North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1228: August 8, 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                                                Fixing the medications, a compelling case for eHealth      

Australian Doctor Articles                  Making progress with Progress Notes

Chronic Disease Management            Updated diabetes and schools information 

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  The introduction of telehealth in primary care in Australia, North East Primary Care Partnership, GP Network News         

News for Practice Staff                       Practice Nurse Incentive Program, New: Australian College of Nursing, Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme, Scholarships available for practice nurses to undertake further training, APNA newsletter  

NPS                                                       NEW NPS Visiting Program

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Fixing the medications, a compelling case for eHealth

Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image001.jpg@01CD73BF.C7AA0A90We were saved from illegible scripts years ago when electronic sciptwriting came into use. There are however, still quite a few problems with medication lists. This has become apparent with the Medical Director audits the division has been carrying out over the last few weeks. The recording of medications, in most cases, has been very good but here and there some shortcomings were noted and in some cases a lack of consistency between the different doctors of a practice. A good resource for what is expected for the recording of medications is to be found in the RACGP’s  General practice fact sheet – Medicines list. In summary the guidelines state:  “Ideally the medicines list should contain prescription medications, non‐prescription/over the counter medicines (e.g.aspirin), medicines self‐prescribed by the patient, and complementary medicines (e.g. herbal remedies)” and that “Healthcare may be limited by inaccurate medication lists due to poor data exchange

between numerous health care settings, combined with a patients’ lack of self‐reporting of changes to their

medication”.  In our audits we noticed that most doctors DID NOT record “Reason for prescription” despite the RACGP recommendation that information captured should include: “diagnosis/problem as to why medicine prescribed” and that medicine should be coded using SNOMED where possible. At this stage MD medicines are not “SNOMED coded” but HCN insists it is in the process of converting to this. So, what is SNOMED?


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Australian Doctor Articles

Making progress with Progress Notes

In this section we are re-visiting some of the articles written by Noel for Australian Doctor over the last 5 years. This week’s article discusses using the handy features of the Progress Notes: using the Search function, the Procedure button, some useful Reasons for contact as well as how actions and recordings are automatically transferred to the Progress Notes.” For the full article click here.


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Chronic Disease Management

Updated diabetes and schools information

If you have a school-aged child with diabetes, make sure you have a look at the updated diabetes information on the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.

Developed in consultation with Diabetes Australia – Vic, the Royal Children's Hospital and Monash Children's at Southern Health, the Schools Policy and Advisory Guide has more detailed information about  diabetes in the school setting. The updated information can be found here.


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Continuing Professional Development

Internal Medicine Melbourne

11 August full day seminar for GPs at University of Melboure, Parkville Campus. See flyer for more information.


Melanoma: now & into the future
Thursday 30 August 6-8pm
(Refreshments provided) at Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre, Cnr Studley Road & Banksia Street, Heidelberg. Level 5 Collaboration Space.  This mini symposium will review recent developments and emerging opportunities in this rapidly evolving field.   

To register your attendance, RSVP to Leeanne Louey by Tuesday 14 August (03) 9496 5462 or


Genetics and medical prevention in cancer for GPs - Are you giving patients current and correct information?

Saturday 8 September 10-12 noon (registrations at 9.30am) at John Lindell Lecture Theatre, 4th Floor, Lance Townsend Building, 145 Studley Road, Heidelberg. Flyer


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Reviewing medications

Coming from the RACGP’s  General practice fact sheet – Medicines list the following advise is given:

“The ‘Medicines List’ should ideally be reviewed every time there is a new prescription written, when performing a health assessment, and when referring patients to other providers of care. Patients’ medicines should be removed from the list when ceased”.  Sounds like common sense but not always done!

This week’s IM problem- Adding to Progress Notes the day after

Question:   Sometimes our GPs and Nurses are too busy to complete the Progress Notes and finish them at the end of the day. Occasionally they add to a patient’s notes the day after. What is the best way to do this?

Answer: You can’t add to a Progress Note after midnight of the day it was created so you would have to create a new Progress Note the next day.

If you hadn’t opened the patient record and added to that record you could open Progress Notes the following day and backdate the Progress Note.

If however you add opened the patient record and begun the Progress Note for that day you will need to use the Append function of Progress Notes:

1.      Click once on the “old” Progress Note you wish to add to

2.      Click on the Append button and add to the notes

3.      Click on Save when complete.


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Items of Interest

The introduction of telehealth in primary care in Australia

The Centre for Online Health at the University of Queensland are conducting a research study to understand Australian General Practitioners' educational and training needs in relation to clinical telehealth. The results of this survey will influence the development of an educational and training program in clinical telehealth for future and current practitioners funded by the Department of Health and Ageing. The survey will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. Link to the Survey:


North East Primary Care Partnership

Current newsletter can be found here.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Welcomes New Concerted Action To Address Bullying; Family doctors provide a lifetime of quality care; TGA adverse events website; RVTS Round 2 Opens 6 August


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News for Practice Staff

Practice Nurse Incentive Program

Dates to remember:
•   August 2012  DVA payment made to practices
•   31 October 2012 ‘Point in time’ assessment for August PNIP quarterly payment
To assist your application the PNIP Guidelines remain available from Medicare and resources can be downloaded.
We are interested to hear any feedback about the PNIP. Please email with your comments.

Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) - Rewards and Challenges
A seminar will be presented by Liz Meadley at the next PNCE in Melbourne on the 17-18 November. The session will discuss the implications of the PNIP on the general practice nursing role including benefits to patients, nurses and the practice and look at ways of overcoming the challenges.
The webinar slide pack on Implementing the PNIP will be available soon on the AML Alliance website.
Information sheets relating to wound management, immunisation and cervical screening are also available and give practices options on opportunities the PNIP creates in their practices.


New: Australian College of Nursing
On 1 July 2012, Royal College of Nursing, Australia and The College of Nursing unified to become the Australian College of Nursing
The Australian College of Nursing is offering Customised Education and Consultative Services (CECS). They can provide customised programs that are designed to meet your specific education requirements, can be conducted at relatively short notice and provide benefits such as being need specific, relevant & current, flexible & convenient and are cost effective.
For more information email Lisa Watson


Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme

This is an Australian Government initiative supporting nursing students, enrolled nurses and registered nurses and midwives.
Applications are now open for the following scholarships:
•   Pre-registration nursing (available for study at University or TAFE)
•   Postgraduate study
•   Continuing Professional Development for nurses and midwives
•   Nurse re-entry for nurses or midwives who are undertaking a re-entry course
•   Professional Development for nurses and midwives working in an Aboriginal Medical Service
•   Clinical Placement in an Aboriginal Medical Service for undergraduate nursing students
•   Clinical placement in an emergency department for:
         o  Undergraduate nursing students
         o  Postgraduate nursing students and
         o  Registered nurses or midwives wanting to enhance their  experience.
Scholarships are also available for administrative staff working in an Emergency Department wanting to undertake continuing professional development.


Scholarships available for practice nurses to undertake further training

The University of Melbourne, General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre offers the most comprehensive and clinically relevant primary care nursing course in Australia; the Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Primary Care Nursing. Developed by leading practice nurses and GPs, this distance education course is tailored to suit any location and accommodate work/life balance.

The Royal College of Nursing Australia has recently announced scholarships of up to $15 000pa for up to two years full-time study or $7500pa for up to four years part-time study. The application closing date is 14 September 2012. Apply today and enrol in the University of Melbourne Primary Care Nursing course. Scholarship details are available here.

To speak to us about enrolling in a postgraduate nursing course at The University of Melbourne, phone (03) 8344 7276 or contact


Latest APNA newsletter

Available here.


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National Prescribing Service

NEW NPS Visiting Program

NEVDGP in partnership with NPS – Better choices, Better health is offering a program on Antibiotic resistance and respiratory tract infections. This program provides a valuable opportunity to discuss up-to-date, independent, practical, evidence-based information on current therapeutic issues with a highly skilled NPS facilitator and other general practitioners. The program will be available through to end December 2012. This topic focuses on:

•     The importance of considering antibiotic resistance at both a population and individual level and having the issue front of mind when prescribing

•     The need to establish patient beliefs and expectations about antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections and ways to tailor communication strategies accordingly

•     Ways to encourage patient self-management of acute upper respiratory tract infections and to explain why antibiotics may not be appropriate

•     Weighing a test’s clinical usefulness against the associated patient risks before ordering an imaging test.

Practice visits and case study meetings are available at time and date to suit you.  

Participation attracts RACGP QA & CPD and/or ACRRM program points and is recognised as a Quality Prescribing Initiative (QPI) activity within the Practice Incentives Program.

To participate please contact Dr Mary Levidiotis on 9496 4333 or alternatively email or fax the enrolment form to Dr Mary Levidiotis on or Fax 9496 4349.

Regular NPS program participants will be contacted automatically as with previous programs.


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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


Clifton Hill - VR GP (part-time) needed for busy GP-owned accredited family practice.  Lovely renovated rooms, excellent clinical & practice nurse support (regularly weekly meetings), fully computerised and with great receptionists.  Onsite Pathology and Psychiatry / Psychology Practice located at the rear. Mixed billing. Contact Practice Manager Rosemary Russo or 0417-306 385. 


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


North Eastern Metropolitan Melbourne – VR GP wanted by doctor owned private billing practice. FT 4-5 days per week. Flexible arrangements. Contact the Practice Manager Wendy on 9438 5666.


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A man goes to the eye doctor. The receptionist asks him why he is there.

The man complains, "I keep seeing spots in front of my eyes."

The receptionist asks, "Have you seen a doctor?"

The man replies, "No, just spots."


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And remember


            If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.