North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1224: July 11, 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                                                When attention to detail really matters     

Aged Care                                             The ageing patient – treating cognitive decline through physical activity, Co-ordinated Veterans Care Program

Australian Doctor Articles                  Benefit from record building

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Immunisation Handbook, Prevenar 13®      

Information Management                  Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record begins with a whimper, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Endocrinology Melbourne, GP Network News        

Mental Health                                      Making the Connection: The Interplay between Diabetes, Heart Disease and Mental Health          

News for Practice Staff                       Woundcare Update, APNA news

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

When attention to detail really matters

The importance of clean patient data cannot be overemphasised in today’s general practice setting. Most recently we conducted a simple audit (at the practices request & with a signed privacy statement) to identify possible inconsistencies/deficiencies in recently entered data, a gaps and solutions exercise.

Just some of the areas we audited on behalf of the practice manager were the progress notes, past history, medications, investigations, measurements, and allergies and warnings. A report was prepared for the practice with both the findings and recommendations highlighted. Simple issues such as the absence of dates, small gaps in some fields, and reasons incomplete were identified.

With many practices preparing for re-accreditation in 2012 the audit findings in this case provided a particularly useful subject of discussion at the regular team meeting.

Such an audit helps in the process of cleaning up the clinical data, a necessary step for practices preparing for the PCeHR.

Whilst this process may sound unnecessary or even inconsequential when carefully reviewed and reported it provided the practice with some valuable insights into possible efficiencies that could be easily achieved with minor adjustments.

It has to be said that that not all GPs are created equal when it comes to data entry , practice managers often suggest that Dr X is a fine doctor but has at least 4 thumbs down when it comes to data entry.

This of course causes issues,  if not problems when the data needs to be extracted for the PCeHR, a disease register, accreditation review and recalls & reminders. As that well known acronym “RIRO” or “SISO” suggests  the data you get out is only as good as the information you put in. There are some simple strategies to improve data input and importantly data extraction.

Call Noel at the Division on 9496 4333 for a data audit.


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Aged Care

The ageing patient – treating cognitive decline through physical activity

It is commonly accepted that exercise is an important part of the treatment regimen for most chronic diseases and injuries such as cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, arthritis, low back pain and many more, but what is not so well known is the emerging evidence that regular physical activity can prevent or improve cognitive decline... Full Article.

Article supplied by: Exercise & Sports Science Australia - Find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.


Co-ordinated Veterans Care Program

The Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program is a positive step to improve the wellbeing and quality of care for chronically ill Gold Card holders.

The program will pay General Practitioners and nursing providers to coordinate care for Gold Card holders who are at risk of hospitalisation.

For more information about the program, click here

For MD templates click here


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Australian Doctor Articles

Benefit from record building

In this new section we intend to re-visit some of the articles written by Noel for Australian Doctor over the last 5 years. The first of these comes from 2007, a long time ago, but the message is still as relevant now as it was then. It is all about accurately recording history summaries. If some GPs in the practice would benefit from reading the full article please print it and give it to them.

The most misunderstood part of Medical Director (and other clinical software) is how the patient past history is built up and visits are recorded in the progress notes. There is also a widespread misunderstanding of how the summary items work. [Full article].


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Continuing Professional Development

Minor Surgery for General Practitioners

Saturday 21(8.30-4.30pm) and Sunday 22 (8-4pm) July at Skills Laboratory, Level 1 East Wing Skills & Education Centre, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Corner of Spring Street and Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Flyer.


Overweight and Obesity: the challenges and the solutions

Monday 23rd July 9am – 4.30pm at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

This one day program examines the nutritional, physical, psychological and medical options available to health professionals involved in providing weight management advise to clients with or without diabetes. Topics include; nutrition interventions for weight management; physical activity strategies, meal replacement and Very Low Calorie Diets; Medications for weight management; nutritional management after bariatric surgery; psychological strategies to manage emotional eating. Flyer.


Woundcare Update

Especially for Practice Nurses - Presented by: Jan Rice. Wednesday 8 August 10am -1pm (followed by light lunch) 9.30am Registration, at General Practice Victoria, 4th Floor, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton. Flyer.


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Immunisation Handbook

The Department of Health and Ageing, on behalf of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, would like to advise that the Public Consultation for the DRAFT Australian Immunisation Handbook - 10th Edition will commence on Monday 16 July 2012 and close on 15 August 2012.
From Saturday 14 July 2012, advertisements will be published in the public notice sections of The Australian and all Australian capital city, major regional and metropolitan newspaper. In addition, advertisements will be placed in specialised medical journals and publications including Australian Doctor, Medical Observer and the online publication 6 Minutes.
Information on how to provide a submission and additional information, including a copy of the draft Australian Immunisation Handbook - 10th Edition will be available from 16 July 2012 from the Department of Health and Ageing's website at


Prevenar 13®

Prevenar 13® supplementary vaccine program ends 30 September 2012.  A single free supplementary dose of Prevenar 13® vaccine is available for children aged between 12 and 35 months who have not previously received a dose of Prevenar 13® vaccine. This will ensure these children can also benefit from the improved vaccine. Prevenar 13® has an expanded range of 13 pneumococcal strains to protect children against pneumococcal bacteria. Parents should be strongly encouraged to have their toddler immunised with Prevenar 13® with either the GP or local council immunisation service as soon as possible as time is running out.

