North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1232: September 5, 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                                                Audit report 

Australian Doctor Articles                  Advanced database searches

Chronic Disease Management            Diabetes Support Groups, Supermarket Tours

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Prevenar 13 supplementary dose - parent reminder letter           

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Northern Health Continuing Care waiting times, GP Network News         

NPS                                                       New TGA advice - Cough and cold medicines in young children

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Audit report

Several practices have taken advantage of the two “audits” we have undertaken in the last few weeks, mainly by Wendy and Noel:

The first is of their clinical information in Medical Director. 3 patient files are examined for each GP, specifically looking at the recording of medications, progress notes, past history, investigations, measurements, allergies and warnings, Family and Social history as well as smoking and alcohol. The audit is specifically aimed at helping practices prepare for re-accreditation and the PCeHR as well as just having better record keeping habits, making it easier for colleagues and other health providers to understand what has gone on before...

The second audit has used PEN Clinical Audit Tool with a data quality report on allergies, smoking, diabetes measures and metrics (BP, BMI, waist), both for the whole practice and the individual GP.

Once the audit is completed a written report is emailed back to the practice to be discussed at a team meeting and, if preferred, Wendy and Noel can attend a team meeting to discuss the results. Two of the most pleasing aspects of doing this work has been the welcoming atmosphere we at the division have received when going into practices and that GPs were not threatened by the comparative data (results for individual GPs).

In future editorials we will outline some of the general, across the board findings of the audits.


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Australian Doctor Articles

Advanced database searches

The article “Narrowing the Search” on using little known database searches was published on 6th July 2007. Some of the searches still work but others don’t.

One such search that does not work is to open the patient database and select Other demographic criteria button – this takes you to the Patient Search Details window  which allows you to do “fancier” searches. In Date of Birth type in: 91..94 – this will find all patients born between 1991 and 1994.
This hint does not work. You need to type the full 4 digit number: 1991..1994. You can also type the full date: 22/06/1936..22/07/1936 and this still works.

Another hint states:

“In Surname type in A..G – this will find all patients whose surnames begin with the letters between A and G...

...There is a problem with this last hint. It only works in Medical Director 2! I have advised HCN through the MD Helpdesk of this anomaly and the issue has been logged. Will it be resolved soon? I’m not holding my breath.”
5 years later this still DOES NOT work in MD3!!

The final hint tells you that both MD2 and MD3 you are unable to do a bulk inactivation of patients. Fortunately MD3 now allows you to do a search for all patients “Not seen since...” [insert a date of 3 years ago] and there is a one button press to inactivate all patients that fit the criteria.

If you wish to view the full out of date article, warts and all, click here.


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Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes Support Groups   

DA–Vic offers two peer support groups for people living with diabetes. The Type 1 Peer Support Groups (TOPS) Program supports people with type 1 diabetes and families of children with type 1 diabetes. For further information about the TOPS Groups Programs contact Kelly Rossmann on 03 9667 1732 or via  The Type 2 Diabetes Community Network (ComNet) Program provides an opportunity for people to access type 2 diabetes specific information and support in their local community. For further information about the ComNet Program, contact Emma O’Keefe on 03 8648 1830 or via  Sharing experiences is a powerful way of learning how to manage diabetes. Meeting other people with diabetes can help reduce the isolation that people may feel and be a source of support when needed. Information is also available on the DA–Vic website.


Supermarket Tours 

Diabetes Australia – Vic organises supermarket tours to help make shopping for food easier. As part of the two hour tour, local dietitians show you how to accurately read and understand food labels, select healthy food alternatives and identify products that are appropriate for people with diabetes. Participants will receive a show bag with the Diabetes Australia Healthy Shopping Guide, information sheets and other useful information. A tour is taking place at

·         Woolworths - 33 Hutchinson Street, Lilydale on Wednesday 12 September

·         Coles - Northcote Plaza, 3 Separation Street  Northcote on Tuesday 18 September

·         Woolworths QV Shopping Centre  Cnr Lonsdale and Swanston Streets, Melbourne on Wednesday 19 September.

