s Hospital EDC provides the hire of medical equipment for children such as wheelchairs, crutches, toileting, bathing and walking aids. Items for sale from the EDC include dressings, tapes, bandages, and extensive range of dry skin and eczema products, asthma spacers, medical aids, incontinence productions, allergy bed protectors, syringes, needles, gloves and swabs.  A full catalogue of products is available online: Tel: 9345 5325 Email:


Faxing referrals to the Royal Children’s Hospital

Please fax ALL referrals to the RCH central Specialist Clinics (outpatients) fax number: 9345 5034. Individual departments have to redirect your referral to central Specialist Clinics, which may delay urgent referrals. There is also a risk we won’t receive your referral if faxed to an individual department.

RCH GP website:


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Women’s Health

Northern Health Antenatal Service

First trimester terminations of pregnancy are not performed at Northern Health. G.P.’s are asked to inform patients of this on behalf of Northern Health and to refer them to an appropriate antenatal service.


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: all ads from last year have been removed from the website


Positions vacant


Northcote – F/T P/T 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


Practice Staff

Northcote – Part time (Variable 3-4 days per week) Div 1 Practice Nurse required to assist our medical staff in a busy general practice. Duties include wound care, travel health, immunisations, health assessments, patient triage, assist with clinical procedures and all other duties required in a general practice. Visit our website for more information. To apply forward your resume to 


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Government Theory

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that:

"When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, best strategy is to dismount”. 

However, in government, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course....

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.


If you don't understand this theory, you need to get a government job.


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