4 May 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.
Strengthening Medicare General Practice Grants Program
Since mid - April, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has contacted all eligible Medicare general practices about the Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants program. Eligible practices should have received two emails from GPGrants@wapha.org.au about the program as follows:
It is important to complete the first two steps as soon as possible to ensure practices do not miss important updates about the Grants and to maximise the time available to undertake investment activities.
WAPHA’s GP Grant application process involves three steps that eligible practices must complete.
Once your supplier registration is approved, you can access and edit all previously entered information on behalf of your practice/s, except bank account details.
Not received the email survey to update your details yet?
If your practice is eligible to receive a Grant and you have not received the email survey from WAPHA via the GPgrants@wapha.org.au address, please contact the Practice Assist team on 1800 2 277 478 or via GPgrants@wapha.org.au
For more information on the GP Grants Program visit the Practice Assist website.
*Medicare general practices, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) that deliver general practice services and are not owned or operated by a state, territory or local government agency or body. Please note eligible ACCHS will be able to apply for the GP Grants through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
Primary Sense Update
Over 70% of eligible Western Australian practices now have Primary Sense installed.
If your practice has yet to complete your installation, we encourage you to contact us to progress to the final stages and ensure no disruption to your PIP QI submissions and payments prior to the end of May 2023.
For practices that have completed their installation, the next step is to install the desktop application for your staff.
The desktop application includes access to ready to go reports based on real time data allowing you to monitor performance and focus on clinical outcomes, as well as patient care prompts and medication alerts.
These features and functionality can support roles across the practice team, so we recommend installing the application on all GP, nurse, and management desktops so you can unlock the full potential of Primary Sense.
You can find more information on how to use the desktop in the Primary Sense Desktop Navigation Guide.
For support and troubleshooting when installing your individual desktop applications, please contact email@example.com or call 1300 572 165 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.
You can find additional guides and videos on the Primary Sense Toolkit page on the Practice Assist Website. Scroll down to Primary Sense Resources.
For further support, please connect with your local WA Primary Health Alliance Primary Care Navigator or Quality Improvement Coach via Practice Assist.
Feature - Heart Health
As outlined in the WAPHA Kimberley Needs Assessment 2022-2024, Western Australia’s northern most region has the highest cardiovascular disease burden in the state. To help improve patient health outcomes, Kimberley Medical Group in Broome has established a nurse-led wellness clinic with team members using video conferencing to collaborate from locations across the country.
Practice nurse, Fiona Mardling located in Melbourne, is leading the clinic with support from the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). Team members from WAPHA, including Quality Improvement Coach Sharon Sewell in Dampier and Primary Care Navigator Louise Turner in Geraldton, have provided guidance on data capture, data cleansing and quality improvement activities.
“The role of the WAPHA team has been critical to this project, we could not have done it without them. The support of Louise and Sharon has been crucial to give me the confidence to keep the project going, as in the early days I needed guidance on how to work with the data required for this activity. I have learnt so much about the complexities of working in general practice,” Ms Mardling said.
The first focus area of Kimberley Medical Group’s clinic is heart health, which has included utilising the Heart Foundation’s Heart Health Check Toolkit to identify risk factors for a selected cohort of patients and implement strategies to assist them with improving their heart health.
Practice Manager, Charles Gilliam, explained that the project team members connected regularly via video conferencing to develop the project plan and quality improvement plan, incorporating the capture of baseline and ongoing data as well as pre-emptive data cleansing activities such as bulk archiving.
“This was new ground for me and the experience of a collaborative approach has been terrific. The WAPHA team of Louise and Sharon helped us at all stages of the project, offering guidance and expertise. The connection via Microsoft Teams worked smoothly and allowed us to overcome distance and time barriers,” Mr Giliam said.
Throughout the project, PDSA cycles have been utilised to assess the processes and document observations, with all activity summarised into a quality improvement progress report. The trending data is continually being captured to monitor the number of heart health checks that are conducted by the clinic and a final evaluation will take place at the project’s conclusion to bring together the key learnings.
Kimberley Medical Group clinic online QI review meeting with Practice Nurse Fiona Mardling in Melbourne, Practice Manager Charles Giliam in Broome and WAPHA QI Coach Sharon Sewell in Dampier.
Modelling over the next 5 years has indicated that up to 76,500 CVD related events (including heart attacks, strokes and deaths) could be prevented with the uptake of Heart Health Checks through the:
Identifying patients with risk factors not recorded, including:
For support with Quality Improvement (QI) activities relating to Heart Health please contact Practice Assist and one of our QI coaches will be in touch with you.
Over 700,000 Australians live with coronary heart disease. It is often silent with no warning signs before a devasting heart attack. One Australian will suffer a heart attack every 10 minutes, it is the biggest killer of men and woman. In Australia, heart disease will kill three times as many women as breast cancer.
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease in Australia is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decrease blood flow can cause a heart attack.
For further pathways on the heart health check, you can view HealthPathways WA or the Practice Assist MBS Items for Heart Health Check factsheet.
If your practice is using Primary Sense, the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors can help you find your target population of patients. Our Primary Care Navigators can also assist you to use your practice data to develop strategies for identifying vulnerable populations within your practice.
For further information contact us via Practice Assist.
With the 2023 booster dose now available, some people may need assistance to access COVID-19 vaccinations this winter. WA Primary Health Alliance has been given additional funding by the Department of Health and Aged Care to support the vaccination of people at greater risk of illness from COVID-19.
With this round of funding, we have been directed to focus on the following vulnerable populations and we are looking to engage with organisations that work with:
Find out more
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Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
With winter fast approaching, everyone is being encouraged to get vaccinated against influenza as the health system braces for a tough flu season.
Last week the Western Australian Department of Health announced that they will again be funding free flu vaccines for everyone in Western Australia.
The campaign will be running for the month of May.
Campaign details and who is eligible can be found here
A reimbursement program will be available for General Practices with a per dose payment as well as the opportunity to access a one off grant.
The reimbursement is for every non-National Immunisation Program (NIP) and WA state-funded eligible influenza vaccine dose administered.
Although billing practices remain at the discretion of individual immunisation providers, it is expected that a consultation directly related to the vaccine administration under this program does not result in a cost to the patient.
Registration for the reimbursement program must be completed before 5pm 31 May 2023.
Information regarding the program and reimbursement scheme can be found on our Practice Assist website