North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1209: March 29, 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                                                Breaking News - Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCeHR)         

Aged Care                                             Aged Care Interest Group

Chronic Disease Management            Diabetes Care Project, Getting Started       

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Dr Simon Bridge, New Back and Neck Pain Assessment Clinic at St Vincent’s, Assessing Fitness to Drive, GP Network News, Bundoora Extended Care Centre

Mental Health                                      GPN Study Invitation

News for Practice Staff                       APNA National Conference, Elder Abuse Prevention Professional Education         

NPS                                                       Be Medicinewise Week

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Breaking News - Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCeHR)

The Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced on Wednesday March 28, 2012 that GPs will be able to claim MBS payments for creating and adding patient details to the shared record.

The minister’s announcement is a response to growing pressure from medical bodies for doctors to be recompensed for what amounts to a significant impact on their productivity, and puts an end to claims that patients would be forced to pay up to $280 to have the records set up. The MBS items range from $36 for a consultation of less than 20 minutes, through to $101 for consultations in excess of 40 minutes. The minister stated, “One July is the first step of a long marathon. I am determined not to rush it. [It’s] not a matter of flicking a switch on July 1. That’s when patients can begin to register for ehealth records. The roll out will be gradual and in carefully managed phases.”

The RACGP has released a statement welcoming the news. RACGP President, Professor Claire Jackson, said she was very pleased with this outcome and thanked the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister of Health, for listening to the profession on this critical issue. “The PCEHR has the potential to transform Australia’s health system and to make it work better, safer and more efficiently. Together with United General Practice Australia, the College has pushed hard to ensure individual general practices and GPs are properly funded and supported by the government to assist in the smooth implementation of the PCEHR,” she said. More information from eHealth Central and eHealth Space.


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Aged Care

Aged Care Interest Group

Support and education in geriatrics for GPs who visit or are interested in visiting Aged Care Facilities.

“Heart failure”. Speaker: Dr Peter Barlis, Cardiologist.

Monday 16th April 1-2pm (Light lunch 12.30pm) at Vasey House, 5 Tower Ave, Bundoora (near BECC). Please RSVP to Lorraine on 9466 9615.


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Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes Care Project

An Australian Government response to the growing incidence of chronic disease. An exciting opportunity exists for NEV practices and their patients to be involved in this pilot program. The Diabetes Care Project (DCP) website is now live at Up-to-date information on the project is available from the website. More information will follow next week.


Getting Started

Diabetes Australia – Vic presents a diabetes information session for people with type 2 diabetes who are newly diagnosed or have not had diabetes education in the past. The 3.5 hour session is run by a diabetes educator and dietitian, who will provide you with valuable information to manage your diabetes. Information sessions are held at DA–Vic Head Office, 570 Elizabeth Street, Level 1 (stairs only) Melbourne. Cost is $10 for DA–Vic members, or $15 for non-members. No referral is required but bookings are essential. For enquiries or to register, please phone the Diabetes Infoline on 1300 136 588. The next information session is on Thursday 12 April 2012 from 9.30am – 1.00pm. Encourage your patients to register and Get Started.


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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


Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

Wednesday 4th April, 12:30pm "Registrars at Work – The Art of Acute Medicine" Speaker: Prof Jeff Zajac, Registrars: Ilana Gory, Ada Cheung and Hari Sugimar 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 Diabetes Webinar

New Medications for Type 2 Diabetes. Registration is now OPEN! 

24th April Online, Dr Wilton Braund. To register (FREE), visit: (Please sign in to access the webinar registration - blue button).

For registration enquiries, please contact: APPN 08 8201 7843 or 08 8201 7845 or Email:


Hepatitis C Prescriber Course

Sunday, 6 May 8.50am - 5.15pm (RSVP by Thursday, 26 April) Registration at 8.30am 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 - Not leaving family and social history fields blank

The family and social history fields should not be left blank. If there is no significant family history record it as so. This way other clinicians know the question has been asked. Also add a date for the entry as the other clinicians then know when the question was asked. Any subsequent reviews of family and social history should also be dated.


This week’s IM problem - What social history to enter

Question:  I know the obvious things to enter in a patient social history but are there any guidelines to do this?

Answer: The RACGP has a very good Fact Sheet on this which can be found here.

This includes:

·         living arrangements e.g. legal guardian, separated parents, or whether an elderly patient lives alone, etc

·         religion (where relevant to provision of care, e.g. Jehovah’s Witness)

·         ethnicity/Cultural background (where clinically relevant)

·         whether the patient is a carer or has a carer

·         occupation and employment status (codeable)

·         relationship status

·         elite athlete

·         dependents e.g. children/grandchildren

·         what community services the patient receives, if any.

Importantly the entry of data into the social history should also be dated so that all clinicians know when the information was recorded.


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Items of Interest

Dr Simon Bridge

Doctors of Northcote regret to advise our dear colleague and friend Dr Simon Bridge passed away on Saturday 24th March 2012. Our thoughts are with his wife and family at this time. R.I.P Dr Simon Bridge 1951-2012


New Back and Neck Pain Assessment Clinic at St Vincent’s

St Vincent’s Neurosurgery Clinic is piloting a new approach to support GPs, and deal with very long waits for a clinic appointment for patients with spinal pain.

