North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1042: December 2, 2010
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:

Aged Care                                             Are you looking to improve the care of your older patients?          

Chronic Disease Management            Diabetes Research Studies, Shop hours

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Update

Immunisation                                       Current Situation - H1N1 Influenza 09

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  RVEEH patient fact sheets available online, St Vincent’s new Cancer Centre, Colchicine overdose, GP Network News      

Mental Health                                      ABI Behaviour Consultancy

News for Practice Staff                       Practice Managers/Nurses Final Network Session  

NPS                                                       NPS Audit Update

Paediatrics                                           Community Asthma Program

Women’s Health                                  Mercy Hospital for Women – Antenatal Education at Hurstbridge             

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Aged Care

Are you looking to improve the care of your older patients?

We are seeking expressions of interest from GPs to test a new automated search strategy in CAT to identify people with suspected cognitive impairment from electronic medical records. To be eligible to participate you need to use Medical Director or Best Practice to routinely record your patient clinical encounters +/- be a current user of CAT. Participation involves running the CAT search strategy to produce a de-identified list of patients in whom you have recorded a suspicion of cognitive impairment; and/or completion of a review of a CAT automatically generated list of patients aged 70 years and older to identify those patients in whom you suspect cognitive impairment. Total time commitment is 1-2 hours, but not all of it GP time.

If you are interested in being involved please contact Fiona Kossenas on 9903 0022 or email for further information.


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Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes Research Studies

Diabetes Research Studies are continuously being run at the Department of Medicine at the Heidelberg Repat Hospital. These studies require patients who either need a small improvement or large improvement to their HbA1c control and are currently on nil, one, two, three AHA or insulin. Successful patients who are eligible to participate in one of the trials will see a dietitian and endocrinologist (Professor Joseph Proietto) in the aim to help improve their diabetes control. The subjects may be placed on a investigational medication or placebo. In referring patients to our department to participate in a trial you will receive $200 + GST per referral which results in a screen. Please call Katrina Purcell study coordinator on 9496 4025 for further information or email


Shop hours

Diabetes Australia – Vic wishes to advise that, the retail outlet on the ground floor, 570 Elizabeth Street Melbourne will change its opening hours in the new year.

Commencing Tuesday 4 January 2011, the shop will open from 08:30 – 16:30, Monday to Friday.


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Continuing Professional Development

Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Update

NB GPs - Final HMR session for this year – see under Home Medicines Review for more information.


Term 4 GP Lecture Program

Meetings are held each Tuesday starting at 12.30 in the Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Pathology Building, Repatriation Hospital, Austin Health, West Heidelberg. Tea and Coffee provided. Course Leader: Dr Vin Nursey Phone: 9457 1736. Allocated CPD: 2 points/hour.

Dec 7 - Imaging Update - Dr Bob Fabiny.

NB: This is the final session for this year


Medical Practice Management Update Egypt Feb 2011
The practice management seminars address how to look and run your practice as a small enterprise. For more details please visit our website or email

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Home Medicines Review

Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Update

Wednesday 8 December 6.30 - 9.30pm (includes dinner) for GPs, nurses and pharmacists at John Scott, La Trobe University. What is the latest on calcium? Bisphosphonates, NSAIDs?  Speaker Dr Michelle Tellus, rheumatologist. See flyer for registration.


Further information regarding this event and HMR and RMMR issues contact Dr Jenny Gowan or 9496 4333  


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - New and changed coded items - December 2010


·         24hr BP monitor applied

·         24hr BP monitor removed

·         Acopia

·         Carpal instability

·         Deconditioning

·         Dementia - Lewy-Body

·         Demyelination

·         Dental prophylaxis (for SBE)

