North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1403: February 19, 2014
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                                                MLs and PCEHR face growing criticisms     

Chronic Disease Management            Professional Development Grants Program in Diabetes

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director, Best Practice & General Computer Tips

Items of interest                                  Updating NEV Website, Older Australians misunderstand GPs due to hearing loss, GP Network News

News for Practice Staff                       Thriving Through Change, Nurse Immuniser Program, APNA newsletter

Women’s Health                                  BreastScreen Victoria responds to Canadian research on mammography

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

MLs and PCEHR face growing criticisms

2 reports coming out this week, one heavily criticised the performance of Medicare Locals and the other slamming the Personally Controlled Electronic Record.


Firstly, under the banner headline reading the “Locals are unhealthy”, the published an article damning the ML structure and cost. In the same vein the Sunday Telegraph of February 16, wrote that “LABOR’S “dud’’ Medicare Locals will be rebadged and redesigned after GPs complained that the $1.8 billion bureaucracy is failing to deliver real services to patients. Senior government sources have revealed that a review into the system has confirmed some sites are underperforming. Staff working at Medicare Locals also hate the name, complaining patients think they can claim Medicare refund there or actually see a doctor”.


The Medical Observer on the 18th February, 2014 released an article entitled “‘Garbled and confused’: trust in e-health dives”.  Surprisingly, the latest criticism of the billion-dollar scheme comes from former National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) chief clinical lead, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal. His two main criticisms centred on history recordings – the order of visits were jumbled and “Information labelled ‘past’ and ‘current’ in the original patient history also became mixed up in the PCEHR”.


In September of last year the division warned of the mish-mash nature of the Shared Health Summary. We stated “that every item from the Past History that has not been flagged as Confidential will be contained in this Health Summary. Without care this could be a long and messy list, full of duplications and trivial items!

We raise these issues because the structure of the Shared Health Summary is going to “punish” those GPs who have been diligent in keeping accurate histories which show there is a clear distinction between Current History (Summary box ticked plus Active) and Past History (Summary box ticked plus Inactive). The Shared Health Summary will “re-scramble” that good work. In addition the non-GP recipients of the Shared Health Summaries will find them, in many cases, to be a ‘dog’s breakfast’. “


Admittedly NeHTA is working with vendors and its own Clinical Usability Program (CUP) to resolve these issues but it is a slow process. Let’s hope that Dr Haikerwal’s intervention speeds up the process so that the PCEHR becomes a useful tool.


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Chronic Disease Management

Professional Development Grants Program in Diabetes

DA–Vic has announced the opening of the 2014 Gwen Scott Diabetes Professional Development Grants Program. The program provides financial support to DA–Vic health professional members to further their knowledge and understanding of diabetes, management strategies, health promotion and to widen their network opportunities. All forms are available here.


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Continuing Professional Development

CPR updates for 2014

NEVDGP is planning to run more CPR updates again this year.

We are currently in the process of finding a suitable venue and as soon as we have confirmation of dates and location we will advertise the event in the enews and on our website.


GPA accreditation webinars

GPA are excited to announce a new series of webinars, developed with the intention of providing specific training on the Standards.

If you miss the webinars, you can also view them at the following link to Youtube


Surgical Skills Updates for GPs

Hands on workshop - At RACS skills lab.

From lumps and bumps, digital blocks, excisions and suturings to wedge resection, an update on clinical and surgical skills. 

There are currently two courses scheduled for March and April: additional courses later.

·         Minor Surgery for GPs on Saturday:  22 March and Sunday 23 March.  Further details are available here. Includes haemorrhoids , eyes, fracture management and joints.

·         Surgical Office Skills (SOS) for GPs: Wednesday 23 April (1pm to 8pm).  Further details are available here.

The mid-week Surgical Office Skills for GP course is designed and conducted by Associate Prof Maurice Brygel, Director of the Melbourne Hernia Clinic. Pre-reading material is available online at

For more information, including costs and registration, phone 03 9525 9077 or email or


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Improvements to Correspondence windows, new patient and Edit menus

1.      The Scan/Import Correspondence, Holding File and Actioned Items windows now have a new Patient menu from which you can select either the current patient record (Patient >Open Patient) or any patient from the patient database (Patient >Open...)

