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.
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:
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:
For more information or to download and share the campaign material, visit the WA Department of Health webpage.
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.
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 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:
You can access the PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool here.
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.
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 email@example.com
There are several webinars and online modules available to update providers on the 2022 influenza immunisation program.
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
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Read more here.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
View the flyer here for more information.
Certificate of Attendance will be issued.
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:
Practice Owners National Conference registrations are open
Presented by RACGP
14 to 15 May
The future is Digital Health
Presented by RACGP