North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1440: November 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:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Summer hibernation of NEV staff, Dr Don McColl Re-elected to NMML Board           

Aboriginal Health                                Indigenous Conferences

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Information Management                  Medical Director, Best Practice & General Computer Tips

Items of interest                                  Austin Health ED new computer system, GP Network News

News for Practice Staff                       Nurse Led Primary Care Collaborative, Nurse Scholarships available

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

Summer hibernation of NEV staff

Next week’s eNews (November 26, 2014) will be the last eNews of the year. Wendy Reid, Noel Stewart and Patty Marshall will be going on extended leave over December and January.

The reason behind this is to do with the uncertainty surrounding the establishment of the new Primary Health Networks and what role, if any, the North East Valley will play. This will not become clear until the tender process for the PHNs is complete and the PHNs become operational in July 2015.

Meanwhile we are still contactable by email if you have any burning issues that can be resolved by email:

·         Wendy:

·         Noel:

·         Patty:


Thank you for your support over the years and for the future, if we were to continue beyond June 2015.


Dr Don McColl Re-elected to NMML Board

Dr Don McColl a senior Rosanna GP and a strong supporter of NEV has been re-elected to the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local Board of Governance . Don was formerly a Board member of the NMML but despite a strong record of supporting the role of General Practice in this position, and as one of only two full time GPs on the Board he was overlooked in favour of increased corporate representation at the previous review of NMML Board positions.

Don brings a passionate interest in the role of General Practice and the support of General Practitioners & their staff  to the position and will be a real asset to this Board in representing the primacy of General Practice in the provision of Primary Care services. Unfortunately, Don’s role and therefore his opportunity to influence policy direction will cease along with the rest of the NMML Board on June 30th 2015 when the NMMLs charter expires, due to the commencement of the PHNs. 

The Division would like to express its full support for Don’s Board role in the last 6 months of the experiment that was Medicare Locals.


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Aboriginal Health

Indigenous Conferences

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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Continuing Professional Development

healthdirect Symptom Checker

With over 80% of Australians seeking health information online, it is clear that the web is now a key companion to health decision-making. Given the abundance of health information available online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for patients to recognise which information can be relied upon.
This week ThinkGP invites you to take part in a piece of sponsored video education about the healthdirect Symptom Checker – an online tool designed to provide trustworthy health advice for patients seeking real-time answers to health concerns.
In this video, a National Clinical Panel describes how the healthdirect Symptom Checker aims to improve health literacy by helping patients access appropriate health service in a safe timeframe. Click here to view the video.

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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Turning off Save in Past History

The last week’s hint was stressing how important it is to record the “Reason for contact” for every contact with a patient. Dr Alan McCleary, agreed with this advice, but...

... “my one concern re your advice here is that you have not emphasised the importance of turning off the “Summary” box in MD unless it is a new diagnosis that needs to be added to the Health Summary. Otherwise the so called Health Summary isa long list of the reason for every visit ever recorded. Not very much a Summary but a Big Headache”.


So true, we can save you the 1½ seconds it takes to uncheck the Save in PMH box (I know all those 1½ seconds add up for the busy GP).

  1. Don’t have a patient record open,
  2. Tools >Options >Progress Notes
  3. Remove tick from Save in PMH


You can also turn it off when prescribing – less of an imperative and not recommended as you are more likely to want to save in a “reason” in past history when prescribing:

  1. Open patient record
  2. Tools >Options >Prescribing
  3. Remove tick from Save in PMH


This week’s MD problem - Use of confidential in history summaries

Question:  We are trying to encourage GPs enrolled in our study to appropriately ‘code’ conditions such as chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease and epididymitis by selecting items in their medical records software instead of writing these diagnoses as free text. Some GPs have said that they are reluctant to do this, as they do not feel that it is appropriate for a chlamydia diagnosis to show on a patient’s history if they are referred on to a specialist for an unrelated issue. My question is whether ticking the ‘confidential’ box, or unticking the ‘summary’ box on the ‘New History Item’ or ‘Reason for Medication’ dialogue boxes would help to keep this item off the patient’s summary?

