North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1208: March 22, 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:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Aged Care                                             New Coordinated Veterans’ Care online training released  

Chronic Disease Management            Life! Update 

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Community Assistance Support Program, Services and Supports for ME/CFS, GP Network News    

Mental Health                                      Mental Health Skills Training          

News for Practice Staff                       News for Nurses       

NPS                                                       NPS e-Audits are still available, Medicines Talk No. 40      

Women’s Health                                  Peri Conception – What to screen?  PIP breast implants    

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Aged Care

New Coordinated Veterans’ Care online training released
CVC Program partners are pleased to announce the release of Module Two this week – Care Planning and Coordination with the Flinders Program TM.
Module Two has been designed as a flexible, self-paced learning tool enabling individuals to design their own study timetable. The module has four sections, will take 8-10 hours to complete and is available free of charge. This program has been endorsed by APNA for 8–10 CPD hours. For more information visit the APNA website or go to

As part of Module Two of the CVC Program online education and training, there will be an opportunity to attend a face to face, one day workshop. At the workshop you will do a 2nd Care Plan and complete Module Two. Workshops are being run nationally in conjunction with Medicare Locals - to register to attend a workshop click here


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Chronic Disease Management

Life! Update

Life! media campaign - Over the coming weeks the Life! program is running another media campaign to encourage people to call 13RISK.  The dates for the campaign are scheduled as follows:

Radio and Print: 8th-14th April

Radio only 8th-28th April – making this a month long campaign.

Patients visiting their GPs within this time may enquire further about being referred, so it may be helpful to be mindful of these upcoming dates.

Case Finding AgreementThis is still available for all GP practices across Victoria.  The amount of $560 (+GST) is available for every 15 referrals (to either Life! course or Telephone Health Coaching) which come through the practice.  A practice can generate a healthy income from the funding agreement as there are no restrictions on how many claims can be made per practice, providing the practice signs the agreement and makes the claims within the time frame for the case finding funding period.  The time for signing a case funding agreement is running out, so practices should endeavour to sign an agreement as soon as they can. 

Practices should fax signed agreement to the Life! team: (03) 9667 1757

For any other queries relating to the Life! Program, please contact Michelle Jones- Primary Care Prevention Coordinator- 9667 1773


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Continuing Professional Development

STI Update

Wednesday 2nd May, 7-9pm (dinner and registration from 6.30pm) at John Scott Meeting House. Presenter: Dr Stella Heley – Sexual Health Physician. Flyer


PEN Clinical Audit Tool

Wednesday 28th March 7-9pm (Registration & refreshments from 6.30pm) at Melbourne GP Network, Suite 9, 233 Cardigan Street, Carlton. RSVP: by Friday 23rd March to Talitha Willis (03) 9347 7433 or email to See flyer.


Pharmacotherapy Training

Sunday 29th April 8.45am – 4.30pm at General Practice Victoria (GPV) - Level 4, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton. For more information and to register online click here. (this session may be repeated on the 17th June depending on funding)


Intellectual Disability Master Class

Saturday 19th May 10am -1.30pm (includes a light lunch) Registration at 9.30am at General Practice Victoria (GPV) - Level 4, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton. For more information and to register online click here. 


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip Adding allergies the correct way

There are three ways of adding allergies: “By drug”, “By Class” or “Other”. The first two forces you to pick from a coded drop down list, i.e. free text is not permitted. “Other” allows you to free text for things like peanuts, milk…

I have seen GPs use “Other” to free text multiple “drug” or “class of drug” allergies. This is an inappropriate way of adding allergies as these items are unsearchable. These should have been added one by one using the coded “By drug” and “By Class”. This sort of poor clinical record keeping must be stopped, perhaps by a punishment of writing a hundred times: “I must use coded items and not free text.”


This week’s IM problem - Use of confidential in history summaries

Question:  We are trying to encourage GPs enrolled in our study to appropriately ‘code’ conditions such as chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease and epididymitis by selecting items in their medical records software instead of writing these diagnoses as free text. Some GPs have said that they are reluctant to do this, as they do not feel that it is appropriate for a chlamydia diagnosis to show on a patient’s history if they are referred on to a specialist for an unrelated issue. My question is whether ticking the ‘confidential’ box, or unticking the ‘summary’ box on the ‘New History Item’ or ‘Reason for Medication’ dialogue boxes would help to keep this item off the patient’s summary?

Answer: Marking a past history item as “confidential” ensures that the condition does not appear on a printed summary (such as a referral). This is the accepted way for a GP to work. They need to know if they are then referring to a specialist where the Chlamydia is relevant they need to remove the tick from Confidential. This is the accepted and correct way of doing it. Those GPs who are using free text are simply doing it the wrong way.

Ticking the summary box is a way of making sure that history item is an important history item and it will appear on printed summaries. Deselecting the tick in summary will make sure that the item won’t print but in the case of recording chlamydia, this is the wrong way of going about it.

The so-called “reluctant” GPs need to be educated on the correct way of recording histories. In summary, for an important history item tick the summary box and tick or untick the Confidential box as appropriate.


