North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1234: September 19, 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                                                NEVDGP audit findings on Progress Notes recording         

Australian Doctor Articles                  Top 10 Hints

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  MD/PS 3.14 Update, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Living with Cancer Education Program, GP Network News

Mental Health                                      Prevention of recurrence in Depression- patients staying well for the long term 

News for Practice Staff                       Annual APNA salary and Conditions survey 

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

NEVDGP audit findings on Progress Notes recording

Progress notes were checked that “Reason for contact” was:

·         recorded for each patient contact

·         using coded items rather than free text entry

Our basic assumption was that recording “Reason for contact” in Progress Notes is good clinical practice as it makes it easy for the other practitioners to get a quick overview of a patient history by quickly perusing the previous progress notes.

What we found was in general, practices were very good at recording “Reason for contact” and using coded diagnoses but, as to be expected, most group practices had at least one GP who was not consistently recording “Reason for contact”. What was pleasing was where we saw “Reason...” not being recorded in the past and then suddenly it was filled in every time. This shows us that the “penny had dropped” and the practice had made a decision at a point in time to better record progress notes.

For those practices that want to ensure that “Reason for contact is consistently recorded we suggest that the practice consider the Option “Mandate entering a reason(s) for contact for each consultation” is turned on

To do this: No patient record open: Tools >Options >Clinical – tick in “Mandate entering a reason(s) for contact for each consultation” box. This will ensure that every visit will have a reason for contact recorded. Harsh but fair!


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Australian Doctor Articles

Top 10 Hints

Five years ago I wrote an article outlining what I the considered to be the top ten MD hints.

These were:

  1. Adding a result summary to the Comment box
  2. Removing rows in LetterWriter tables
  3. Adding ½ tablet to the prescribed items dose
  4. Changing the opening screen
  5. Changing the strength of a medication
  6. Switching from LetterWriter to the clinical screen
  7. Quickly opening the patient details screen
  8. Changing the date of a script
  9. Having more than one patient record open at a time
  10. Displaying a deceased patients record

I would certainly change these today to include:

  • Enforcing Save in Past Medical History, Reason for medication and Mandate entering a Reason for contact
  • Displaying the Data toolbar in LetterWriter
  • Bulk inactivating patients in a database search
  • Editing a deceased patient’s record
  • Printing a patient health summary

For the original full article of the 2007 hints click here.


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Continuing Professional Development

Special iPad Training Session for GPs

Tuesday 25th September 7:30 – 9:30pm at Mount Street Medical Centre, 80 Mount Street Heidelberg (Opposite Heidelberg Station)

Limited places (12-20 max) and post prandial (i.e. no catering)

Topics covered:  overseas travel, medical Apps, news and fun applications.

Facilitator: Dr Lindsey Hyde

To reserve you place email Noel Stewart: or ring the division on 9496 4333 Monday to Thursday 9:30 – 4:00 PM


Prevention of recurrence in Depression- patients staying well for the long term

Listen to GP John Crimmins, as he discusses how to reduce the risk of relapse in our patients with depression by early indentification and the safe long term use of medication.

Click on to view this education.


Managing CV risk

This activity examines absolute CV risk with an emphasis on hypertension.

This activity is enhanced with video discussion by Dr Andrew Sindone, Cardiologist from Eastwood, Dr Robert McGinley, Nephrologist from Geelong Hospital and Dr Julian Castro, Cardiologist from St Vincent’s Hospital. Click on to start this free education.


Dizziness/Vertigo & Common Eyelid Disorders

presented by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. Tuesday 16 October 7-9pm (Light refreshments from 6.30pm) at Lucy Jones Hall, (entrance off 428 Albert St, cnr Morrison Pl), Eye And Ear Hospital, Gisborne Street,  East Melbourne. Flyer or register online here. 


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Information Management

MD/PS 3.14 Update

The CD is a full update and will shortly be sent to licenced practices. This has several enhancements including eHealth preparedness.

Also of interest to many users will be the improved document handling and scanning, including improved management of incoming and outgoing correspondence - documents will be able to be moved between tabs (i.e. Letters, Results and Documents Tabs)

New features for scanning include annotation and the ability to improve the quality of scanned documents.


Medical Director Tip - Displaying the “Reason for medication” column

The RACGP Standards for general practices (4th edition), criterion 1.7.2 suggests that the diagnosis/problem of a prescribed medicine should be recorded using a coded item. On the Medical Director screen it is difficult to see the “Reason for medication” as it is usually positioned to the far right of the screen and you need to scroll across to see it. To overcome this problem click on the “Reason for medication” column heading and drag it to the list so that it sits next to the “Drug name” column. This way you will clearly see any “reasons” that have been omitted. If this is the case double click in the blank space (where there should be a “Reason…”) and choose from the coded list.


This week’s IM problem - Problem with imported patient’s results

Question: We have imported patient files from a recently closed neighbouring medical practice. Now when I create a list of “Discuss” results I get those imported patients without having their results “Marked as notified” – some of these are years old. What should I do? There are about 25 of them and they keep appearing when I print my Discuss” results.

Answer: I would suggest you write a special Recall letter to these patients or make a phone call, outlining the fact that there are some outstanding results and suggest they make an appointment to discuss this with one of the doctors. Once they come for an appointment they can be “Marked as Notified”. If they don’t turn up,  use your usual system of contacting them 3 times as this clearly documents you have made a reasonable attempt to contact the patients. The other thing to consider is to inactivate those patients that haven’t had an appointment (in the former practice) for the previous 3 years.


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Items of Interest

Living with Cancer Education Program

Information and support for people with brain tumours, their family and friends

Thursdays 4th – 25th October (4 weeks) 3.30-6pm at Wellness Centre, Level 3 R, Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre, 145 Studley Road , Heidelberg

Cost: FREE. RSVP: 9496 3799 or email: RSVP by Monday October 1st. See here for flyer.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Making the Best Use of GPs in Emergencies and Natural Disasters; Health Alert for Clinicians - Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Cases in Yosemite National Park, United States; AMA Welcomes Greens’ Bill To Establish Expert Health Care Panel For Refugees; AMA Launches Careers Advisory Service.


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Mental Health

Prevention of recurrence in Depression- patients staying well for the long term

See under CPD.


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News for Practice Staff

Annual APNA salary and Conditions survey

The survey will be open from Monday 10 September to midnight Sunday 7 October, and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Click here.

All nurses who take part in the survey will go into the draw to win a free registration to the APNA National Conference to be held in Melbourne from 2 to 4 May 2013.


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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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Pregnancy Q & A 

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?

A: No, 35 children is enough.


Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move? 

A: With any luck, right after he finishes university. 


Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex? 

A: Childbirth. 


Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s borderline irrational.

A: So what's your question? 


Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labour, but pressure. Is she right?

A: Yes, in the same way that a cyclone might be called an air current. 


Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?

A: When the kids are in university. 


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And remember


            … When one engine fails on a twin engine aircraft, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.