North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1309: April 10, 2013
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                                                The IT challenge – getting support!

Australian Doctor Articles                  Paperless office?

Chronic Disease Management            National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Registration Form

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Influenza preparedness in GP practices, Australian Immunisation Handbook, Clarification for the Victorian immunisation schedule

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Austin Health Specialist Clinics: Patient Choice Booking (PCB) Update, New contact details for Sub Acute Inpatient Admissions for Northern Health, GP Network News

Paediatrics                                           RCH GP training -'Chronic cough, asthma and the snoring child'

Women’s Health                                  ThinkGP Women's health series

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

The IT challenge – getting support!

An interesting article in PULSE + IT (5/4/2013) described how South Australia is preparing to go live with PCEHR in Aboriginal communities. The eHealth program manager of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA), Sarah Ahmed, said “remoteness is the least important difficulty... The largest obstacle has been confusion about processes because of all the different bodies that need to be involved”. For example you have Medicare, the software vendors, the HI Service, the PCEHR branch, NEHTA and the PKI eHealth business branch in the Department of Human Services.

Ms Ahmed added “The people doing the PCEHR stuff are also doing the clinical work in a health service. So, given a choice between a sick and screaming child or being on the phone to Medicare's eHealth division…”


So what is the relevance of this for practices in Melbourne’s North?  Considering the hoops and hurdles of applying and complying with the PIP eHealth it is obvious that there is an ongoing need for support from the Medicare Local to provide comprehensive IT support, ideally to employ an experienced IT person or better, an IT team (as some other MLs have done) so that practices can get the support they so desperately need.

We have heard of instances where a practice has contacted the NMML for IT support, to be then told to contact infiniti Health Solutions (formerly the Northern Division) and then staff of infiniti stating they have not been funded to provide IT support. Considering that Medicare Locals across Australia have been allocated considerable funds to support the introduction of the PCEHR this does not sit well with overworked practice managers. We know of one practice manager, who, through sheer doggedness and persistence did get the NMML/infiniti to send out an IT person to help install the NASH PKI certificate.


Our suggestion to practices requiring support is to follow this lead; to keep contacting the ML so that better support may be forthcoming. We at the division would love to hear of your successes or otherwise of this approach.


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Australian Doctor Articles

Paperless office?

In July 2010 I wrote about how the obstacles to a paperless practice are difficult to shift and the 3 main obstacles are:

  1. The Word processing tools of Clinical software are generally primitive
  2. Individual hospitals and laboratories require their own specific referral templates leading to the need of a plethora of different forms. Additionally some of these organisations provide paper referral pads or at best a referral in pdf format which the clinical software can’t import.
  3. The requirement that all patient information transferred between health providers be encrypted using PKI.

So what has changed in the last 3 years?

  1. LetterWriter is still a primitive word processor.
  2. Paper forms are still rife using fax referrals. Earlier this year the local Medicare Local sent out a bundle of paper forms and pdfs for the mental health program. They then sent out Word versions in DOCX format that LetterWriter can’t read. This led to a lot of frustrations and time wasting by GPs.
  3. PKI certificates and encrypted documents are a requirement for the PIP eHealth secure messaging.

Practices need a lot of help to get them through the hoops and hurdles of complying with the PIP eHealth secure messaging. Some Medicare Locals offer terrific support for this with skilled IT people. Unfortunately, it would appear that the experience of some of our practices has not been so good. We have been advised that Practices  contacting Infiniti for IT support (which provides GP services for the NMML) at least initially have  been advised that Infiniti receives no funding to provide IT support. Considering the complex nature of installing the NASH PKI certificates, and the funding provided by the Commonwealth, let’s hope that this service issue will be addressed in the near future with the appointment of a permanent IT officer.

For full article click here.


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Chronic Disease Management

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Registration Form – (administered by Diabetes Australia – Vic)

The Australian 2011 census data shows that over one quarter of Victorians are born overseas, while almost 30% speak languages other than English at home. We encourage you to fill in the ‘Country of Birth’ and ‘Main Language Spoken at Home’ fields of the NDSS Registration Form. This information will better enable DA–Vic to provide tailored support and resources to people with diabetes who speak languages other than English.


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Continuing Professional Development

Managing Diabetes

Saturday 25 May at University of Melbourne

This half day seminar will look at some of the more challenging aspects of diabetes, and present you with the latest evidence-based thinking on how best to improve health outcomes among these patients.

Early bird registration closes Friday 12 April



World Lupus Day is on Friday the 10th of May
Lupus is a disease of the immune system, which affects more than 17,000 Australians. Please see this week's featured education, The key diagnostic and management features of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus to learn more about diagnosing and managing this condition.


AACB Point-of-Care-Testing Scientific Education Seminar

Friday 26 April at Adelaide Pavillion, Veale Gardens, Cnr South Tce & Peacock Rd. Adelaide.

Click here for flier and registration


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Influenza preparedness in GP practices

A brief poll is being conducted by the Influenza Specialist Group (ISG), it is easy to complete, and very worthwhile as it may help inform Flu experts & health authorities. That would be to the benefit of GP clinics, hospital EDs & the community in general.

Please click here to access the survey.


Australian Immunisation Handbook

The 10th edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook has been released and it is available here. Hard copies of the Handbook have be sent to Australian immunisation providers including GPs.

NCIRS has provided a summarised slide set on ‘What’s new’ which is available on the NCIRS website.


Clarification for the Victorian immunisation schedule

There is really only 1 chart (Download chart) that you need to refer for the VIC immunisation schedule.

