North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1423: July 16, 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                                                A Word from the Editor       

Aboriginal Health                                Indigenous Conferences 2014         

Chronic Disease Management            Getting started, Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association - Annual Scientific Meeting 2014    

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director, Best Practice Computer Tips

Items of interest                                  GP Network News    

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

Payment of nurses’ time for time-based health assessments, STILL NOT RESOLVED!!

Overview of last week

From the Medical Observer 11 July, 2014

“HEALTH authorities have agreed to make a clear statement upholding the role of practice nurses in performing health assessments, in a move hailed as a victory for preventive medicine in Australia.

Doctors also welcomed the speed of the reversal after the abrupt announcement on 30 June that GPs could no longer claim nurses’ contributions to timed health assessments under MBS items 701–707”.

Dr Bollen, Director of GP training at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide stated:

“The department should be congratulated for its speedy response to the problem.”
“It’s not often in this country we see something like this changed in 24 hours,”


Also quoted in the MO article was AMA president Associate Professor Brian Owler, who told MO yesterday the department had promised to work out a new guideline in coming days...

“to make it clear they will allow the nurse practitioners’ time to be included in the billing for performing the assessment”.

However, this conflicts with current advice from Medicare, confirmed on their HOTLINE 132 150 today 16 July, 2014. Most GPs are not aware that the Medicare Item Interpretation HOTLINE insists GPs CANNOT claim nurses’ time in the timed health assessments under MBS items 701-707. They still say only the time of direct GP involvement contributes towards the time basis for the item and the nurses' time counts zero.

What can we make of all this?

  1. So far, as of Wednesday July 16, NO clear written statement has come from the department to clarify the use of nurse time.
  2. All the department has agreed to do is to make a “clear statement” with “new guidelines in coming days” We are yet to see this. If the department does release a “clear statement” in coming days we can congratulate them.
  3. If no “clear statement” is made we simply ask Why is it so hard for the department to confirm in writing and in plain English, that a nurse’s time can be included in the billing for performing the time-based health assessment?”


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Aboriginal Health

Indigenous Conferences 2014

National Indigenous Men's Conference, National Indigenous Women's Conference: October 13-15 in Cairns.

World Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference: December 8-10 in Cairns

The World Indigenous Health Conference: December 15-17 in Cairns.

For more information and registration click here.


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Chronic Disease Management

Getting started

Diabetes Australia – Vic’s Getting Started program is a 5 hour group education session for people with type 2 diabetes who are newly diagnosed or have not had diabetes education in the past. Programs are run by a Diabetes Educator and Dietitian, who will provide participants with valuable information to help get them started with their diabetes management. See here.


Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association - Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. See here.


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Continuing Professional Development

Minor Surgery for General Practitioners

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July at Skills Laboratory, RACS Skills & Education Centre, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Corner of Spring Street and Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

This program aims to enhance the surgical skills required for minor surgical procedures most likely to be carried out by GPs in rural or remote settings where specialists are not readily available.

For more information and registration click here.


Whooping Cough
ThinkGP invites you to take part in this module, exploring the stages of whooping cough (pertussis) through catarrh, paroxysm and convalescence. Refresh your knowledge around diagnosing whooping cough in patients presenting with symptoms similar to those of the common cold. The activity also examines the clinical features of Whooping Cough, recalls the vaccinations used in avoidance of the infection and explores ways of reducing the number of fatal cases.
Click here to begin.

Cancer genetics and medical prevention in general practice

Wednesday 23 July, 6:30pm to 9:00pm at Seminar Room 2, Royal Melbourne Hospital Function and Convention Centre, Ground Floor, Grattan Street, Parkville.

The community is more aware than ever of family cancer risk, with GPs often the first contact for worried families. GPs need to know how to determine which of their patients are at risk and how best to advise them. For more information and registration click here.


Surgical Office Skills (SOS) for GP’s

Thursday 14 August 1pm to 8pm at Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 250-290 Spring Street (corner Latrobe Street), East Melbourne.

See here for Flyer and Registration Form.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Upgrading to latest MD version is absolutely necessary

It is recommending that all MD practices upgrade to the latest version, 3.15.2, which incorporates PCEHR enhancements. Up to July last year, MD had been generating PCEHR documents including personal contact details. In November 2013 HCN released its major version 3.15 which rectified and added PCEHR enhancements. Practices that have not upgraded to the 3.15 will need to install it from the DVD before downloading the current version 3.15.2.


This week’s MD problem - Finding all the patients in a certain age group

Question: I wish to send out a recall letter to all patients age between 45 – 49, but I want to stagger the posted recalls over a 5 week period. Can I do this?

Answer: Yes you can and it is assumed you already have a 45-49 recall mail merge letter prepared. You can just recall all the 45 year olds in the first post out, the 46 year olds for the second post out, and so on. This involves some skill in mathematics, or is that arithmetic?

For the first batch do the following:

With no patient record open:

1.      From the Search menu select Patient…

2.      Click on Other demographic criteria button

3.      In the Date of Birth field type in the age range using the following syntax:

4.      Click on OK and then the Search button
– this will display all patients  born between 01-01-1969 and 31-12-1969

5.      Once the patients are displayed, click on the Mail Merge button at the bottom of the screen, select your 45-49 year old recall letter and click OK.

In subsequent mailouts in the weeks that follow use you arithmetical skills to fill out the appropriate date range.


