Practice Connect #143

28 April 2022

Welcome to Practice Connect, a fortnightly update for practice managers, nurses and practice administration staff. This Winter Strategy edition focuses on immunisation, as well as relevant issues, upcoming events and education.



 Winter-Strategy.jpgWinter Strategy: Immunisation



World Immunisation Week 2022

April 24 to 30 - Long Life For all

​World Immunisation Week is celebrated in the last week of April and aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. The ultimate goal of World Immunization Week is for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The 2022 theme ‘Long Life for All’ aims to unify people around the idea that vaccines make it possible for us to follow our dreams, protect our loves ones and live a long, healthy life. World Immunisation Week is supported by the World Health Organisation and a wide range of partners including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Social Media Tool Kit 

Celebrate World Immunisation Week by sharing the World Health Organisation’s official campaign on your social media pages. Be sure to use the hashtag #LongLifeForAll

View the social media toolkit here.



2022 Influenza Immunisation Season

Vaccination against influenza is important this year with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus.

With the easing of international and domestic public health measures arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic, a resurgence of influenza is expected in 2022, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this winter.


Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated). The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds influenza vaccines for people most at risk.

The public are encouraged to start to book their appointments from mid-April to ensure the best protection at the peak of the season which is usually between June and September.
The WA Department of Health would like to provide a vaccine ordering update to immunisation providers: 



2022 Influenza Prevention Campaign

The WA Department of Health has launched the 2022 Influenza Prevention Campaign, which encourages people to have the influenza vaccine and make sure they are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccine.

The main objectives of the campaign are to:

  • increase influenza vaccination rates in Western Australia (general public, healthy cohort)
  • increase influenza vaccination rates to those eligible for the free, government-funded vaccine (at-risk cohorts)
  • raise awareness about the risk of getting seriously ill from influenza, even among healthy people
  • increase COVID-19 boosters to those who are eligible
  • reinforce the importance of preventing the spread of influenza and COVID-19.

For more information or to download and share the campaign material, visit the WA Department of Health webpage.



Immunisation Action Week 2022Imms-week.png

The Immunisation Coalition’s Immunisation Action Week is an event to raise awareness of vaccine preventable disease in Australia. 

This year, resources are being provided to the public and healthcare professionals in the ‘7 diseases in 7 days’ campaign which runs from 23rd to the 29th April. 


Diseases covered include Shingles, HPV, Meningococcal, Pertussis, Pneumococcal Disease, COVID-19 and Influenza.
The resources include messaging to use on social media as well as Instagram and Facebook posts.
Click here to download all the materials for the ‘7 Diseases in 7 Days’ campaign.



Improving the uptake of childhood immunisations

As we continue to have a high number of COVID-19 cases in Western Australia, general practices need to find a balance between treating COVID-positive patients and continuing business-as-usual activities within primary care, such as childhood immunisations.

It is important that babies and children get their vaccinations on time to ensure they have the best possible protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. As a result, this patient cohort has access to free routine vaccinations provided under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Immunisation providers can request a 10A report from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), which allows clinicians to identify patients who are recorded as being due/overdue for immunisations. The overdue records on AIR can then be reviewed against the patient records held by the practice to determine whether the patient is truly overdue or there is an error in recording or transmitting the vaccination encounter. At this point, the clinician may identify that a recall is required or whether a data error requires further follow up.
To request a 10A report, you will need to login to PRODA and access your HPOS account. For more information, refer to the Services Australia website for detailed steps on accessing this report.

If you would like further support with this important data-driven quality improvement (QI) activity, contact Practice Assist and one of WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches will be in touch as soon as possible. For assistance with clinical decision making, refer to the Childhood Immunisation pathway on HealthPathways WA.



The PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool

The Immunisation Coalition’s PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool has been created using the pneumococcal disease vaccination recommendations in the online Australian Immunisation Handbook, and has been developed to assist GPs, medical specialists and other immunisation providers to comply with them. As pneumococcal disease vaccination recommendations change, the tool will be updated by clinical experts at the Immunisation Coalition.

Catch-up pneumococcal immunisations for children less than 5 years of age are complex. Appropriate catch-up vaccines should be offered as recommended:PVT.png

You can access the PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool here.



Immunisation Myths Campaign

Vaccination remains one of the most successful and cost-effective advances in global public health, protecting children against serious diseases including measles, whooping cough and diphtheria.

To help counteract some of the myths surrounding vaccines and reassure parents they are safe, we have prepared a series of six easy to watch videos and social media posts as part of a campaign called Immunisation Myths.

