North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1424: July 23, 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                                                Government bending over backwards on Health Assessments, but nurses’ time is neither ‘in’ nor ‘out’ 

Chronic Disease Management            Getting started         

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       GSK Immunisation Grants    

Information Management                  Medical Director, Best Practice & General Computer Tips

Items of interest                                  Abuse and violence in Australian communities, NEMICS Newsletter, GP Network News          

Men’s Health                                        New resources from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

News for Practice Staff                       APNA’s Management of Medical Emergencies in the General Practice Setting Workshop, Nursing scholarships, APNA newsletter

Paediatrics                                           Australian Doctor Paediatrics seminar       

Women’s Health                                  ThinkGP Women's Health Series, Supporting newly arrived & immigrant women to access cancer screening 

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

Government bending over backwards on Health Assessments, but nurses’ time is neither ‘in’ nor ‘out’

In further developments reported in the online Medical Observer over the last few days, the MBS debacle on Health Assessment items has taken more twists and turns than a ‘Roy & HG’ commentary.

In Pythonesque style, the Government has again apologised about the items, this time for what they claim is incorrect information being provided by staff on the MBS phone advice hotline whilst written clarification is yet to be released.

Ambiguous statements from DHS hint that nurses’ time can be included when applying the appropriate time-based items but this is not supported anywhere in writing and is emphatically contradicted by the MBS phone advice 132 150 hotline.

When a written request was made on 4th July to for clarification of the simple example MBS had earlier published themselves (i.e. What item applies when a nurse spends 30 minutes assisting with the Health Assessment and the doctor spends 40 minutes completing it?), the formal response two weeks later was that they were unable to provide an answer to that question, instead referring it to ‘National Office’ for clarification.

Today, we have been assured by the Government, again, that written clarification will be released within the next few days. This is now the 4th consecutive week they have said that, so we should at least acknowledge their consistency.

We hope next week’s NEVDGP editorial will be the last on this matter. Meanwhile, if you want to follow the thread, click these links.

GPs still being told to stop claiming nurses’ time – Medical Observer July 21, 2014
DHS apologises for practice nurse Medicare bungle – Medical Observer July 22, 2014


Otherwise, in summary, it’s a ‘Double-Twist’ on a ‘Backflip’, ‘Half-Pike’, ‘Hello Boys’… ending in a ‘Flat Bag’. That’s a world record by the bureaucratic gold medallists and we can’t see it being beaten anytime soon.


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Chronic Disease Management

Getting started

Thursday 31 July 9.30am – 3pm. 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.


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Continuing Professional Development

Supporting newly arrived & immigrant women to access cancer screening

Wednesday 6 August. See under Women's Health. 


Australian Doctor Paediatrics seminar

Saturday 11 October. See under Paediatrics.


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GSK Immunisation Grants

The GSK Immunisation Grants is one of Australia’s longest standing programs encouraging innovation and sharing best practice for immunisation providers. Four grants of $20,000 each are available with applications closing Friday 15 August. Applicants are asked to provide details on initiatives that will have a positive impact on childhood and/or adult immunisation in their local community. Visit for more information or to apply.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Adding extemporaneous preparations to the Medication list

You can use the Recipes function in Medical Director to enter recipes for preparations into the drug database. This is especially useful for adding extemporaneous preparations and keeping a record of complementary medicines in the patient’s current medication screen.

Adding user-defined Preparations (recipes)

1.      From the Clinical menu select Recipes... The User Defined Preparations window is displayed.

2.      Click the Add button and the Extemporaneous Preparation window is displayed - enter the appropriate information for this recipe and click Save. The Recipe is saved into the Medical Director drug database and can be added to the current medication list.

3.      You can now “prescribe” this item through the usual script writing process, and in the case of complementary medicines you can mark the item product advised elsewhere when prescribing.


This week’s MD problem - Using the “Notify” button

Question: When discussing Results with a patient I know how to use the “Notify” button, but are there other uses for it?

Answer: Yes, you can use the “Notify” button for any of the correspondence items – this includes Investigations, Letters and Documents as well as Actioned items (found under Correspondence menu). You will notice at the bottom of each of the Correspondence screens there is a “Notify” button (as well as other buttons). By clicking the “Notify” button you add the notification date and the person who did the notifying. So, notifying is not restricted to just Investigation items as it once was.


