North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1009: March 25, 2010
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:

Chronic Disease Management            Heart Research Centre training       

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      Update in hypertension and risk reduction for Acute Coronary Syndrome, Searching for HMR Patients, What's the definition of 'resident' for PBS purposes? Information Resource for Arabic Speakers         

Immunisation                                       Immunisation Reminder       

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Doctor Shopping for OxyContin, NEMICS Professional Development Grants, Bringing Your Baby Home, GP Network News         

News for Practice Staff                       University Of Melbourne Practice Nurse Course     

Paediatrics                                           Infant Sleep Management, Child & Adolescent Mental Health      

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Chronic Disease Management

Heart Research Centre training

The Heart Research Centre is offering a range of training for health professionals working with patients who have a chronic disease.

22 – 23 April - Supporting chronic disease self management at Warilda Conference Centre, Brisbane

10 – 14 May - Five day training program in cardiovascular disease rehabilitation and prevention at Graduate House, The University of Melbourne

For more information on these and other courses later in the year, visit our website.


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Continuing Professional Development

New Fair Work Australia Awards for General Practice

Wednesday April 14, 7- 9pm (Registration: 6:30pm) at John Scott Meeting House, Latrobe University [Map] Presented by: VHIA for GPs, Practice Managers & Practice Nurses. Click here for flyer.


Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Organ & Tissue Donation at the Austin: Practice and Innovation” presented by Dr Steve Warrilow & the Austin Tissue & Organ Donation (ATOD) Clinicians

Wednesday 31st March 12:30pm John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Lance Townsend Building Opposite Medical Library. PRECEEDED BY lunch in Education Precinct Breakout Area at 12 noon.


GP Lecture Program

The first lecture for Term 2 is on April 13th. For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


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Home Medicines Review

HMR meeting - Update in hypertension and risk reduction for Acute Coronary Syndrome

Wednesday 7 April, 7-9pm, refreshments from 6:30pm (main speaker Dr Ali Al’Fiadh, cardiologist, Austin 7.45pm) in Northern Division training room. For GPs, Practice Nurses & Pharmacists. The session will cover: Guideline approach; Evidence for risk reduction; Evidence for use of various antihypertensive drug therapies; Emerging concerns regarding frequency of use, adverse effects; Adherence issues and Case examples; HMRs (Item 900) - Working together GPs, Practice staff, and pharmacists

This session is eligible for 4 CPD points (GPs); 2 CPE points (Pharmacists – Cat 1 activity). Enquiries to Jenny Gowan on Tel. 8480 4611. RSVP by FaxBack. Click here for flyer.


Searching for HMR Patients

Follow this link to documents on the GP NSW website that show how to use Medical Director, Best Practice and the Pen CAT tool in searching patients suitable for HMR.


What's the definition of 'resident' for PBS purposes?

This and other related questions answered here


Information Resource for Arabic Speakers

Australia’s growing population of Arabic speakers now has access to a translated brochure explaining what they need to know about their medicines. The Medimate brochure contains information about prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and natural and herbal medicines. It includes advice about how to use medicines safely, managing multiple medicines and keeping healthy with and without medicines. The brochures are available from NPS at no cost. To order some for your pharmacy go to or call 02 8217 8700. To view a copy of the research report into the medicines issues for Arabic speakers in Australia, go to


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Immunisation Reminder

Try to give ALL the age related child scheduled vaccines in a timely manner. If this does not happen especially with the 2 month doses, then the child is at risk of not being able to have the Oral Rotavirus vaccine as this cannot be given after the end of the 12th week of age. For more information, phone Wendy on 9496 4333 or email


Eligibility for Free Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

A fact sheet for extended eligibility for free seasonal influenza vaccine under the National Immunisation Program is available here.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Finding patients on a class of drugs

Sometimes you want to find a particular group of patients from a class of drugs, for example all those on beta blockers or anti diabetic agents. This can be handy for a number of reasons, such as when doing audits or data cleansing; for example finding those patients on anti-diabetic agents who don’t have diabetes condition recorded. To do this:

1.      No patient record open

2.      Select Search then Patient…

3.      Click on the Currently taking drug from class radio button

4.      Select Antidiabetic agents (or other class of drugs) and click on Search.


This weeks IM problem - Using date ranges for recalls

Question: When I recall patients 1 month ahead I get a lot fewer patients in the list compared to when I put in a date range for the next month. Shouldn’t they be the same?

