9 March 2023
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.
To support WA general practices to reap the benefits of Primary Sense, a population health management, clinical decision support and data extraction tool, the Practice Assist team is working closely with local Primary Sense GP Champion, Dr Lyn Wren and other subject matter experts to develop a suite of educational tools and resources for GPs and practice staff. A comprehensive Desktop Navigation Guide and an easy to read brochure for patients explaining Data Security with Primary Sense is already available to download. More resources will soon be available on key topics including:
In Australia, general practice accreditation is a voluntary process where practices are assessed against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices (5th edition) that were developed to protect patients from harm by improving the quality and safety of health care.
The Standards for general practices are considered the benchmark for Australian practices and provide independent recognition that a general practice meets industry standards set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
If your practice is not accredited or if you want assistance to excel in the accreditation measures then contact the WAPHA Primary Care Navigators and Quality Improvement (QI) Coaches. They can assist your practice with identifying activities including implementing quality improvement to support accreditation. For further information about the benefits and process of general practice accreditation, contact Practice Assist.
The word “accreditation” can send some members of a general practice team into a panic. However, many of the things that are often feared are usually already part of your team’s daily and weekly tasks, which are done automatically without realising they are actually part of quality improvement (QI) and accreditation.
QI forms part of every task that helps to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiency. As a result, it is easy to see how QI and accreditation go hand in hand and incorporating them into your team’s day-to-day workflow can make your practice’s accreditation cycle much less stressful for everyone.
You can start your practice’s accreditation QI journey by following the steps below:
It is important to remember that trial and error are part of the process when trying new things to improve your practice and patient outcomes. If a QI activity doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a QI activity. It was simply a QI activity that didn’t result in an improvement. Your team can still review the activity, learn from it and start a new PDSA cycle, ensuring that you are always using the most accurate data for the best patient outcomes.
To find out more about starting your practice’s accreditation QI journey, contact Practice Assist and one of our Practice QI Coaches will be in touch as soon as possible.
As GP respiratory clinics close and general practices work towards managing respiratory patients within your practice, you may be considering what this transition looks like.
We have developed a fact sheet to assist practices in supporting respiratory patients in General Practice, including implementing safe spirometry in the practice.
This fact sheet has been created to support practices review their procedures and infrastructure to be able to sustainably accommodate respiratory patients.
With the winter on the horizon, now could be a good time to remind your adult patients 18+ that if it’s been 6 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or COVID-19 infection, they are eligible for a new booster vaccination.
This is especially important for people 65+ and those at higher risk of serious illness. Patients can be directed to ATAGI's updated advice and can book a COVID-19 vaccination directly with their GP or provider or visit Roll Up for WA for more information.
The WA Government has also developed the following promotional resources to share through your practice channels:
Advice on seasonal influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program in 2023 is now available.
ATAGI has released seasonal influenza advice, including eligibility for vaccination, timing of vaccination and vaccination in pregnancy.
They have also included a reminder that it is safe to administer the influenza vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccination.
ATAGI advice is here
The Department of Health and Ageing have released the Program, advice for Vaccination Providers outlining Federal eligibility, vaccination timing, NIP vaccines by age group and reporting influenza to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
Program advice for providers is here
Resources including Fact Sheets for information providers and consumers, brochures and posters are now also available to print
Resources are here
Note: This information is not for wider distribution beyond general practice until formally announced by the WA Minister for Health.
To encourage increased uptake of influenza immunisation, WA Department of Health has confirmed an expanded influenza immunisation program will be offered in 2023.
The program will run for one month only 2023 and will likely commence 1 May 2023, but may be brought forward depending on the seasonal epidemiology.
In recognition of the cost involved in the purchase, storage, delivery and possible wastage of vaccines for practices, the program will include a reimbursement of $15 per privately purchased dose administered to persons aged 12 – 64 years provided at no cost to the patient.
General practices will need to provide evidence of:
Practices should continue to order stock as per their normal process throughout this initiative.
Further details will be communicated as soon as it becomes available.
All vaccination providers should shortly be receiving a letter from the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Prof Paul Kelly regarding routine Childhood Immunisation.
This letter addresses the concerns around decreasing childhood immunisation rates, especially in the Aboriginal community.
It stresses the importance of vaccination in early childhood and the demonstrated knowledge that General Practice has been, and will be, forefront in lifting our vaccination rates.
A new range of resources and campaigns will be commencing in April from both the Commonwealth and the State Government.
Links to the Commonwealth resources can be found in the letter as well as other valuable tools Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) and parent resources (Talking about immunisation).
Please take the time to read the letter attached here