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Items of Interest

Community Assistance Support Program

The Australian Red Cross provides a range of humanitarian services for refugees, asylum seekers and others in need of support. The Community Assistance Support program is funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on behalf of the Federal Government. The program provides support to vulnerable persons awaiting decisions on Australian visa applications. One of our key roles is to provide medical and health care support. In considering our clientele groups’ (primarily single men asylum seeker) current visa status and subclass, they are not eligible for Medicare or Centrelink support and experience financial hardship. Predominantly, this group experience and develop severe health problems in conjunction with mental health issues while in detention centre.

On behalf of our clients, I request the cost claim for GP visits to be taken into consideration under the Medicare rate rather than being charged under the private rate. If our clients are charged under the Medicare rate then Australian Red Cross is able to cover the cost on behalf of the client.

If you have any further questions, please contact Richa on 8327 7879 or


Services and Supports for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

ME/CFS Australia (Vic, Tas, NT) is pleased to inform you and your organisation of the latest services, education and supports available for adults, teenagers and children with ME/CFS in Australia. Over 180,000 young and adult Australians live with ME/CFS in either a mild, moderate or severe form. See our website.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Doctors Health Survey; AMA takes action to prevent bullying; AMA GP Survey on the impact of mental health funding cuts; Applying Lean Thinking to your Practice


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Mental Health

Mental Health Skills Training

Mind the Gap: Managing Physical and Mental Health Comorbidities

Saturday 24 March 9am – 4pm at The Northern Division of General Practice, 232 Plenty Rd, Preston.

This training will be co-facilitated by a GP Presenter (TBC) and a Psychologist Ms Jacqui Stanford

Guest Presenters: Dr David Hickingbotham, Psychiatrist, Northpark Private Hospital, Consumer representative, Carer Representative.

Completion of this program will enable GP participants to register with the GPMHSC to receive the higher Medicare rebates for provision of GP Mental Health Care items. Priority will be given to GPs and Practice Nurses to attend. Registration form.


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News for Practice Staff

News for Nurses

Post-graduate diploma of Primary Care nursing - a distance education course for RNs. Click here

Scholarships are now open for nurses to apply. Click here.

Latest APNA newsletter.


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National Prescribing Service

NPS e-Audits are still available for this QPI-PIP year!

The current QPI-PIP is due to complete at the end of April 2012.  If you do not have the requisite number of GP audits completed in your practice, you might wish to explore some of the e-audit topics that are still available. E-audit topics currently available include:

·         CVD risk and lipid-modifying therapy (complete before 30 April 2012 to be recognised in the current QPI year (1 May to 30 April) in which it is completed)

·         Review of proton pump inhibitor prescribing (complete before 30 April 2012 to be recognised in the current QPI year (1 May to 30 April) in which it is completed)

·         Management of hypertension (review of 10 patients only; complete before 30 April 2012 to be recognised in the current QPI year (1 May to 30 April) in which it is completed)

·         Optimising management of type 2 diabetes (Note this e-Audit must be completed by 30 June 2012 to be eligible for the 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points.

Enrol online now at


For your patients: Medicines Talk No. 40 March 2012

MedicinesTalk March 2012 has articles on saving money on your medicines, the new NPS Medicines List iPhone app and making the most of your asthma medicines.

Written by consumers for consumers, MedicinesTalk is a free quarterly newsletter that gives you reliable, accurate information and useful hints on managing your medicines. Download a copy or subscribe here.


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Women’s Health

Peri Conception – What to screen?

·         To provide an update on knowledge of what to screen pre pregnancy and in early pregnancy to assist in identification of risk factors

·         To promote screening opportunities, including practice system changes, for the capture of women in age of conception and early pregnancy

·         To inform GPs of support services available at Mercy Hospital for Women and access

·         To inform GPs of a revised maternity service referral tool developed to support quality information transfer

·         To update re population data in our region relevant to maternity care

Dr Bernadette White, Clinical Director, Obstetric and Maternity Services, Mercy Hospital for Women.

Tuesday 27th March, 7-9pm (Registration & Refreshments from 6.30pm)at Level 4, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg

4 (Category 2) points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the 2011-2013 triennium.

For further details and registration click here or contact Merran Mackie on 8458 4833 or


PIP breast implants

Medicare support from 12 March 2012 for GP referred MRI evaluation of Poly Implant Prosthese (“PIP”) breast implants. Patients with known or suspected PIP branded implants who are concerned about or show symptoms of implant rupture will now be eligible for one Medicare supported MRI scan within a 12 month period, in order to evaluate the integrity of their implant. This is regardless of whether or not they have previously had a normal imaging examination. 

Medicare supported implant screening is available at two Lake Imaging locations:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


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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


Eltham - P/T VR GP position is now available. Eltham Clinic is a well-established, accredited, fully computerised, private billing practice. With pathology on site, practice nurses, friendly supportive staff and a pleasant work environment. Attractive remuneration with flexible hours. For further information please call Dianne Fueggle (Practice Manager) on 9431 0644 or email


Greensborough - full time or part time VR Female/Male GP to join our family orientated practice.
Greensborough Plaza Medical Centre is a new privately owned practice situated within Greensborough Plaza, with free undercover parking on-site.  This  fully computerised practice offers private and bulk billing within a supportive team environment.  Flexible sessions with no afterhours.
For more information, please contact our Practice Manager, Cathy on 0419 314 839 or


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


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How to sell an iPad

This is very clever. Unless you speak German you don’t need sound.


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And remember


            …To write with a broken pencil is pointless.