2.      The Check Holding File window now has an Edit menu from which you can copy results not scanned or imported (i.e. they are in an editable text format).


This week’s MD problem - How do I print a list of items marked as Return Urgently?

1.      From the Medical Director front screen select Correspondence > Actioned Items to open the Actioned Items window.

2.      Filter the Date Checked column (select a required date range).

3.      Filter the Notation column to display Return Urgently only.

4.      Highlight the results you wish to print, by using the CTRL or SHIFT key (in standard Windows fashion). Alternatively, you can select all items simultaneously by clicking the Select All link.

5.      Click the Print List button.


General Computer Tip - Using LogMeIN

LogMeIn is a program which allows you to remotely access another computer, e.g. get into your work Medical Director from home. Until July 21, 2014 LogMeIn provided a free version for this. The Pro version is now worth $US49.00/year and is well worth the money, mainly because:

1.      That is cheap for what it provides

2.      It allows you to set up two users so for $US49 you can set up remote access for 2 of your doctors

3.      It automatically sets you to print to your local printer – this means you can log into MD at work from home, and print documents and scripts directly to your home printer!! How good is that!!!!?

Plus there are other features that I haven’t gone into yet, just loving the 2 users and local printing.


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Items of Interest

Updating NEV Website

Over the years the NEVDGP website has been a very much used repository of resources for GP practices, divisions and now Medicare Locals. We wish to continue this fine tradition, but with our limited human and financial resources (unlike other well-funded healthcare support organisations), we have had some difficulty in keeping the website up-to-date. However we are putting in a big effort to update the website, find and replace broken links and remove obsolete resources.

All this will take time so we apologise if you have problems with the website. So far we have updated the sections on:

·         Mental Health

·         Accreditation

·         Immunisation

The Patient Information Section maintained by Dr Colin Adams is still very well up-to date.

Over the next few weeks we will chip away at other sections turning the website into a leaner but still very useful resource-packed website. Any suggestions gratefully accepted by contacting Noel or Wendy at the division.


Older Australians misunderstand GPs due to hearing loss

Nearly one in four older Australians (21%) say they experience difficulties when visiting their General Practitioner (GP) due to their hearing loss, according to new research by Australian Hearing. The research, which surveyed over 1,300 Australians aged over 50, suggests that healthcare professionals may need to consider additional types of communication with hearing impaired patients to ensure compliance with medication directions.

As a result of poor hearing, 14 per cent of those surveyed said they felt embarrassed to ask their GP to repeat sentences and 10 per cent find it hard to follow directions about medications.

Janette Thorburn, Principal Audiologist from Australian Hearing says it is worrying that people with poor hearing could be at risk of misinterpreting medical advice simply because they are embarrassed to ask their GP to repeat instructions. “It’s important for GPs to confirm with patients who have hearing difficulties that they have fully understood their instructions,” Janette said.

For more information visit


GP Network News

This week’s edition is available here.


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News for Practice Staff

Thriving Through Change 

APNA's National Conference will be held on 30 and 31 May 2014 at the Hilton Sydney. Click here for flyer and more information.


Nurse Immuniser Program

The Academic Centre at the University of Melbourne is now offering the Nurse Immuniser Program, recognised by the Chief Health Officer. This is a distance education program specifically designed for Division 1 Registered Nurses who wish to become independent nurse immunisers in Victoria. Program details can be found here.


APNA newsletter

The latest APNA newsletter with Immunisation updates is here.


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Women’s Health

BreastScreen Victoria responds to Canadian research on mammography

BreastScreen Victoria continues to recommend that women, particularly those aged 50-69, remain vigilant in having their regular breast screen every two years. This statement is in response to recent reports on a Canadian study questioning the benefits of breast screening. See here.


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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


Montmorency - GP needed to join 10 doctor busy family practice. Accredited, purpose built clinic. Fully computerized. Flexible hours. Supported by Div 1 nurses, pathology on site. No AH or on-call, excellent remuneration and support. Call Kay on 03 9435 1144 or Email:


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Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman asked her, "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?"

She simply replied, "No peer pressure."


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And remember


            … Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.