12 January 2023
We hope you took time to rejuvenate over the holiday period with a special mention to those that worked tirelessly over the break.
With 2022 behind us, we’re excited to see what this year will hold and look forward to bringing you all the latest news, updates and resources to help strengthen your practice in 2023.
Acknowledgement of Country
WA Primary Health Alliance 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.
Throughout this newsletter, the term 'Aboriginal' is used to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, unless stated otherwise.
More than 56 per cent of WA general practices that share data with WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) have submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to use the Primary Sense data tool.
Primary Sense offers one-click reporting that makes it easy for practices to meet the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) requirements. Primary Sense also provides GPs with clinical decision support via real-time medication alerts and patient-care prompts at the point of care.
To join the growing number of practices that are switching to Primary Sense, follow the steps below:
Primary Sense is compatible with the major clinical software systems, such as Best Practice and Medical Director (Genie and Zedmed are progressing in the development pipeline). WAPHA will be communicating with practices that use Medtech about the next steps in the Primary Sense transition.
To find out more about the numerous evidence-based benefits of Primary Sense for clinicians, register for the upcoming webinar on Tuesday 24 January.
For further information about Primary Sense, visit the Primary Sense Tool Kit, email the Practice Assist team via email@example.com or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
A new suite of online training modules, Conversations About Weight, is empowering health professionals to play a more central role in supporting their patients to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, including guiding sensitive conversations around weight.
Conversations about weight can be challenging for both health professionals and patients alike. Hesitancy among health professionals to discuss weight, along with stigma, shame and other psychological factors often acting as barriers to people seeking or getting the support they need.
The training focuses on the various aspects of weight management, including causes and support strategies, taking the perspective of both patient and health professional. Each module provides insight into the complexity of this topic, to empower health professionals to support patients and guide these sensitive, yet important conversations.
Conversations About Weight will support you to:
Developed by Diabetes WA and CPD accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Conversations About Weight includes six modules, approximately one hour per module, with two RACGP CPD points allocated per module.
Visit the WAPHA resource SHAPE to get started.
HealthPathways WA have developed a suite of Healthy Weight and Nutrition pathways that contain region specific information on patient assessment, management, and referral pathways to assist clinicians in navigating patients through the complex primary, community and acute health care system in Western Australia. These clinical pathways include:
For service information see the following request pages which provide referral information for health professionals to refer patients into:
To gain access, you can request a login via the HealthPathways WA Project Site and complete the ‘Request a login’ form, or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use the search bar, located at the top of the webpage, or the left-hand navigation panel to search for information. To provide feedback email the HealthPathways team at email@example.com, or use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.
An Australian Government tender process is now open to accredited general practices that wish to be considered to participate in a new GP-led Respiratory Clinic Panel (GPRCP) initiative.
The GPRCP initiative will be implemented from March 2023 to ensure sufficient surge capacity is in place to respond to subsequent COVID-19 waves or any other future respiratory health emergencies.
Under this new panel arrangement, up to 150 existing, accredited primary care practices nationally, which may include former GP Respiratory Clinics, if they meet the standard criteria to participate, would be held in reserve to be activated as needed in response to the emergence of another COVID-19 wave or other major heath respiratory emergency.
During periods of activation, GPRCP participants will be provided access to a new MBS Item (bulk-billed) for each respiratory consultation. Upon activation, they will also be eligible to claim a Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) equivalent to their PIP QI payment per 3-month period.
Participating clinics will be able to provide their usual services through standard MBS Items while activated, they will not be constrained to only providing services under the GPRCP.
COVID Care at Home program closure
Western Australia’s COVID Care at Home program is now closed. The following Healthdirect pages may help assist people in the community, including those discharged from hospital, to monitor symptoms, identify when to seek help and provides strategies for treating symptoms at home:
Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
A list of updates has been made to the multiple pages of the Australian Immunisation Handbook. These updates were published last month and cover the administration of vaccines, catch-up vaccination, diphtheria, meningococcal disease, vaccination for people who are immunocompromised, pertussis (whooping cough), and more. Access updates here
The Cervical Screening Flipchart is designed to support healthcare providers in WA to engage with Aboriginal women about the importance of regular cervical screening.
The resource has been developed in consultation with the former WACCPP and BreastScreen WA Aboriginal Women’s Reference Group and, Aboriginal women and healthcare providers in WA.
To order this or other cervical screening resources click here
Australians are being encouraged to take simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito borne viruses, like Japanese Encephalitis Virus, when travelling over summer.
The new ‘Ozzie vs Mozzie’ campaign highlights the simple steps people can take to help prevent mosquito bites and mosquito borne viruses such as Japanese Encephalitis.
The Department of Health and Aged Care and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have developed a kit about the current Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) outbreak.
If you would like more information, please visit www.health.gov.au/jev
The Australian Government Department of Settlement Services offer a free translating service that can be used by anyone who holds a permanent visa (except return resident visas). Permanent residents and select temporary or provisional visa holders are able to have up to ten eligible documents translated, into English, within the first two years of their eligible visa grant date.
GPs and medical specialists can also access the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs Free Interpreting Service when providing Medicare rebatable services which could assist with explaining to families what immunisation are needed and determining what may have been received overseas. To apply for Access to TIS National Services, GPs and medical specialists need to fill out the client registration form .
Other resources that immunisation providers may find useful in interpreting overseas records include:
Important Practice Updates
GP Practices now need to register online with Services Australia to be able to receive their training support payments from the beginning of 2023.
AGPT program participants can now add their bank account details to their PRODA/HPOS Account.
The next step in the registration process is to enter your bank account details into the Service Australia PRODA/Organisation Register system. This functionality has been available since 19 December 2022.