Cost: $10 members and $15 for non-members. Limited bookings are available for each tour. To confirm time/date and to make a booking, contact the Diabetes Info and Advice Line (DIAL) on 1300 136 588.


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Continuing Professional Development

Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes Workshop

Wednesday 19 September 7-9pm (Registration from 6.30pm) at The Treacy Centre, 126 The Avenue, Parkville. An interactive case-study based workshop specifically for General Practitioners and Practice Nurses. For more information or to register please see flyer.


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Prevenar 13 supplementary dose - parent reminder letter

A reminder for parents of children eligible for the supplementary dose of Prevenar 13. Your child is eligible if they are aged 12–35 months (inclusive) between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012

This program finishes on the 30th September 2012. For full information on the program click here.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Using “Confidential” for patient history conditions

Maybe consider the use of “Confidential” in more cases where patient confidentiality needs to be respected, such as in HIV and mental health conditions. When a past history item or “Reason for contact” is marked as “Confidential” that item will not appear on any printed lists, such as referrals, care plan or health assessments. Just remember to unmark “Confidential” when referring to a clinician to whom the condition is relevant (e.g. Psychiatrist).

But as Dr Jenny Bourke points out, “We discovered this week that if a history item is marked as confidential then it is not visible to the practice nurses. I knew it wouldn’t come up on letters etc., but it is not even on their history screen. I can sort of understand the logic for it but none of us were aware of it so I’m sure we’re not the only ones. This is another reason for doctors to check carefully how items are marked on the history list!”


This week’s IM problem - Changing the history field to include comments

Question: How do I change referrals so that past history lists include comments?

Answer: You need to change the “Properties” of the Past History in your referral template.

1.      Open LetterWriter and from the File menu select Modify template.

2.      Open the referral letter template and find the Past History field Past History:  <<Clinical Details:History List>>

3.      Right click on the <<Clinical Details:History List>> field and select Properties.

4.      Place a tick in the “Include Comments?” box

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Items of Interest

Northern Health Continuing Care waiting times

Due to current Bed Reconfiguration at Northern Health Continuing Care, we expect extended waiting times for subacute care to continue for a number of weeks.

Please consider this when referring, and seek alternative options where appropriate.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Senate Committee Report calls for an end to the ASGC-RA Classification System for Rural Health; Dental Care an important part of holistic primary health care; New Report on Hospitalisations of Patients with COPD and CHF; AMA (NSW) Charitable Foundation Gala Dinner 2012


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National Prescribing Service

New TGA advice - Cough and cold medicines in young children

The TGA has released new advice restricting the use of cough and cold medicines in young children. This advice comes amidst concerns they have limited efficacy and may even be harmful.

A review conducted by the TGA found that there was little credible research showing the effectiveness of cough and cold medicines, particularly in children, and these medicines should not be given to children younger than 6 years old. The advice also recommends that parents should also ask a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner for advice before giving cough and cold medicines to children aged 6 to 11 years. Clinical trials have shown that some of the active ingredients in cough and cold medicines may cause serious side effects in children, for example seizures.

To reflect the new advice, labels on these medicines are being changed to indicate that they should not be given to children under 6, and that consumers should ask their doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner before giving the medicine to children aged 6 to 11.

To read updated information about cough and cold medicines on the NPS MedicineWise website click here.  More information can also be found on the TGA website


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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


Practice Staff

Banyule Community Health - An experienced Division 1 Practice Nurse is sought to work in a friendly and supportive team environment in a computerized and fully accredited bulk billing practice in the Heidelberg area.  Mon - Fri 9-5. Enquiries may be directed to Meni Stefanovski on 9450 2013.

See here for job description. Online applications are preferred. Applications close on Sunday 16th September 2012.


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The secret to enjoying a good wine

1.      Open the bottle to allow it to breathe.

2.      If it does not look like it’s breathing, give it mouth-to-mouth.


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And remember


            … A balanced diet is a biscuit in each hand.