·         Dermolysis

·         Disequilibrium

·         Elbow replacement

·         Endolymphatic Hydrops

·         Eye - Injection

·         Eye - Injury

·         Family History - Haemochromatosis

·         GPMP Review 725

·         GPMP Review 732

·         Health Check

·         Healthy Kids Check - 4 Yrs


·         Holtor monitor applied

·         Holtor monitor removed

·         Injection - Analgesic

·         Injection - B12

·         Injection - Penicillin

·         Lobular Carcinoma in-situ

·         Lumbar Facet Joint Strain

·         Lumbar Sprain

·         Medical Records - Transferred

·         Neck sprain/strain

·         Netherton's Syndrome

·         NIDDM

·         Ophthalmoplegia

·         Pain - toe

·         Pelvic Congestion syndrome

·         Peri-ampullary carcinoma

·         Prophylaxis for dental procedure

·         Recall edited

·         Second Opinion for a Bureaucratic Process


·         Sleep Apnoea monitor applied

·         Sleep Apnoea monitor removed

·         Spinocerebellar Degeneration

·         TCA Review 727

·         TCA Review 732

·         TFCC (Triangular Fibro-Cartilaginous Complex) - injury

·         TFCC (Triangular Fibro-Cartilaginous Complex) - tear

·         Thrombosis

·         Thrombotic event

·         Transfer of Records

·         Triangular Fibro-Cartilaginous Complex - injury

·         Triangular Fibro-Cartilaginous Complex - tear

·         URTI - Viral with wheeze

·         Vaccination history check

·         Whipple's Resection

·         Wrist Instability



This weeks IM problem - Disable ePrescribing

Question: On opening MD I get this annoying message popping up asking if I want to participate in ePrescribing the practice must register with MD Exchange. How do I get rid of it?

Answer: Been here before so here it is again.

  1. No patient record open User menu à Setup Users…
  2. Double click on your name (to edit the details)
  3. Click on the Disableable ePrescribing radio button.


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Current Situation - H1N1 Influenza 09

A message from the Chief Health Officer

On 1 December 2010, Australia moved from the PROTECT phase to the ALERT phase of its pandemic plan. ALERT is the phase between pandemics (disease activity at seasonal levels).

The key element of the ALERT phase is heightened vigilance for a new influenza virus or an antigenic change in a current circulating influenza virus, which may be of concern. We are now focussing on routine surveillance for influenza, which includes medical  practitioner  and  laboratory notification of laboratory confirmed cases as well as sentinel surveillance from general practice (Metropolitan, Regional and the Melbourne  Medical Deputising Service), hospitals and Intensive Care Units.

We will continue to promote the uptake of the H1N1-specific vaccine (Panvax) - which will remain freely available until 31 December 2010 and trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine.

We will also maintain pandemic preparedness.

Good hygiene still remains vital

*    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

*    Throw the tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin after you use it.

*    Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

*    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread that way.

If you feel unwell

*    Don't go to work or school if you have a flu-like illness.

*    Please seek medical advice if you have a flu-like illness.

Please go to for further information


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Items of Interest

RVEEH patient fact sheets available online

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has made its patient fact sheets available for you to download or print and to use with your patients as appropriate.  The fact sheets cover information about the hospital in multiple languages, as well as English fact sheets for conditions such as Age related macular degeneration, blepharitis, cataract, pterygium and diabetic retinopathy.  There are also fact sheets about eye drops and their administration.  The fact sheets are now available through the GP resources page of the hospital website.


St Vincent’s new Cancer Centre now open

St Vincent’s is now in a position to offer the highest quality care in a state-of-the art home-like environment that emphasises patient comfort and privacy.

The St Vincent’s Cancer Centre brings all of our day oncology services under one roof, including medical oncology, haematology, palliative care and psychosocial oncology.

Patients will receive the best multidisciplinary care, with prompt appointments and pharmacy on site.

If you would like to visit this facility, please call Pam Crouch or Ray Snyder on 9288 3020.


Colchicine overdose 

From a letter received by the CEO at GPV from Professor Jeremy J.N. Oats (Chairman, Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity) 

Re: Colchicine overdose

At a recent meeting of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Committee of CCOPMM a case of fatal accidental overdose of Colchicine was reviewed.

In the discussion it was concluded that there is a general lack of awareness of the irreversible effect of such an overdose. I was requested to write to you to ask if this could be brought to the attention of Victoria’s General Practitioners through the Divisional Networks emphasising the need to heighten the awareness of this risk, so that when the drug is prescribed those taking the drug are made aware of the need to prevent others having access to the drug.”