This chart lists both the generic & brand names of the vaccines we are supplied by the VIC Dept of Health.

We suggest you:

1.       Save a copy of this chart to an accessible shared drive

2.       Provide laminated colour copies for display & easy reference

Please note this chart will be replaced in July 2013 by an updated chart for VIC (will include the MMR-V vaccine at 18 months of age replacing the 4-yr old MMR Dose 2).

Therefore, the 2 NIP schedule charts which refer to the National generic schedule, are superfluous for use in VIC if you use the attached VIC chart.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Results – Changing the Preview pane

Once you change the column positions of Results (useful headings to the left, less useful to the right), it is an advantage to place the Preview pane to the right. By default the preview pane is on the bottom:

1.      Click in the Preview – Bottom button

2.      Change it to Preview Right

You now have a large area to display the result. You will probably have to adjust the width of the 2 screens. In this way you can hide the column headings you never use.


This week’s IM problem - Changing Results column positions

Question: The Results module has a lot of columns which are useless to me. Can I delete them?

Answer:  No, you cannot delete a column, only the individual items within the column (Right click > Delete). What you are probably finding is several of the less useful columns are on the left of the screen, e.g. Source, Date created, Date Requested and the most useful ones (Date Collected and Date Checked are obscured or hidden to the right.

What you need to do is move the least useful columns to the right (out of the way) and the frequently used useful columns to the left (where they are the most visible). This is achieved by clicking in the column heading (e.g. Date Collected), holding down the mouse button and dragging to the left of the screen. Once in the desired position let go the mouse button.


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Items of Interest

Austin Health Specialist Clinics: Patient Choice Booking (PCB) Update

A new appointment scheduling system will be implemented in the Specialist Clinics from mid April 2013. GP's can still use their present referral forms and fax them to 9496 2097 or email requesting an outpatient appointment for their patient. If a patient's condition has deteriorated and they need to be seen sooner, please contact the GP priority line on 9496 2900 or email If you require further information please contact Jacinta Opie, Project Manager, Patient Choice Booking project on 0481 002 251 or email 


The new contact details for Sub Acute Inpatient Admissions for Northern Health

Northern Health Sub Acute Admissions - Phone: 8405 2806, 8405 2807 Fax: 8405 2505

Please direct all your queries / referrals to the above numbers.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Reminder: PIP eHealth incentive - PCEHR requirement commences from 1 May; NPS Health Practitioner Class (general practitioner) Director nominations invited; Revised online education tools to help GPs bill for skin lesion removal; Billing accurately under Medicare – letter to doctors;


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Royal Children’s Hospital GP training -'Chronic cough, asthma and the snoring child'

Tuesday 23 April 7-9pm (Finger food from 6.30pm) at  Ella Latham Theatre, Royal Children’s Hospital. Speakers: Dr. Sarath Ranganathan, Dr Mandie Griffiths and Dr Phil Robinson from the RCH Respiratory Department. For further information and online registration click here.


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Women’s Health

ThinkGP Women's health series

Unplanned Pregnancy - Despite the availability of safe and effective contraception there are still about 200,000 unplanned pregnancies every year in Australia. The mother may elect to keep the baby or not to become a parent and choose either abortion or adoption. Follow a discussion with Dr Mary Stewart of Family Planning NSW about how we can support a patient with an unplanned pregnancy.

STI testing in general practice - Using an STI testing tool can improve our management of a women’s sexual health. Follow a discussion with Dr Kym Collins who covers introducing the topic of sexual health with our patients, providing advice on contact tracing and the role of practice nurses in the management of sexual health conditions.


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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


Doutta Galla Community Health Service, Kensington - Short term positions for GPs

As a few GPs are going on leave in the coming weeks, Doutta Galla Community Health Service welcomes enquiries from interested GPs for the following 2 periods:

  1. 19th April - 17th May. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (Thursday may be considered if required) 9-5:30 pm.
  2. 9th May - 20th May. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9-1:00 pm.

Contact Janina De Silva Tel:  03 8378 1647 Fax 03 9372 1558 Mobile  0409 436 930


Practice Staff

Ivanhoe Medical Clinic - part time position available for a Registered Nurse Division 1/Community Care Nurse to co-ordinate and manage our Veterans Care and Home Health Assessments programs. Experience in this area would be an asset but not essential. Both programs are well established and have been in place for some time. 

For more info call Practice Manager on 9499 1245 or email –


Northcote area – 3 days per week Div 1 Practice Nurse required to assist our medical staff in a busy general practice. Duties include wound care, travel health, immunisations, health assessments, patient triage, assist with clinical procedures and all other duties required in a general practice.  Visit our website for more information.

To apply forward your resume to

Positions wanted

RN Div 1 Consultant available - specifically available for Chronic Disease Management ie: Care Plans, Aged Care Facility ie: Comprehensive Health Assessments, General Health Assessments and Accreditation.
Contact Silvana on: 0403 994 299

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Elderly driver

My neighbour was working in his yard when he was startled by a late model car that came crashing through his hedge and ended up in his front lawn. He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair. He said with excitement, “You appear quite elderly to be driving.”

“Well, yes, I am,” she replied proudly. “I’ll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don’t even need a driver’s license anymore.”

He said “How do you figure that?”

“The last time I went to my doctor, he examined me and asked if I had a driver’s license. I told him yes and handed it to him. He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw them in the wastebasket, saying, ‘You won't need this anymore’, so I thanked him and left!”


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And remember


            Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.