These short, colourful one minute videos are aimed at debunking immunisation myths such as vaccines are unsafe, vaccines cause autism and too many vaccines overwhelm a baby’s immune system.

These videos can be watched, shared and posted to social media.





HealthPathways WA Immunisation Update

In preparation for flu season the HealthPathways WA team has recently reviewed the Influenza Immunisation pathway and is currently undertaking a review of the following pathways within the immunisation suite:

These pathway updates will soon be available via the HealthPathways WA website and will include the latest ATAGI advice on co-administering the influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccinations. There has been no change, since 2021, to the eligibility for government funded influenza immunisations.

To gain access to the site email the HealthPathways team at



2022 Immunisation – Education Available for Immunisation Providers 

There are several webinars and online modules available to update providers on the 2022 influenza immunisation program.

Immunisation Update for Practice Nurses - Register NOW

Thursday 5 May 2022 - 6.00pm to 7.30pm (AWST)

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance and Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC)
Join us for the return of our popular Immunisation Update for general practice staff.

More information here

2022 WA Health Influenza Online Education Module – now LIVE

The WA Department of Health 2022 influenza online education module is now LIVE. The influenza module has been developed to support immunisation providers to undertake an annual refresher on this topic and provides the user with up-to-date information for the upcoming 2022 influenza season.

In order to access the influenza module, as well as the full library of Immunisation Update modules, users are required to complete a registration form. Your request will be responded to within 3 working days. Please note: please look out for an email from Rise Education with a link to complete the modules.

Once access is provided, users will have two weeks to complete the module and obtain a copy of their certificate. Please note: user access to the platform will be automatically removed at the end of the two-week period. WA Health does not keep a record of any assessments or certificates, and it is up to the user to save a copy for their records


Managing seasonal respiratory viruses: Flu and SARS-CoV-2 Winter 2022

This webinar hosted by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) was recorded on Tuesday 05 April 2022, and chaired by Professor Kristine Macartney. Watch the recording to find out what you need to know to be prepared for influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in 2022.

View the webinar here



PA-Icon-3-(5).JPG   COVID-19 Updates 



Nuvaxovid (Novovax) expiry date changesPicture2-(1).png

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved a shelf-life of six months from the date of manufacture of Nuvaxovid (Novavax), provided approved storage conditions between 2°C to 8°C have been maintained.

Cartons and vials of Nuvaxovid (Novavax) were labelled with an expiry in the month/year format but continue to meet the TGA approved shelf life up to six months after the date of manufacture.

This is reflected in the revised expiry date when expressed as a day/month/year.

The changed expiry date applies to the following batch number that has been distributed:


Novavax stock at sites

This revised expiry date applies to all stock on site provided that approved storage conditions have been maintained. Please update the expiry date on any vials you have on site to reflect the revised expiry date.



Funding for non-Medicare patient COVID-19 vaccination

The Australian Government Department of Health has provided funding to WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) to allocate for the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations for non-Medicare patients. 
About the funding

  • WAPHA can reimburse general practices to the value of the relevant MBS item number to support non-Medicare patients being vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  • General practices can only be reimbursed for services administered between 4 April 2022 to 30 June 2022. 
  • Claims for some historical vaccinations may be accepted, however this would be decided on a case-by-case basis.  
  • As reimbursement can occur from now until the end of June 2022, WAPHA is keeping the process simple.  
  • The invoicing process and requirements for reports from practices will be minimal (reports would include: numbers vaccinated, dose interval and any good new stories). 

Note: To claim, practices will be required to declare reimbursement (ie. private fee charge) has not already been received for the services claimed. 
WAPHA understands some practices are not taking part in the COVID-19 vaccination program

However, practices with a large cohort of non-Medicare patients wishing to make the most of available funding can be supported to submit an expression of interest to join the program. 

Note: Being a provider of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) is a requirement for joining the COVID-19 vaccination program and sites must be able to meet relevant site requirements. 

Please contact the Practice Assist team for further information.



COVID-19 vaccination stock redistribution request issues

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) understands some practices have experienced difficulties around stock redistribution.

WA practices are currently being transitioned to the Australian Government Department of Health vaccine transfer national procedure.

This process advises practices to contact the Vaccine Operation Centre (VOC) if a local site cannot be found to receive excess stock.

However, in some cases VOC is directing some practices back to WAPHA, which we understand can be frustrating.

While we transition to the national procedure, these issues may continue.

Please continue to contact VOC in the first instance, while we assist you through this transition period and rest assured we are working with VOC to iron out these complications. 