This module will assist you to complete the registration process.
Find out more
To help support the growing community in the southern suburbs of Perth, Southern Star Medical recently opened a new, state-of-the-art general practice medical centre in the Southern River Square Shopping Centre.
Staff members from WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), including Quality Improvement Manager Samantha McMillan and Primary Care Navigator Kate Mason, attended the official opening of Southern Star Medical.
“The opening included an Aboriginal smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country performed by Bruce Loo, with Dr Quam Gbajabiamila and Dr Choong Leat Loh welcoming their old and new patients,” Ms Mason said.
WAPHA has been involved with Southern Star Medical’s Practice Manager Laura Johnson from the early stages and the Primary Care Navigation and Quality Improvement teams will continue to offer ongoing support to the practice team.
Primary Care Navigators can support with information and resources on a wide range of topics. Our Quality Improvement Coaches can work with you to embed continuous quality improvement in your practice processes and procedures.
If you would like more information about how WAPHA can provide your general practice with support, guidance or resources, email Practice Assist via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
Following the success of non-dispensing pharmacist (GP Pharmacist) programs introduced in 2017, the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) again invited practices to submit an expression of interest for a WAPHA-funded Non-dispensing Pharmacist to work within their practice for approximately 15 hours per week until December 2023.
Forty four General Practices applied to be a part of this program. In what was a highly competitive process, 13 practices were selected as Partnership Practices.
As part of the care team, non-dispensing pharmacists deliver clinical pharmacy and education services to patients and staff of the practice through a coordinated, collaborative and integrated approach with an overall goal to improve patient health outcomes through quality use of medicines.
This program has a focus on areas of high need and vulnerable populations. Participating practices will engage with a dedicated Quality Improvement Coach who will support the practice team with the implementation of the program and help establish quality improvement processes.
The program is overseen by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia WA State Manager, and experienced non-dispensing pharmacist, Mayli Foong. “Pharmacists are an excellent addition to the care team. Their work includes assisting in medication reconciliation, medicine advice to patients and health professionals, improving transitions of care, prescribing audits to improve quality use of medicines and contributing to existing MBS and DVA item numbers such as care plans, and case conferences.
“Adding a pharmacist to the collaborative care team within general practices reduces silos of care and improves existing relationships with community pharmacy". The learnings from this program will assist practices to embed multidisicplinary, team based care and will provide insight into sustainability for these roles into the future.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia WA State Manager,
and non-dispensing pharmacist, Mayli Foong
Multicultural Health Connect is a pilot helpline service that assists people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds navigate the Australian health care system and services available to them, as well as improve access to the healthdirect nurse triage line.
The pilot is managed by national virtual health provider, Healthdirect Australia, and is funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care.
Using the Translating and Interpreting Service callers have access to interpreters in 160 languages.
At the end of the pilot an evaluation will recommend options for enhancing accessibility of healthcare to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Information for the general public is available at Multicultural Health Connect | healthdirect.
View the Service Factsheet for further information or the Patient Flyer here.
MH Connext is a free community mental health service provided by Richmond Wellbeing, for people aged 18 and over, who have a mental health treatment plan and live in the Perth metro area. This recovery-oriented program connects patients experiencing severe and complex mental health issues to the right mental health care and support at the right time, for up to 24 weeks. MH Connext's highly experienced and professional mental health clinicians provide people with personalised and inclusive support.
GPs in the Perth Metro area can refer patients to MH Connext simply by completing the MH Connext referral form, and sending it along with the patient’s mental health care plan to: email@example.com
The team draws on various techniques including psychological therapies, therapeutic relationships and compassionate care management; and are able to support people with their psychiatric medication plan.
The program provides a short-term support service tailored to a patient’s needs. This typically involves a review of their personal circumstances, providing emotional and psychological help while connecting them with local support services in a timely way.
MH Connext clinicians will assist your patient to set goals for their recovery and provide motivation and support in reaching them.
For further information or to access the patient referral form please visit the MH Connext - Richmond Wellbeing (rw.org.au) website. Alternatively contact us at: MHConnext.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Richmond Wellbeing on 1800 742 466.
Diabetes WA is reaching out to General Practitioners in different ways to discover your current situation, how you can be more supported to manage your patients with more complex type 2 diabetes, your experience of the current patient journey and ways to improve care connection.
View the flyer for more information and complete the survey which will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete
QR code link here to survey
General practice staff are encouraged to share the new Dementia Community Services and Support Finder messages on their practice website to help the community navigate, access, and understand dementia resources. This web page supports the community to understand the dementia care and support options available through access to clear information, taking a quality-of-life approach to enable families to plan for the future and reduce the emotional impacts of living with dementia.
A range of promotional materials are available to download on the dedicated project Trello board accessible here.
This project is made possible by the Australian Government through PHN Aged Care Program funding and was developed in partnership with My Community Directory.
Practice Assist Tool Kit
The Practice Assist website is home to resources developed to support general practice covering a range of topics including Aboriginal Health, Accreditation, Business Management and more.
Click through to view our resources!
Education & Events
Primary Sense is an easy-to-use clinical decision support, population health management and data extraction tool that helps GPs deliver the right care to patients at the right time. It is easy to use with little or no training to get started, and includes the world’s leading population health analytic software, real-time medication safety alerts and patient care prompts. Primary Sense was designed by GP’s for GP's in conjunction with data experts and researchers.
WAPHA invites Practice Principals, Practice Managers and Practice decision makers to this interactive webinar for the opportunity to learn more about Primary Sense and how it could benefit the clinicians at your practice.
View the flyer here
Register 24 January