21 September 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.
In today's newsletter we are reminding you of the timeline for the MyMedicare Reform, how you can register your practice and health professional providers. And how you can prepare to register your patients.
The Department of Health and Aged Care held a webinar on Thursday 21 September (12.30pm to 1.30pm AEST) where they provided information on the MyMedicare practice and patient registration processes in preparation for patient registration from 1 October 2023.
If you were unable to attend this webinar, you can watch the recording whenever it suits you best at this link. The recording will be available within the week following the live webinar.
View the MyMedicare webpage to learn more about patient registration.
MyMedicare is being rolled out in a staged approach. Before 1 October 2023 (the date when patients can start to register), we encourage practices to register as an organisation and link their practitioners to the organisation in PRODA. This important step will prepare your practice for future steps in the MyMedicare program, as well as other programs from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
*Created by East Melbourne Primary Health Network
For additional support, email ORGANISATION.REGISTER.SUPPORT@servicesaustralia.gov.au or phone 1800 700 199 and select option 1.
Visit the Services Australia eLearning webpage which has further information inclusive of an eLearning module, infographics on practice registration, and a simulation on setting up the Organisation Register for program use.
WAPHA’s Primary Care Quality Improvement (QI) Team is currently working behind the scenes to develop a range of practice readiness activities and PDSAs to support your practice with the implementation of MyMedicare.
We have developed a MyMedicare QI Practice Readiness fact sheet which outlines the different ways that WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches can support your team with practice readiness activities.
We have also developed a range of updated and improved PDSAs to assist with the maintenance of an accurate patient database.
To find out more and connect with a WAPHA Practice QI Coach in your area, call Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The MyMedicare voluntary patient registration model aims to strengthen the relationship between patients, their general practice, GP and primary care teams. Practices are encouraged to register before patient registration commences 1 October 2023.
If you would like to catch up on current information regarding MyMedicare, the following recorded webinars are available:
Access the MyMedicare Toolkit on the Practice Assist website for more information and support.
Dementia Action Week is a national awareness-raising initiative and this year it runs from Monday 18 September to Sunday 24 September 2023. This year’s theme is ‘Act Now for a Dementia-Friendly Future’. Discrimination has a big impact on people living with dementia, their families and carers, a little support from the community and health care professionals can make a big difference.
More information can be found on Dementia Action Week here.
The Dementia Community Services and Support Finder resource supports the community to understand local dementia care and support options available that take a quality-of-life, plan for the future approach, to reduce the emotional impacts of living with dementia. This resource may be useful for GPs, practice nurses, practice staff, patients, their carers and family.
The resource provides specific information relating to living with dementia and a directory to assist in locating services.
Access the resource here
There were 161,300 deaths registered in Australia in 2020 and 14,993 (9.3%) of these were registered in Western Australia (ABS, 2020). The main causes of death are influenced by age and gender. Chronic disease (or predictable deaths) featuring more prominently in people aged 65 years and above. The most common causes of death in people over 65 years of age are:
Historically, palliative care has had its roots in the care of people with advanced cancer, however, contemporary palliative care is not limited to a diagnosis but to the nature of care required to support anyone with a progressive, life limiting illness.
The following information has been collated to support the care that your practice provides to people with advanced chronic/life limiting illness and their family/carers.
General Practice is where patients have ongoing and trusted relationships with their GP and where Advance Care Planning is best initiated and promoted.
GPs are well placed to raise the topic of ACP when dementia is suspected. A conversation about ACP fits well with a GP’s responsibility to ensure that the patient receives, and understands, advice on various healthcare options relevant to any current diagnosis and realistic assessment of prognosis.
ACP is a process that all patients, and especially those who are at risk of deterioration in health, can benefit from.
It can be particularly important to individuals such as:
Triggers for implementing an Advance Care Plan:
Uploading advance care plans to My Health Record will ensure that your patients will receive care that reflects their values and wishes if they are unable to speak for themselves. There have been recent developments to support uploading ACP documentation to My Health Record.
A new My Health Record app may be of interest to your patients or their substitute decision-maker.
For any further information on any of these resources or other topics, please contact your Primary Care Navigator or Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or via email email@example.com
For support with these activities, contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with a Practice QI Coach in your area.
The Greater Choices for At Home Palliative Care (GCfAHPC) program is funded by the Commonwealth to improve workforce awareness of palliative care at home and end-of-life care systems and services in primary care and the community setting and to ensure that every Australian in need has access to the best possible palliative care. GCfAHPC aims to support timely and appropriate care, whilst minimizing hospital admissions (Bowman, 2018).