The WAPHA stock transfer survey remains open or contact Practice Assist for support.




Check your vaccine storage space before influenza season

Practices involved in the delivery of the influenza vaccination program will soon be receiving vaccine supplies. We encourage practices taking part in the influenza and COVID-19 vaccination programs to check vaccine refrigerator capacity to ensure there is room for both types of flu vaccine or all vaccines you need to store.

Practices should be familiar with the Strive for 5 vaccine storage guidelines and ensure refrigerator temperature is maintained while holding increased amounts of vaccine stock.  

The following Practice Assist resources may also assist:



Fact Sheet: Winter COVID-19 vaccine boosters

This Australian Government Department of Health fact sheet could be used in practices to promote the COVID-19 winter booster dose to people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.


Public health and social measures to ease from Friday 

On the 26 April, the WA Government announced that from 12:01am, Friday 29 April, public health and social measures will ease in WA with:

  • masks no longer mandatory in most settings
  • new rules for close contacts with no symptoms
  • density and capacity limits lifted
  • proof of vaccination no longer required to enter businesses (still required at hospitals and residential aged care facilities)
  • G2G pass requirements lifted.

Read more here.



PA-Icon-14-(3).JPG   Digital Health Updates 



Digital Health – Check out our 'How To Series'

Over the past number of weeks we have been releasing videos and ‘how to’ fact sheets full of information in regards to Digital Health. These resources are all available by visiting our  Digital Health Toolkit webpage.
Each fortnight we upload, videos, imagery and written information on all the important Digital Health tools. All you have to do is click here to choose what way you want to learn more.
As this ‘how to’ series is new to WAPHA we would love to hear your feedback, especially on if you find the information useful and if so, what medium do you prefer it in. You can contact us with your feedback or any questions you may have via Practice Assist.



Healthdirect Video Call platform

The Department of Health has funded access to the HealthDirect Video Call platform to 30 June 2022.

This provides free Video Call access for general practitioners working in private practice and/or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

  • For GPs in private practice wanting to start using the service, please register your practice.
  • For GPs in ACCHOs wanting to start using the service, please register for access.
  • For training and education on the use of the platform, including CPD accredited webinars, see the HealthDirect portal or contact the Digital Health Team via Practice Assist.



Webinar-1-pink-(1).jpg   Other news



Provide Heart Health Checks to at-risk patients and support Heart Week (2-8 May)

One person in Australia suffers from a heart attack or stroke every four minutes. Next week is Heart Week (2-8 May) and general practices are encouraged to help raise awareness about the importance of heart health by providing Heart Health Checks to at-risk patients.
Your practice team can support Heart Week by visiting the Heart Foundation website to:

Heart Week webinar on lipid management
Tune in for the Heart Week webinar: Lipid lowering landscape: New and emerging treatment approaches on Wednesday 4 May from 7pm-8pm (AEST) via Zoom.
Hosted by the Heart Foundation in partnership with the World Heart Federation, the webinar will seek to explore the latest evidence on the management of high cholesterol in the context of cardiovascular risk reduction.
The webinar has been accredited by the RACGP for 2 CPD points (activity number: 337635, education provider: Scius Healthcare Solutions). For more information or to register your attendance, visit the webinar registration webpage.


Diagnostics Imaging Accreditation Scheme Standards and accreditation model


The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is reviewing the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Standards and Accreditation Model.
You are invited to:

  • help shape these standards by identifying the quality and safety issues patients face accessing diagnostic imaging and the strategies that will provide patients with a safe and high-quality diagnostic imaging service.
  • provide thoughts on possible accreditation models for diagnostic imaging

This consultation is open until Monday, 2 May 2022.

Diagnostic imaging is critical for health professionals to identify the cause of a patient’s symptoms and inform subsequent health care decisions. In 2017 – 2018 health professionals performed more than 27 million diagnostic images funded under Medicare.

Visit the website to complete a survey, make a submission or register to participate in an online consultation forum.



Changes to MBS rules: diagnostic imaging

From 1 May 2022, only diagnostic imaging services performed on equipment within its effective life age or maximum extended life age will attract a Medicare rebate, irrespective of where the equipment is located. The changes will ensure that patients have access to high quality diagnostic imaging services using up-to-date equipment. Under the principles of informed financial consent, providers should advise patients that no Medicare benefits are payable if the service will be rendered on out-of-date equipment. Read more.



Need assistance with quality improvement (QI) activities? WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches can help.