1.      A slightly shorter way of notifying is to right click on the row of the item and select “Notify”.

2.      There is no “Notify” option when in the holding file; you must be in the patient’s record.


Best Practice Tip - Adding custom preparations to the Medication list

You can use the Custom prescription preparation function in Best Practice to enter recipes for preparations into the drug database. This is especially useful for adding extemporaneous preparations and keeping a record of complementary medicines in the patient’s current medication screen.

Adding Custom Prescription Preparations (recipes)

1.      From the main menu (no patient record open) go to Setup menu and select Custom preparations.

2.      Once the Custom prescription preparation screen appears click on the Add button.


You can add the details of your recipe in the Custom prescription item window.

4.      Click all fields and Save when complete and your preparation will be added to the Custom preparations database.

5.      Prescribe as you normally would from the Current Rx but click on Custom radio button which will display all your recipes.

6.      Click on the Next button to enter the dose frequency and instructions and other details, as you would for any new prescription. 


Best Practice problem - Marking a Correspondence inbox item as “Notified”

Question:  When correspondence is in the In-box and it is marked as an “Action”, (such as “Non-urgent appointment “), there is no “Notified “button to mark off when you see the patient, so it languishes on the Action list. How do I mark it as “Notified”?

Answer: A bit fiddly but can be solved:

1.      Right click on the correspondence item and select “Move to Investigations”.

2.      When in Investigations, click on the “Notified “ button.

3.      Right click on the item again and select move to  Correspondence

(Thank you to Dr Alan McCleary for solving this problem)


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Items of Interest

Abuse and violence in Australian communities - Working with our patients in general practice

Abuse and violence in families affects an alarming number of Australians on a daily basis and GPs are in a unique position to help curb the epidemic through prevention, identification and response.

To best support GPs in their efforts to deal with abuse and violence, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released the latest version of its Abuse and violence: working with our patients in general practice, 4th edition guidelines (the White book).


NEMICS Newsletter

For the NEMICS July 2014 Newsletter click here.


GP Network News

This week’s edition can be found here.


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Men’s Health

New resources from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has produced a new suite of resources for Australian men, their families and the wider community looking for additional guidance following a prostate cancer diagnosis. Resources include an information pack plus details about support groups and more. To order resources or for further information please call 1800 22 00 99.


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News for Practice Staff

APNA’s Management of Medical Emergencies in the General Practice Setting Workshop

Management of the emergency patient is a subject familiar to primary health care nurses working in general practice. APNA has a specially designed course on Saturday 23 August for primary health care nurses working in the general practice setting. For more information click here or contact APNA on (03) 9669 7400 or via


Nursing scholarships

For information on the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme click here.


APNA newsletter

See here for the latest APNA newsletter.


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Australian Doctor Paediatrics seminar

Saturday 11 October 8am: registrations; 8:30am - 3.25pm: Paediatrics seminar; 3.25pm - 5.00pm: CPR (optional) at Law Building, University of Melbourne.

Topics: Differentiating infectious and non-infectious rashes in children; Failure to thrive; Deliberate self-harm in adolescents; The limping child; Obesity in children.

Click here for further information or contact Alice Wearne at or phone 02 8484 0822.


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Women’s Health

ThinkGP Women's Health Series

Dr. Caroline West explores how to approach fertility planning in general practice. She dissects the modifiable lifestyle factors to decrease the gap between fertility aspirations and fertility attainment.

Factors that influence fertility in primary care and Promoting awareness of factors that affect fertility in primary care.


Supporting newly arrived & immigrant women to access cancer screening

Wednesday 6 August 10am - 2:15pm at Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Click 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


North East After Hours GP Clinic - Austin Health is seeking an Expression of Interest from General Practitioners who would like an opportunity to work casual shifts in our clinic which is attached to the Austin Emergency dept. We offer competitive rates and our opening hours are: Monday to Friday: 7pm – 11pm; Saturday: 2pm – 8pm; Sunday: 4pm – 10pm.

To register your interest please contact Hana Wellington – Practice Manager  Tel: (03) 9469 3627.


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


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).


Reservoir - Summerhill Medical Centre is seeking Full Time/Part Time Div 1 Nurses (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. The practice is computerised and accredited. Phone John on 0403 178 141 or email -


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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And remember


            always take life with a grain of salt... plus a slice of lemon... and a shot of tequila.