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2010, Mental Health and Insurance - Professional Survey, Pulse+IT, Aftercare


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Mental Health

ABI Behaviour Consultancy

This is a free, state-wide behaviour management service for people with acquired brain injury (ABI) due to trauma, stroke, substance use, infection, tumour or hypoxia. The service is staffed by clinical neuropsychologists and a consultant psychiatrist who can work directly with general practitioners, practice nurses and mental health nurses around assessment and management. Management strategies aim to reduce the impact of ABI-related behaviours such as verbal and physical aggression, sexual disinhibition and inactivity. Referrals can be made by visiting or by phoning (03) 9490 7366 to speak with the intake worker.


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News for Practice Staff

Practice Managers/Nurses Final Network Session

Thursday 9th December 6.30pm-9pm at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Making the most of the Royal Children’s Hospital for paediatric patients presented by: Susan Jury, RCH Primary Care Liaison;  Gizmos, Gadgets and Good ideas; Awards, Prizes, Fun stuff presented by: Noel Stewart and Arty Richetti. [Application form]


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National Prescribing Service

NPS Audit Update

There 3 electronic NPS clinical audits available for the QPI PIP year 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2011.  All NPS paper audits are now closed.

The electronic audits that are available include: 1/ Clinical e-Audit: Review of Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Prescribing, 2/ Clinical e-Audit: Optimising Management of Type 2 Diabetes & 3/ Clinical e-Audit: Management of Hypertension. Please note that in response to GP feedback, the Hypertension clinical e-audit now involves a review of only 10 patients.   

The above-mentioned audits need to be completed within the audit specified time frames for inclusion as QPI PIP activities in the current QPI PIP year.

Online enrolment for the above audits is available on You will need to scroll down the page to locate information on audits.


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Community Asthma Program (CAP)

Referrals Contact:  RCH Liaison staff on 9345 5295, fax 9345 6231      

Areas: Postcodes 3000-3099 plus Stonnington, Boorandara, Port Philip

Structure: Home visits or community setting over 6 month period.

Eligibility: Chronic asthma and/or complex needs, at risk of ED presentation


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Women’s Health

Mercy Hospital for Women – Antenatal Education at Hurstbridge

From February 2011 Mercy Hospital for Women Parent Education will offer antenatal education sessions to the community at Hurstbridge Community Centre.

Monday evening sessions will be available for families wishing to attend a series of 5 x 2 hour classes.

Topics will include: 

  • Labour & Birth
  • Variations in Labour & Birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Newborns and Parenting
  • The Family at Home

Sessions will be held from 7pm – 9pm by a Mercy Hospital for Women midwife.

Cost is $150.00 / series or $30.00 / session.

Hurstbridge Community Centre is located at 50 Graysharps Road, Hurstbridge.

Enquires to Parent Education, Mercy Hospital for Women 8458 4152.


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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


Fairfield - F/T or P/T VR GP required for GP operated, computerised, fully accredited medical centre with nursing support. A friendly and supportive team environment with flexible family friendly working hours. Excellent remuneration. Please contact Rosa Merigan on 03 9481 4861 or 0417 596 180.


Ivanhoe - VR GP FT or PT required to work in this GP operated accredited medical centre. A friendly and supportive team environment in this computerised medical centre with Psychologists, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist, Dietician, Nursing staff and Radiology on site. No after hour’s, family friendly, flexible hours . Please contact John or Ken on 03 9497 1188.


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 

Thornbury - GP Wanted Urgently seeking a VR GP to replace our "soon to retire GP".  Full time preferable.  Happy, busy and supportive practice.  You will love it here! Contact Dr Jenny Andrewes or Dr Danny Lipson on (03) 9484 2580 or email to

Practice Staff

Heidelberg - part time medical receptionist wanted. Mondays, Fridays and some Saturdays. Experience as medical receptionist or SEN essential. Phone Dr Ian Wallis on 9459 9237.

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Granny Driver
The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I had just come from a thrilling choir practice followed by a powerful prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.
I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus; because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed. I found that LOTS of people love Jesus. Why, while I was sitting there, the nice  man behind started honking like crazy, and he leaned out of his window and  screamed, "For the love of God, GO! GO!" What an exuberant cheerleader he was for the Lord.
Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love

I saw another man waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was an Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I’ve never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing; why even he was enjoying this religious experience.
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So I waved to all my sisters and brothers, smiled at them all and drove on through the intersection.  
I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again, and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window, and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.  
Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

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And remember


            … Money isn't everything but it sure keeps the kids in touch!