The next quarter for the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) commences on Sunday 1 May. The PIP QI Measures provide an opportunity for your practice to undertake QI activities that can assist with fulfilling accreditation QI requirements and PIP QI requirements.
The 10 PIP QI Measures are outlined below:
1. Proportion of patients with diabetes with a current HbA1c result.
2. Proportion of patients with a smoking status.
3. Proportion of patients with a weight classification.
4. Proportion of patients aged 65 and over who were immunised against influenza.
5. Proportion of patients with diabetes who were immunised against influenza.
6. Proportion of patients with COPD who were immunised against influenza.
7. Proportion of patients with an alcohol consumption status.
8. Proportion of patients with the necessary risk factors assessed to enable CVD assessment.
9. Proportion of female patients with an up-to-date cervical screening.
10. Proportion of patients with diabetes with a blood pressure result.
By understanding and properly implementing QI activities, your team can begin the process of regularly reviewing and refining your practice’s systems to improve patient safety, clinical outcomes, practice efficiency and professional development.
For further information, resources, tools and templates to assist with undertaking QI activities, visit the Practice Assist QI Tool Kit. If you would like support or guidance from WAPHA’s team of experienced Practice QI Coaches, email Practice Assist or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).



NPS MedicineWise Virtual Visits - Heart failure: an active role for GPs and patients  

NPS.pngNPS MedicineWise professional education by virtual visit

NPS MedicineWise are offering educational visits by video call on Heart failure: an active role for GPs and patients.

Early diagnosis of heart failure and effective management in primary care prolongs lives, keeps people out of hospital, and improves quality of life.
This topic is approved by RACGP and ACRRM and offered free to GP practices across Australia.  It can be delivered in a 30 minute video chat.
Visit the NPS MedicineWise Professional Education page for further information or to book.


Toolkit-(1).jpg   Practice Assist Tool Kit 

Our Resource Library webpage and accompanying resources have recently been reviewed.

Whilst the location of these resources has changed, the range and relevance of resources will continue to improve, they are now integrated into our Toolkit pages on our Practice Assist website.

The Toolkit provides useful fact sheets, user guides, checklists, business plans, posters and other resources covering all aspects of the day-to-day operations of successful general practices. 

Please see below links for quick reference with assisting you to view our Toolkit pages where you will find our most current and available resources.

Recently published resources:

COVID-19 Resources

Digital Health

Video - How To Series

Fact Sheets - How To Series

If you have an idea for a new resource or feedback on our current resources, please email with ideas and comments.



Webinar-1.jpg    Education & Events 


Featured Events & Training  


PEN CS WEBINARS: Understanding your patient data can take your practice to a new level 

Multiple dates (see below May to July 2022)

This week saw the commencement of a series of webinars run by Practice Assist in conjunction with Pen CS. This weekly series of webinars has been developed to provide you with a refresher on how to use Pen CS. It's not too late to join, these webinars will support you to evaluate your data and ensure it is squeaky clean and all registrants will receive a copy of the session. 

Regular review of your data will enable you to see opportunities for quality improvement (QI) which WAPHA's Practice QI Coaches can support your practice to implement.  

Along with the Practice Assist team, we have a dedicated Pen CS expert who will guide you through the fundamentals of using your data, in creating positive patient outcomes.  

The next session is on Wednesday 4 of May April at 12:30pm - Improving Data Quality Part 1: Missing non clinical patient demographics. 

Subsequent sessions will run weekly on Wednesdays at 12:30pm until July. Topics and booking links are below. 

Wednesday 27 April 2022  Navigating Cat 4 – Getting Started  
Wednesday 4 May 2022  Improving Data Quality: Part 1- Missing non-clinical patient demographics  
Wednesday 11 May 2022 Improving Data Quality: Part 2 - Missing clinical patient demographics 
Wednesday 25 May 2022 Health Promotion: Immunisation
Wednesday 1 June 2022 Health Promotion: Cancer Screening
Wednesday 8 June 2022 Health Promotion: Health Assessments 
Wednesday 15 June 2022 At Risk Groups
Wednesday 22 June 2022 Chronic Disease
Wednesday 29 June 2022 Mental Health
Wednesday 6 July 2022 Custom searches / Practice requests
Wednesday 13 July 2022 Custom searches / Practice requests
Wednesday 20 July 2022 Custom searches / Practice requests


Heart Week webinar: Lipid lowering landscape: New and emerging treatment approaches

 Wednesday 4 May 2022 7:00pm (AEST)

Hosted by the Heart Foundation in partnership with the World Heart Federation, this webinar will seek to explore the latest evidence on the management of high cholesterol in the context of cardiovascular risk reduction.

