North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1204: February 23, 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:

Chronic Disease Management            The Community Asthma Program (CAP) update, Life! Program Updates  

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Pneumococcal immunisation of adults       

Information Management                  CAT Release 3.3 - February 2012, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Feeling stressed or run-down? Assessing Fitness to Drive, Rural Victorians 24% more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, GP Network News       

News for Practice Staff                       APNA newsletter, NiGP Orientation program         

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Chronic Disease Management

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.

We are currently advertising for a Paediatric Asthma Educator for 0.6 hrs per week located at Doutta Galla Community Health Service. See under Positions Vacant

·         Current waiting times are two weeks - Waiting times are usually 4 -6 weeks

·         Amongst pre- school and primary school children, rates of hospital visits peak in February and May  in line with children and their siblings going back to childcare or school and contracting viral infections.

We have already seen an increase this month in presentations to The Royal Children’s Hospital.

·         National Asthma Council – For children with asthma

·         Referral to the Community Asthma Program. For referral information you may also call:  9345 5295 or for further information contact:


Life! Program Updates

Radio Campaign 

Diabetes Australia- VIC’s Life! program is currently running  a print and radio advertising campaign encouraging people to call 13RISK.  The campaign will be run across all the Leader newspapers and drive time radio stations and will be run from 8th - 28th April 2012               

Diabetes Australia – VIC:  Supporting Practices in referral to Life!

To support GP practices to refer patients at risk of type 2 diabetes into the Life! program, Diabetes Australia – VIC has made funding available to support the promotion and patient referral into the Life! program.  This funding agreement is a renewal of the previous funding scheme that practices took part in; therefore practices will again be funded for staff time to systematically identify patients at high risk of type 2 diabetes and refer them to the Life! program. For more information click here.

Case funding agreements can be obtained by contacting Michelle at or on 9667 1773


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Continuing Professional Development

Immunisation Update

Wednesday 21st March, 7-9pm (dinner from 6.30pm) at Jika International, Chandler Room, 551 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE.

Presenter by Dr Peter Eizenberg. Click here for flyer.


Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Severe Clostridium difficile infections at the Austin: new treatments and the role of faecal transplantation”. Speaker: To be advised

Wednesday 7th March, 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.


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

7th March 2012 - Dr Philip Tideman. Online - Registration is OPEN!

To register (FREE), visit:  (Please sign in to access the webinar registration - blue button).

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


Hoarse Voice & The Inflammatory Red Eye

Wednesday 21 March 7-9pm (Light refreshments from 6.30pm)at Lucy Jones Hall (entrance off Albert St), Eye And Ear Hospital, Gisborne Street, East Melbourne. Flyer


Hepatitis C and its Treatment.

Especially for GPs and practice nurses. Tuesday 27th March 7-9.30pm. Dinner and registration from 6.30pm. Venue: The Woodlands Hotel, 84-88 Sydney Road, Coburg. Presenters: Associate Professor Joe Sasadeusz and Ms Rebecca Katiforis (Clinical Nurse Consultant) from Royal Melbourne Hospital. For more information contact Talitha at MGPN on 03 9347 1188 or email


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Pneumococcal immunisation of adults

The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation), including the Pneumococcal Working Party, have each completed reviews on the previously reported increase in adverse event notifications following revaccination of adults with Pneumovax 23®. The outcome of this investigation has led to the formulation of new advice on the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of Pneumovax 23® and its place within the National Immunisation Program.

ATAGI recommends that revaccination with Pneumovax 23® should only be considered for patients at high risk of serious disease.

Following the review, ATAGI’s revised vaccination recommendations are:

·         A dose of 23vPPV should be given to adults at 65 years of age. Every effort should be made to provide a dose to anyone aged >65 years who has not previously received a dose of 23vPPV;

·         For non-Indigenous adults aged 65 years, a second dose (a single revaccination) of 23vPPV, to be given 5 years after the first dose, is recommended for those who have a condition that predisposes them to an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease;

·         A second dose is no longer recommended for those without any of these predisposing conditions;

·         Recommendations for the use of 23vPPV in those < 65 years, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) adolescents and adults, are unchanged from the 9th edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook;

For further information and detailed ATAGI advice, please see the Pneumococcal information, Immunisation of adults, 23 December 2011 at:


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Information Management

CAT Release 3.3 - February 2012

This upgrade contains:

·         Data sent to the Improvement Foundation is now utilising SMD (Secure Message Delivery).

·         The HMR tab has been removed and the Medications per Patient graph is now under the Medications tab.

·         The Medications tab has an additional graph “Medications Not Printed in Last 6mths” to help practices find patients with old scripts. This can be cross tabulated with the “Medications Per Patient” graph to find patients with a large number of scripts that are out of date.

·         A Musculoskeletal Risk Factors graph along with some new Musculoskeletal condition and medications filters to enable practices to find patients at risk:

o   Patients who have musculoskeletal risk factors and are not on a musculoskeletal medication, and,

o   Patients who have a musculoskeletal diagnosis and are not on a musculoskeletal medication.