Answer: When you put in a date range of one month ahead it only picks up those patients that fall in that specific date range. When you select 1 month (or the other choices – 1 week, 2 weeks, I month, 2 months etc.) it picks up, not only the recalls for the next month, but also all the past recalls that have not been actioned. These could go back for years!!


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Items of Interest

Doctor Shopping for OxyContin

General practitioners are reminded that an unfamiliar or transient patient who is seeking a prescription for high-dose OxyContin (40mg or 80mg) tablets is unlikely to be taking such a high-dose narcotic analgesic unless they have already been taking it continuously for some time. 

General practitioners should therefore consider even one prescription will represent part of treatment for a period greater than 8 weeks and should immediately apply for a permit if they propose to prescribe the medication - even on only one occasion.

Similar consideration should also be given to patients seeking prescriptions for higher-dose oral morphine preparations. For any queries please contact Department of Health 1300 364 545.


North Eastern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (NEMICS) Professional Development Grants

In order to support clinicians working with patients with cancer, NEMICS is once again offering professional development grant funding. Further information and application guidelines can be found on the NEMICS website at 


Bringing Your Baby Home

A free workshop for parents experiencing the transition to parenthood, or who have a baby up to twelve months of age. Click here for flyer and registration form.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA welcomes investment in general practice training places, H1N1 influenza update, Draft clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of depression


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News for Practice Staff

University Of Melbourne Practice Nurse Course

The University of Melbourne, Department of General Practice has invested in practice nurses by developing the Certificate/Diploma of Primary Care Nursing delivered by distance education. The format supports nurses who often have busy lives or with limited access to educational facilities in rural areas. It has been developed by experienced practice nurses and general practitioners to suit the needs of general practice nurses in areas (chronic disease, risk management, health promotion, women’s health, mental health and youth health) that will complement previous experience and expand your scope of practice. Spaces are available for second semester 2010.

Further details: or call Ms Bernie Cooper, course administrator on 03 8344 7275. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.


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Infant Sleep Management

A workshop for all health professionals working with infants and parents from the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI). The latest on how to manage infant sleep - speakers will provide “how to” handouts and resources that provide detailed steps.

Tuesday 13th April 9am-3pm at John Lindell Theatre – Austin Health, Heidelberg. Cost: $180 - lunch and morning tea provided. Enquiries to Dr Carol Newnham, Parent Infant Research Institute (03) 9496 4496


Child & Adolescent Mental Health

Practical Paediatrics Program Part 1 -  latest update on approaching and managing suspected drug, alcohol or substance abuse, eating disorders and disordered eating, suspicions of child neglect or abuse and tips on navigating mental health services for children and adolescents.

Thursday, April 15th 7-9pm - 6:30pm register & light refreshments at Royal Children’s Hospital – Vernon Collins Lecture Theatre. Flyer.


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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


Northcote - F/T P/T VR GP or Subsequent Trainee GP position. Fully accredited, computerised, long established doctor owned practice in a new purpose built facility with a fabulous work environment. Ancillary Health, Pharmacy and Pathology services on site. Inquiries Diane Cronin (Practice Manager) 9481 1214. Visit our website

Practice Staff

Heidelberg - Div 1 Practice Nurse required for 2 school friendly shifts per week. Hours negotiable and flexible.  Knowledge of medical software required (Medical Director 3 & Pracsoft). Duties include chronic disease management, care plans, health assessments, processing recalls, immunisations and wound management. Please email your CV to


Ivanhoe - Part-time medical receptionist wanted. Some medical reception experience would be best but good customer/patient communication is essential as well as a friendly, and professional manner; excellent phone manner, communication and computer skills. Please e-mail

Positions wanted

Eltham/Warrandyte area – Female GP looking for permanent locum work, preferably in an outer metro practice. Can start immediately. Call 0418 522 009.


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Bad memory

A couple in their 80's were having problems remembering things, so they decided to the go the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they are physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. His wife asks, "Where are you going?" "To the kitchen for a drink," he replies. She asks, “Will you get me piece of cake?" The husband says, "Sure." She gently reminds him, "Don't you think you should write it down so you don't forget it?" He says, "No, I can certainly remember that!"

Then the woman says, "Well, I'd like some strawberries on top. You'd better write it down because I know you'll forget it." The man replies, "I can remember that! You want some cake with strawberries."

She adds, "I'd also like whipped cream on top. Now I'm certain you're gonna forget that, so you'd better write it down ok." Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down woman! I can remember that! Cakewith strawberries! And whipped cream!" He goes into the kitchen grumbling.

After about 30 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "Where's my toast?"


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And remember


            …… The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.