The international expert panel will discuss:
• updates on the mechanisms and role of new and emerging lipid lowering therapies
• how to titrate and combine pharmacological lipid lowering therapies to optimise management
• strategies to identify and address non-adherence
• complimentary dietary and lifestyle counselling for people with hypercholesterolaemia
• what general practices can do to champion CVD prevention and implement structured screening program.

This webinar has been accredited by the RACGP for 2 CPD points. (Activity no. 337635). Education provider: Scius Healthcare Solutions.

Register online here



Digital health for specialists - a game changer, transforming how we share care 

Australian Digital Health Agency in association with WA Primary Health Alliance, and special guest Dr Hermant Kulkarni

Monday 9 May 2022 - 5:00 PM (AWST) 

Digital health tools are changing how healthcare is delivered in Australia. Access to My Health Record is transforming health service delivery and supporting continuity of care across the country.

Please join the Australian Digital Health Agency, WA Primary Health Alliance, and our special guest Dr Hemant Kulkarni (Renal physician, Wexford Nephrology and Royal Perth Hospital) and other speakers, to hear how digital health is transforming care.

Healthcare professionals and practice managers from across all sectors, and especially those in specialist medical practice, are encouraged to attend, hear these success stories and be inspired to start using digital health. There will also be the opportunity for participants to ask questions.

Don’t miss it. Register Now.



Immunisation Update for Practice Nurses 

Thursday 5 May 2022 - 6.00pm to 7.30pm (AWST)

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC)
Join us for the return of our popular Immunisation Update for general practice staff.
This presentation will cover:

  • Promoting immunisation uptake
  • National Immunisation Program (NIP) – changes and updates
  • Pneumococcal and Meningococcal programs
  • AIR and PRODA (HPOS)
  • Immunisation education – online modules    
  • Cold chain
  • Adverse event reporting processes
  • Formulating catch-up immunisation plans
  • 2022 Influenza Vaccination Program update.
  • Susie Ridderhof, Clinical Nurse Specialist-Immunisation, Metro CDC.
  • Jennifer Cake, WAPHA Program Coordinator – Immunisation & Cancer Screening.
  • Sam McMillan, Primary Care QI Manager, WAPHA.

View the flyer here for more information.

Certificate of Attendance will be issued.

Register here



COVID-19 and Long COVID - the emerging picture 

Friday 6 May 2022 (9am-10.30am AWST)

Following his extremely well-received presentation in November 2021, the Better Health, Together forum again welcomes esteemed Professor Jeremy Nicholson as keynote speaker for our May Forum. 

This time, Professor Nicholson will share his insights and facilitate discussion on: 

  • COVID-19 as a systemic disease - what you can’t see can still hurt you! 
  • COVID-19, Relationships with diabetes, and long-term cardiovascular risks… it works both ways. 
  • Children, COVID-19 and Multiple Inflammatory Syndrome. 
  • Omicron, BA2 and other variants and possible roles in Long COVID.
Professor Jeremy Nicholson is the Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry at Imperial College London (2018-2025) and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at Murdoch University (October 2018-onwards). He is also Director of the Australian National Phenome Centre which opened officially in October 2019.   

Register here



Other Webinars, Events & Workshops

BreastScreen WA mobile visit to Geraldton
Presented by BreastScreen WA
13 April to 17 October
BreastScreen WA mobile visit to Bullsbrook
Presented by BreastScreen WA
22 April to 6 May
BreastScreen WA mobile visit to Byford
Presented by BreastScreen WA
26 April to 24 May
Multimorbidity Webinar Series - Multimorbidity and increased risk of cognitive decline
Presented by Invivo Academy
4 May
Electronic Prescribing - Using ASL in General Practice
Presented by RACGP
5 May
WA GP Practice Managers Networking (Online)
Presented by AAPM 
11 May 
COVID-19 & Diabetes 
Presented by Diabetes WA 
12 May 

Practice Owners National Conference registrations are open
Presented by RACGP
14 to 15 May

Diabetes & Heart Disease
Presented by Diabetes WA 
16 May

The future is Digital Health
Presented by RACGP
23 May

Advanced training in Suicide Prevention (Online Workshop)
Presented by Black Dog Institute 
May to Aug 
Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention (Regional WA) 
Presented by Black Dog Institute 
Aug to Sept 
Joint Australasian HIV & AIDS + Sexual Health Conferences 
Presented by ASHM 
29 August - 1 September
2022 ACNP National Conference: Inspiring Future Growth for Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice
Presented by ANCP
13-15 October


Practice Assist acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country and recognises the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.