Answer: Marking a past history item as “confidential” ensures that the condition does not appear on a printed summary (such as a referral). This is the accepted way for a GP to work. They need to know if they are then referring to a specialist where the Chlamydia is relevant they need to remove the tick from Confidential. This is the accepted and correct way of doing it. Those GPs who are using free text are simply doing it the wrong way.

Ticking the summary box is a way of making sure that history item is an important history item and it will appear on printed summaries. Deselecting the tick in summary will make sure that the item won’t print but in the case of recording chlamydia, this is the wrong way of going about it.

The so-called “reluctant” GPs need to be educated on the correct way of recording histories. In summary, for an important history item tick the summary box and tick or untick the Confidential box as appropriate.


Best Practice Tip - Turning off Save in Past History

The last week’s hint was stressing how important it is to record the “Reason for visit” for every contact with a patient. Dr Alan McCleary, agreed with this advice, but...

... “my one concern re your advice here is that you have not emphasised the importance of turning off the “Summary” box in MD unless it is a new diagnosis that needs to be added to the Health Summary. Otherwise the so called Health Summary is long list of the reason for every visit every recorded. Not very much a Summary but a Big Headache”.

So true, we can save you the 1½ seconds it takes to uncheck the Save in PMH box (I know all those 1½ seconds add up for the busy GP).

There is a Preference setting to do this for you for the 4 dialogue boxes where there is the Add to Past history option:

Diagnosis window       Procedure window      Reason for visit window              Past History window

We can save you the 1½ seconds it takes to uncheck the Add to Past history checkbox (I know all those 1½ seconds add up for the busy GP).


Don’t have a patient record open

2.      Setup >Preferences >Clinical

3.      Remove the tick(s) from Always ‘Add to Past history’ checkbox(es)


Note: You can also turn it off when prescribing – less of an imperative and not recommended as you are more likely to want to save in a “reason” in past history when prescribing:

1.      No patient record open

2.      Setup >Preferences >Clinical  - Remove tick from “Always Add to PMH”





Best Practice problem - Ensuring medications “prescribed elsewhere” are recorded in Today’s notes

Question: For a long time I have wondered why when I enter a new medication it does not appear in the Progress Notes, unless I print it. Then ‘Medication X printed’ is recorded.  How do I ensure that it is recorded?

Answer: You are missing one important step.  When prescribing a new medication and you reach the Quantity and Repeats screen there is a pick box at the bottom “General Note” where you may indicate if the medication was commenced here, hospital, specialist, Patient, elsewhere, or sample pack given.  If one of these is highlighted then magically a record appears in the Progress Notes stating the medication was added and by whom. Quite useful really although it does take a whole mouse click to achieve.

(Thank you to Dr Alan McCleary for this tip)


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Items of Interest

Austin Health Emergency Department new computer system: how does this affect GPs?

The ED at Austin Health is upgrading its clinical information system on Wednesday 19th November, 2014. The aim is to improve patient care and simplify the work of ED clinicians by aligning the ED’s clinical information system more closely with that of the rest of the hospital.

The ED remains committed to providing a discharge summary to local medical officers outlining the care of patients presenting to the ED. This will continue, though the format will change and you will now receive ED discharge summaries directly into your practice software.

Whilst this new system will bring many improvements, there will be a change to the faxed GP notification letters. There will no longer be a reference to a ‘Provisional Diagnosis’ however we encourage follow up with the discharge summary and/or a phone call to the Unit’s Hospital Medical Officer.

It is also possible that in a small number of cases, if your patient happens to be in the ED during the upgrade, you may receive both the contemporary discharge summary and the new version. If this occurs and causes some confusion, please contact Dr Wendy Fisher, GP Liaison Officer, or email  


GP Network News

This week’s edition can be found here.