The number of referrals has increased enormously over the last few years, leading to quite extensive waiting times for a non-urgent appointment. The majority of these referrals are seeking advice regarding management of back and neck pain, or access to an MRI for a definitive diagnosis.

To better manage this group of patients we have developed a pilot project called the “Virtual First Specialist Assessment” and involves the following steps:

1.      All new referrals are triaged by a Neurosurgeon and those patients potentially not suitable for neurosurgical intervention are triaged into “VFSA”

2.      GP is asked to complete a specific back/neck pain questionnaire

3.      All patients are booked into CMMI for an MRI +/- Bone Scan, which is bulk-billed.

4.      All results reviewed by the Neurosurgeon and recommendation made to the GP for ongoing treatment and management options. It may not be necessary for the patient to have a Face to Face appointment with a Neurosurgeon.

If you would like more information on this pilot project, please contact: Juliet Gavens, GP Liaison Unit, on 9288 4781 or


Assessing Fitness to Drive – Information Kit

The National Transport Commission and Austroads have released the revised national medical standards for driver licensing Assessing Fitness to Drive 2012. The revised standards aim to ensure that all 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. All health professionals are encouraged to refer to the standards when considering their patient’s fitness to drive. This will help to ensure that patients are assessed and managed consistently, and will support road safety.

Links to various supporting information can also be found on the Austroads website, including a fact sheet to assist communication with patients regarding their fitness to drive and their responsibilities to report to the driver licensing authority.

Online training for health professionals is also available via the SafeDrive Medical course.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Surveys on Impact of Mental Health Cuts; More Support Needed for International Medical Graduates (IMGs); AMA President on Medical Certificates; Practice Nurse Incentive Program – Registration for Top Up and Grandfathering; Leading for Medical Care.


Bundoora Extended Care Centre

Current inpatient waiting times - GEM: 0 days. Rehab: > 3 days. Contact Access BECC office on Tel. 9495 3109 (Fax 9467 8698) for further information/assistance.

Please be advised of a bed available on our Palliative ward at BHS - call Access on 8345 5196.


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Mental Health

GPN Study Invitation

Are you a Victorian GP or Allied Health Professional and interested in the psychosocial wellbeing of people and communities in the aftermath of disasters?

If so, we would like to hear more about your experience and invite you to participate in a short online survey which forms part of a research project that is currently being conducted by the University of Melbourne. The research project aims to examine and better understand the capacity of various professional groups across Victoria to provide mental health support to people affected by disasters. For further information and to participate in this important study please follow this link.


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News for Practice Staff

APNA National Conference

Early bird extended to April 10th. Click here for further information and registration.


Elder Abuse Prevention Professional Education

Train the Trainer Workshop - interested practice nurses, practice managers, community health staff and Aboriginal Community Health Organisations staff are invited

Friday 25th May 9.15 am - 4.30pm (Registrations commence at 9.15 – refreshments available) at Victoria University, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Level two, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne. See flyer.


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National Prescribing Service

Be Medicinewise Week 26-31 March 2012

Help consumers better understand their medicines during Be Medicinewise Week: From 26-31 March 2012 NPS is running Be Medicinewise Week, which aims to educate consumers about knowing how to get the most from their medicines. Health professionals have a role to play as trusted information sources and are urged to proactively encourage consumers’ questions.  During Be Medicinewise Week NPS will be releasing new statistics, tips and an online quiz for people to see how medicinewise they are for the chance to win an iPad2. A public event will be held in Sydney’s CBD on Thursday 29 March – if you’re in the vicinity stop by to record a medicinewise story or take the medicinewise challenge.

NPS Clinical Adviser, Danielle Stowasser said for health professionals, Be Medicinewise Week is about remembering consumers are at the centre of medicines decisions and need to be actively involved in their health management.

For more information go to


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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


Macleod – PT VR GP required for an accredited, fully computerized and busy Medical Practice. Flexible hours. Great earning potential. Special interests welcome. Contact Macleod Medical Practice on 9459 8329 or email


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

Care Coordinator at Doutta Galla CHS - Permanent 4 days per week position. We are seeking an experienced, resourceful and energetic allied health, social worker and/or nursing professional to fill an exciting new position in our Kensington site based multidisciplinary team. The aim of this position is to work with clients with a chronic condition, complex needs and/or mental illness who would benefit from additional support lifestyle and behaviour change. For further information or a copy of the position description click here or contact: Daniel Alizzi on 8378 1632 or email Applications close: Thurs 5th April.


Macleod – Medical Practice seeking a part-time Registered Nurse. Please contact Macleod Medical Practice on 9459 8329 or email CV to


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A little boy went up to his father and asked: "Dad, where did all of my intelligence come from?"

The father replied. "Well son, you must have got it from your mother, cause I still have mine"


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And remember


            A boiled egg is hard to beat.