Best Practice Tip - Adding MIMS Product Information dosage recommendations into scripts

Once you reach the Dose, Frequency etc. window when prescribing you will notice MIMS Abbreviated Product Listing at the top of the screen. By scrolling down you will find the dose instructions at the bottom (as shown in the Panadeine Forte example below):

Dose May be taken with or without food. May admin every 4-6 hrs. Adults. Mild-mod pain: 1 tab; severe pain: 2 tabs; max 8 tabs/day. Children, 7-12 yrs: 1/2 tab; max 3 tabs/day

Highlight the text you wish to appear on the script, e.g. Dose: May be taken with or without food. May admin every 4-6 hrs. Adults. Mild-mod pain: 1 tab; severe pain: 2 tabs; max 8 tabs/day and then place the pointer in the middle of the highlighted text, right click and select Copy (this places the highlighted text in memory). Ignore the Dose and Frequency panels but place the cursor in the Complex instructions: box, right click in the free text area and select Paste – your text will appear and will be subsequently printed on the script.


Best Practice problem - Printing stored prescriptions (Batch printing)

Question: Can I print more than one patient’s script at a time?

Answer: Yes, you can. This is known as Printing stored prescriptions. It is particularly useful when you have a heap of scripts to write for an aged care facility.

Open a patient’s record and prepare a script. As you close the patient’s record you will be presented with a prompt to Print them now, Store for printing later or Discard them. Select Store for printing later.

Continue to work your way through the scripts for other patients, remembering that when closing each patient record make sure that you select the Store them for printing later option.

Once finished all the scripts close all patient records. From the Clinical menu select Stored prescriptions (or press <F9>. Click on the Select doctor drop down list and select the scripts to be printer by a particular Doctor (you). This ensures that only those scripts that you wish to print will be printed. Click on the Print button and all the unprinted scripts will now be printed. While this is happening go and do something more useful than watching a printer churn out the scripts.


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Items of Interest

GP Network News

This week’s edition can be found 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


Bundoora - Female GP with Mandarin/Cantonese speaking skills wanted to work part-time in a DWS position. Tel: 0433 155 451.


Carlton - Full Time/Part Time VR GPs wanted (flexible hours). We are a group of female medical practitioners running a high-quality, family-orientated general practice, with a practice manager, practice nurse and allied health personnel onsite (podiatrist, dietitian, psychologist and women’s physio) plus on-site pathology. The practice is fully computerised and accredited. Phone 9380 4655, Email, Web


Greensborough Road Surgery is currently seeking a Full-Time GP, approx 8 sessions pw. A position is available for an enthusiastic GP to join our team in a modern, well-equipped 10-doctor practice, offering high-quality care in an experienced and supportive environment. Private billing, computerised, 2.5 full-time nurses, (clinical CVC, and CDM.)  Contact Ann McCormack (03) 9435 0711 or email or see


Northern Suburbs - Modern and well equipped practice seeking full time VR GP's, great support from nursing and allied health, in house pathology.  Partnership available for the right candidate.  Genuine enquiries most welcome.  Please contact


Reservoir - Summerhill Medical Centre is seeking Full Time/Part Time VR GPs (flexible hours) to join a well-established practice of over 18 years. The practice is going through an unprecedented growth and is located in an ideal location only 15min from the CBD and in a shopping complex that will soon have Aldi, Coles, Kmart and IGA.  Excellent remuneration of 70% plus. The practice is computerised and accredited. Phone John on 0403 178 141 or email -


West Heidelberg - GP wanted to join a solo GP practice, part time or full time. Please call 0435 815 187 or email


Practice Staff

Bundoora - Div 1 Nurse to work part-time (Tuesday and Thursday) in a busy Practice. Good remuneration and friendly environment. Tel: 0433 155 451.


Craigieburn - Experienced Practice Nurse required for busy medical centre.  Two days per week, additional hours may be available.  Fully computerised practice. Award rates. Contact Leanne


Northcote - Division 1 Nurse. An old, established, solo, fully computerised practice with warm and friendly atmosphere is seeking a Division 1 Nurse to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 1 pm - total 12 hours. Salary: Award Rates. Contact details: Neelam Berera on 0411 196 940 (mobile).


West Heidelberg - Div 1 GP nurse wanted to join a solo GP practice. Initialy 22 hours per week. Please call 0435 815 187 or email


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Oxymoron - is a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness). There are thousands of oxymorons and while not hilariously funny you can still make fun of people, such as when someone talks of “fine English dining” you can say that’s an oxymoron. A favourite is “Microsoft Works” because generally it doesn’t.


Here are some common oxymorons:


Advanced BASIC

tragic comedy

unbiased opinion

virtual reality

definite maybe

original copies

pretty ugly

same difference

plastic glasses

almost exactly

constant variable

even odds

minor crisis

extinct life

genuine imitation

exact estimate

only choice

freezer burn

free love

working holiday

rolling stop

act naturally

alone together

Hell's Angels

found missing

liquid gas

civil engineer

deafening silence

seriously funny

living dead

Microsoft Works

military intelligence

jumbo shrimp

Great Depression

free trade

peacekeeper missile

sweet tart

crash landing

now then

butt head

sweet sorrow

student teacher

silent scream

taped live

alone together

good grief

tight slacks

living dead

near miss

light tanks

old news

hot chilli

criminal justice

peace force

open secret

larger half

mandatory option


Origin of oxymoron

Comes from Greek = oxys (sharp) and moron (foolish or dull). Hence you can see the word is an oxymoron in itself.


Continuing on with last week’s Humour theme, we attach a Youtube clip with a number of amusing “mondogreens” (misheard song lyrics). It is not suggested you play these in work time, just forward to your home email address, crank up the volume and watch and listen!  


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And remember


            …the statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.