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News for Practice Staff

Nurse Led Primary Care Collaborative - Last opportunity to apply
For the first time the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program (APCC) is offering places in a new nurse led quality improvement program, the Practice Nurse Lead Program. See here for information.

Nurse scholarships available – up to $1,000 (inc GST)

PapScreen Victoria is offering financial assistance for Victorian Registered Nurses (Division 1) to become cervical screening providers. The deadline for applications is Monday 8 December 2014 and successful applicants are required to commence an endorsed Pap test provider training course in 2015. Visit for course providers, eligibility requirements and to complete an application online. Enquiries: Kirsten Hausknecht, Community Health Professionals Coordinator on 03 9514 6425 or


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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.


headspace Collingwood - currently seeking part-time or sessional GPs. A position is available for an enthusiastic and compassionate GP/s to join our team which consist of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Youth Workers, Alcohol and Drug Counsellors and specialist Div 1 nurses. GPs with an interest in one or more of the following: mental health, sexual health, drug and alcohol, nutrition and with a genuine interest in young people between the ages of 12 to 25 should apply. To find out more and obtain a position description, please contact Janina De Silva, Practice Manager on 9417 0150 or


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


Hurstbridge – Wonderful opportunity available for VR GP to join our fully computerised, accredited Medical Centre located Outer Metro in a lovely leafy semi-rural environment.  A fabulous, friendly work environment with Nursing staff support and Ancillary Health.  Contact Heather Fisher (Practice Manager) 9718 2611, 0407 355 035 or


Ivanhoe Medical Clinic – an opportunity exists for VR GP to join this modern, computerized medical clinic. Large supportive group (12 GPs), FT nurses, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly, flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact:- Dr Stephen Smith – 9499 1245.


South Morang Medical Centre seeking VR GP – would suit male wanting part-time afternoon sessions and some Sat am.  Contact Wendy Reichstein (9436 4222) 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

Coburg – Casual receptionists required to join our Customer Service Team. As the first point of contact to patients and visitors, you will play a vital role in the Practice with your key responsibilities being meeting and greeting patients, answering the phone calls and making appointments, processing payments, managing patient records and general administration duties. Email your resume to


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


Eltham - Practice Nurse required for a friendly, busy computerised accredited General Practice. Must have a min of 2 years Practice experience; be competent with Medical Director, Microsoft Excel & Word and knowledge of MBS billing and chronic disease management desirable. Hours: 8:30am to 3pm -Thurs & Friday and alt Wed. (Possibility to extend hours). Please send resume to The Practice Manager, 700 Main Road, Eltham or email:


Fitzroy North - Experienced practice nurse required by Northside Clinic, a general practice that specialises in HIV management, sexual health and GP services for the GLBTI Community. Three days per week Monday - Wednesday 8.30am - 5.00pm. Contact Roslyn Borg, Manager on (03) 9485 7714 or email for a position description.


Fitzroy North – Seeking to employ a casual receptionist with the potential of the position becoming permanent.  Excellent working conditions and remuneration offered, some Saturday morning's may be required. Contact Roslyn Borg, Business Manager on (03) 9485 7714 or email for a position description.


Heidelberg - Practice Nurse required by Mount Street Medical Centre. Previous experience in General Practice or RDNS is desirable. Two days per week – Wednesday and Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm with a view to increase to three days per week. See here for more detail or contact Janina De Silva, Manager on (03) 9459 1100 or email for a position description (Monday and Friday).

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


Positions wanted

Locum/Assistant available NOW, any session, anywhere, anytime even with short notice; Competent experienced VR GP, minimum fee $220 per hour plus travel allowance plus GST; Phone 0412 188 332.


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Self help guide

A man goes into the local library and asks the librarian if they have the ‘Self-help guide for men with small penises’.

The librarian checks the computer, looks up and says “It’s not in yet”.

The man replies “Yep, that’s the one”.


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And remember


            I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!