Please order the free pamphlet (CDS0048) and poster (CDS0049) resources to promote the supplementary vaccine program here.


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Information Management

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record begins with a whimper

803 people signed up in PCEHR’s first week, either by telephone, online or in person at a Medicare shopfront. As one wit pointed out, at that rate, it would take over 500 years to register the current Australian population and that there needs to be over 6000 registrations per week just to keep pace with the population increase.

Once the online registration becomes fully functional the number of registrations will be expected to increase dramatically. General practices should still be preparing for the PCeHR by going through the process of registering both the practice and individual health providers with their Healthcare Identifiers. We hope to organise an evening CPD event on this in the next month or two.

In the meantime to make the PCeHR implementation much easier you should be concentrating on having accurate clinical records, especially the medication and history lists – you may wish to organise Noel to visit to assist you with this.


Medical Director Tip - Ending a pregnancy

When it comes time to end a pregnancy complete the following steps:

1.      Click on the Obstetric tab and then click once the pregnancy you wish to end

2.      Click on the End pregnancy tab – this will stop any antenatal visits being recorded.

3.      Click on the Outcome drop down menu and select from the list

4.      Add the other details where relevant, such as the baby’s name and other details.


This week’s IM problem - Diabetes Assessment not appearing in Progress Notes

Question: When I add values to the Diabetes Record or complete an assessment nothing is placed into the Progress Notes. How do I get them there?

Answer: Unlike the Smoking Assessment or Alcohol Assessment, the parts of the Diabetes record you fill out are not transferred to the Progress Notes. Neither are the Family and Social Histories. However the text Diabetes Assessment performed is placed into the Progress Notes. You can add the coded “Diabetes Assessment” as the Reason for contact.

The way to later look at the Diabetes Assessment is to do the following:

1.      From the Clinical menu select Diabetes Record... – this opens the Diabetes Follow Up window

2.      Double clicking on one of the the Assessment dates will open that assessment. If you were especially keen you could copy and paste all or parts of the assessment into the Progress Notes if you wanted, but I don’t really see the point of that.

A bizarre twist is this: when you open a previous diabetes assessment you can add and delete text then print but you can’t save the changes. You are prompted “Are you sure you want to discard your changes?” You can click on the Yes but if you click No, the screen doesn’t do anything and the only way to escape the screen is to click on Yes.


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Items of Interest

Endocrinology Melbourne

Endocrinology Melbourne has moved to 76 Edwin Street, Heidelberg Heights, 3081.


Dr Elif Ekinci - 230672EL

Dr Felicity Pyrlis - 2345496K

Dr Caroline Jung - 231438FJ

Dr Scott Baker - 231263BF

Telephone: 9459 4415, Fax: 9459 4436, Email:

Entrance and parking at the rear of the building.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Family Doctor Week – coming soon; Code of Conduct; AMA urges more people to become organ donors; Advice from CMO on PIP Silicone Breast Implants and Breastfeeding; New Veterans’ MATES Topic on Insomnia


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Mental Health

ATAPs Program

The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local (NMML) has subcontracted the Northern Division of General Practice to administer the Access to Allied Psychological Services Program (ATAPS) program for the NMML catchment. The ATAPS program is a component of the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care (BOiMHC) program.

ATAPS Documents and Forms for GPs including MD templates for referral and re-referral found on the Northern DGP website or you can follow the link from the IM Resources - Mental Health  of the NEVDGP website


Making the Connection: The Interplay between Diabetes, Heart Disease and Mental Health

Friday 20th July 9am – 1pm at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. This workshop provides possible biological and behavioural pathways to explain the links between chronic illness and psychological comorbidities. Flyer


Physical Healthcare for Mental Health Patients - Working Together to “Share the Load

Wednesday July 25th 7.30-9.30pm (Dinner from 7pm) at the Northern Division of General Practice (Ground floor), 232 Plenty Road, Preston (cnr Plenty Rd & Bell St). An interactive session for GPs, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers that will discuss how to better utilise available services, Medicare items and resources to maximise health care for patients with mental illness. Flyer.


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News for Practice Staff

Woundcare Update

See under CPD


APNA news

The latest APNA 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


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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A man walks into the barbershop for a shave and a haircut, but he tells the old barber he can't get all his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age. The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells him to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.

When he's finished, the old man tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’s had in years but he wanted to know what would have happened if he had swallowed that little ball.

The old barber replied: “Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does”


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And remember


            Practice makes perfect..... But nobody's perfect..... so why practice?