23 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.
Over 200 practices in Western Australia have now installed Primary Sense and completed their first full data extract. They now have access to near real-time reporting, alerts and prompts available in the Primary Sense desktop app.
Another 150 practices are either installing or completing the extract, so be sure to keep an eye on Practice Connect as we move closer to having Primary Sense installed and operational in 400 Western Australian practices.
While we transition practices to Primary Sense it is important to keep PenCS installed on your system and wait for advice on next steps before uninstalling PenCS.
Please contact Practice Assist if you have any concerns via phone 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 77478) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian Institute of Health Welfare indicates that one of the main goals of primary health care for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the preservation of kidney health. Noting that the asymptomatic nature of CKD in stages 1–4 make GP and primary health care settings particularly important in detecting and reducing the burden of CKD.
Kidney Health Australia provides guidelines for the clinical management of CKD in primary health care and helpful resources for health professionals.
1 in 3 Australian adults has risk factors for CKD.
Individuals with risk factors for CKD should undergo a Kidney Health Check every 1-2 years.
Implement a process to ensure all clinical staff are familiar with the clinical guidelines:
Other QI activities to consider with your teams:
If your practice would like further support to explore these quality improvement activities please connect with your Quality Improvement Coach or Primary Care Navigator via Practice Assist.
To assist with clinical decision making, please refer to the HealthPathways website.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often preventable and disease progression can be slowed or even stopped if detected and treated early. Yet it remains significantly under-recognised with over 2m Australians living with CKD and most are unaware they have the condition. Furthermore, CKD, diabetes and CVD are inextricably linked with shared risk factors. If an individual has CKD, they are more likely to die from CVD than survive to need dialysis.
If CKD is detected early and managed appropriately deterioration in kidney function can be reduced significantly. Groups at increased risk of CKD include those with diabetes, hypertension, CVD, family history of CKD, obesity and smoking. Early detection is easy with a Kidney Health Check comprising of Urine ACR test, eGFR blood test and blood pressure check (see fig. 1). For more information on detecting and managing CKD, download the CKD in Primary Care Management handbook
On World Kidney Day, 9 March, Kidney Health Australia went to Canberra to launch the Deloitte Access Economics report, Changing the chronic kidney disease landscape: the economic benefits of detection and treatment. The report found that for every $1 invested in early detection, $45 can be saved. This is a serious incentive for investing in early detection and treatment of kidney disease.
To access exclusive content, news, webinars, view past recordings and refer your patients directly to the Kidney Helpline, request access to the Kidney Health Professional Hub.
HealthPathways WA has a suite of Nephrology pathways designed to be used during consultation by GP’s and as a point of reference for other health care professionals and practice staff. These contain specific information on patient assessment, management and referral pathways.
Clinical pathways localised to WA include:
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 email@example.com. To provide feedback, use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care advises the last of the AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine stock has now been delivered. All AZ vaccine doses will expire on 20 March 2023. Please check your fridges on 21 March (the day after expiry) to report any wastage to the COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering System (CVAS).
Expired vaccines should then be disposed of as per existing state and territory guidelines for the disposal of clinical waste and Schedule 4 drugs. If there is a wastage event of 10 or more vials a Major Wastage Report will need to be completed in CVAS as soon as possible. If there are less than 10 vials, the reporting should be completed in the minor wastage section in the weekly Vaccine Stock Management Report, by 9pm (AWST) Friday that week.
Once a site’s stock on hand shows zero for AZ and all reporting has been completed in CVAS for this vaccine product, it will be deactivated on your behalf, unless you have already requested deactivation.
Please note Pfizer 12 years+ (Purple), and Novavax vaccines will continue to be available if you need access to a primary course vaccine for people 12 years and over.
We would like to advise you that a new module for the Moderna Bivalent (BA4-5) Pre-filled Syringe (PFS) booster vaccine, Additional Module 3d, has now been added to the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program. Moderna Bivalent (BA.4-5) 12 years+ (PFS) vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently available as a PFS.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care through WA Primary Health Alliance has been providing funding to WA general practices for the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations for patients who do not hold a Medicare card or are ineligible for Medicare. This funding has been extended into 2023.
WAPHA can reimburse general practices to the value of the relevant MBS item number to support non-Medicare patients being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Reimbursement can be backdated to January 2023. For further information contact Practice Assist or to make a claim please complete the survey and submit invoices to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: To claim, practices will be required to declare reimbursement (i.e. private fee charge) has not already been received for the services claimed.
As part of the Australian Government’s drive to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in culturally and linguistically diverse populations, from October 2021 to December 2022 WA Primary Health Alliance implemented a grass roots approach to increase vaccine uptake in these hard-to-reach communities, with great results.
Rates of vaccination among culturally and linguistically diverse communities increased significantly across the state from December 2021 to December 2022, with first dose coverage increasing from 80% to over 95% and second dose coverage increasing from 74% to over 95%.
Read the full story here
Serological testing for immunity to MMR and varicella is not routinely recommended when there is evidence of vaccination. Some situations require serological testing, as detailed in the Australian Immunisation Handbook. Alternatively, most people can receive MMR or varicella vaccine without serological testing, and there is no known increase in adverse events from vaccinating people with pre-existing immunity to one or more of the vaccine antigens.
Further detailed information is available in the measles and varicella chapters of the Australian Immunisation Handbook.