Medical Director Tip - SOAP protocol of Progress Notes

The Progress Notes of Medical Director are structured according to the SOAP protocol

·         Subjective – this includes information you have learned from the patient. Shortcut = S:

·         Objective - this section includes observations and measurements that you have made during the physical examination. This includes:

o    the vital signs.

o   a general description of the patient. Shortcut = O:

·         Assessment – this is effectively the diagnosis. Shortcut = A:

·         Plan – which diagnostic testing and how you will treat each problem, medicine, therapy, lifestyle change. Shortcut = P:

If you use this protocol or something similar with a consultation, have you ever wondered why the usual opening screen in MD is the medications screen? (Something to do with the advertising that used to be in MD?) The above protocol suggests the medication screen would be the last one you would want to go to. You are able to set MD to open in Progress Notes if you wish.

1.      With no patient record open from the Tools menu select Options.

2.      Click on the Clinical tab and under Open patient in: select Progress notes.


This week’s IM problem - Saving of Progress Notes

Question:  How can I be sure that my Progress Notes are saved?

Answer: Your Progress Notes are automatically saved, provided the Autosave feature is turned on, the default setting being every 60 seconds. Progress Notes are also saved on exiting Progress Notes. You can check that Autosave is turned on and change the default seeing from every 60 seconds if you wish.

1.      With no patient record open from the Tools menu select Options.

2.      Click on the Progress notes tab and check that there is a tick in the Autosave progress notes. Change the Autosave interval (seconds) from 60 seconds (if you want).


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Items of Interest

Feeling stressed or run-down?

Your role as a GP can be very demanding and stressful. Given your important role in our community, researchers from the University of Western Sydney are examining the factors that help and hinder GP stress. Findings from this important study will inform future initiatives to better support GPs. To participate in this anonymous study, visit: If you complete the brief survey at this site, you’ll be offered FREE stress management resources. To learn more about this project, please contact Mr Huntley Evans via or on 02 9685 9616.


Assessing Fitness to Drive

The National Transport Commission and Austroads are pleased to announce the imminent release of the 2012 revised national medical standards for driver licensing - ‘Assessing Fitness to Drive’. The publication, effective from 1 March 2012, will be mailed to all registered GPs, as well as to relevant medical specialists and allied health professionals. A softcopy will be available on the Austroads website this week, together with further information, including resources for patients.

As many patients hold a driver licence, health professionals have an important role in supporting road safety through their management of fitness to drive. The standards aim to ensure that health professionals are aware of the road safety implications of medical conditions, and that they understand the licensing authority systems for managing medically at-risk drivers.


Rural Victorians 24% more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma

SunSmart is warning Victorian farmers and rural outdoor workers to remain vigilant about using sun protection over the coming months with the ‘Protect your farms most important asset. You’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention and early detection.

Skin cancer can be easily prevented by using a combination of sun protection steps including SPF 30+ sunscreen, broad brimmed hats, clothing that covers as much skin as possible and sunglasses. Farmers and outdoors workers should try to stick to doing jobs in the shade or under cover through the middle of the day when the UV is at its most intense.

Early detection of skin cancer will also be a focus of the campaign as it can often be successfully treated if found early. Farmers and rural outdoor workers will be encouraged to get to know their skin and as soon as changes are noted, visit their GP.   

The Farmers campaign, features print advertisements in the Weekly Times, supported by radio Community Service Announcements (CSA), over the next 6 weeks until the end of March 2012.

For more information about the campaign, go to or call SunSmart at 9635 5148.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: President discusses mental health with the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing; Savings from private health means test changes must go to health; 2012 National Conference celebrates 50 years - registration now open; AMACGP Meeting;AMA resources for medical fees; AMA 2012 National Conference- Highlights.


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News for Practice Staff

APNA newsletter

The latest newsletter is available here.


NiGP Orientation program

There are still a few places left in the NiGP Orientation program for Nurses new to General Practice.  

The Dates: 22nd & 23rd March and 19th & 20th April 2012. Cost is $250.00 (for the nurses) & 15 CPD points. Registration form.


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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


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


Northcote - F/T VR GP position available. Northcote Plaza Medical Clinic is a well established, busy, centrally located, fully accredited and computerised mixed billing general practice. GP owned, experienced support staff and pleasant working environment. Pathology on site. Attractive remuneration. Mentoring available. Contact – Denise 03 9489 6472 or email


Practice Staff

Fairfield - Medical Practice seeking an experienced part- time Registered Division One Nurse. Please contact Sharyn Marshall on 9486 6833.


Community Asthma Educator 

Part time Position – 0.6 EFT Community Asthma Program (CAP)

For a copy of the position description, please go to the careers section of our website: Closes: Friday 9th March, 2012

For further information or to submit an application, please contact the CAP Community Liaison Coordinator, on Ph: 03 9377 7190  or email


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The Parrot

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.
John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words,  playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked, kicked the door and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arm and said:
"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behaviour."
John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.
As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behaviour, the bird spoke-up, very softly,
"May I ask what the turkey did?"


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