Based on this guidance and the outcomes of broad consultation, the following initiatives are underway:
Immunisation & Cancer Screening
On August 31, WA Primary Health Alliance hosted the second Immunisation webinar – AIR Encounters and Reporting.
Michele Cusack from Services Australia, returned to present real time simulations on recording encounters in AIR and then how to access, download and utilise the 10A (overdue vaccination) report, and the 42A (Overdue Covid Vaccination) report.
Access the recording for the second webinar in the series here.
The next webinar in the series will focus on overseas and catch up vaccinations – how to work out the catch up schedule and enter the details on AIR.
If you would like support with immunisation information and quality improvement in your practice, contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or via email email@example.com to be connected with a Primary Care Navigator or Practice QI Coach in your area. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org for our Immunisation team.
Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination during each pregnancy protects both mother and baby.
The antibodies made by the mother in response to the pertussis-containing vaccine are passed to her baby across the placenta soon after vaccination and until delivery.
This passive transfer of antibodies can help to protect the newborn during the first months of life, when they are most vulnerable.
Vaccination is recommended with each pregnancy, because pertussis antibody levels in the mother wane over time and to ensure the maximal amount of antibodies is passed on to each baby.
The optimal time for pertussis vaccination in pregnancy is between 20 and 32 weeks gestation.
If pregnant women are not vaccinated during this time, they should receive pertussis-containing vaccine as soon as possible and at any time up to delivery.
The vaccine is funded for pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy. It can be given at the same time as the seasonal influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
Adult household contacts and carers of infants aged <6 months, healthcare workers, and early childhood educators caring for infants and children aged <4 years are also recommended to receive a pertussis-containing vaccine if their last dose was more than 10 years ago.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides detailed information and recommendations about pertussis, including infographics to assist providers when discussing vaccination recommendations pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
NCIRS also has a pertussis vaccines for Australians factsheet.
Each year, Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC), the public health unit for Perth, conducts an electronic vaccine storage self-audit for immunisation providers. The audit assists providers to fulfill the requirement for annual self-audit as per the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines 'Strive for 5' and may also be useful for other quality and risk assurance processes. Through completing the audit, immunisation providers will have direct access to a clinical nurse specialist who can provide advice and support as required. From 2023, this annual audit will be mandatory in order to receive government-funded vaccines.
This year the audit will be rolled out in a phased approach. Providers with a vaccine ordering account for government-funded vaccines (e.g. National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines including influenza vaccines) and who are located in East Metropolitan Perth will receive an audit link commencing the week of 18 September. Providers in North Metropolitan and South Metropolitan Perth will receive their link later this year.
This approach will allow the team to provide more focussed attention to those providers who need it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact MCDC on 9222 8547 or via NM.MCDCImmunisationTeam@health.wa.gov.au
Immunisation Coalition invite you to attend this event for GPs and nurses that immunise/vaccinate against specific infectious diseases.
WA Primary Health Alliance are supporting practice nurses to complete the Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program (HESA Accredited). This Expression of Interest (EOI) is for Practice nurses who require training on immunisation. Please take the time to read the information below and in the link before completing the survey.
This Program aims to equip health professionals with knowledge and skills to competently deliver a high quality and safe immunisation service. It is self-paced but must be completed within a period of 20 weeks from the date of registration. The course requires access to the internet. The system requirements are listed and should be checked prior to purchase. Animation, interactivity and audio may not be supported on some devices such as iPads or iPhones.
Health Professionals must be registered with AHPRA to apply and those who successfully complete and meet all Program requirements will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. The course costs $350 inclusive of GST. Payment is made online through a secure PayPal system. On completion of the program, WA Primary Health Alliance will reimburse the cost of the course. All claims must be submitted to WAPHA prior to 31st December 2023.
For further information on the course please click here
The EOI will take approximately 3 minutes to complete. Please fill out the questions and submit in one session by COB Friday 10th of November 2023.
Updated ATAGI 2023 COVID-19 booster advice
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released updated recommendations for an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for highest risk people in 2023. These recommendations are in addition to the previous ATAGI COVID-19 vaccine booster advice published in February 2023.
ATAGI recommends that all adults aged ≥ 75 years should receive an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose.
Providers should consult with the below groups to consider an additional dose if 6 months has passed since their last dose.
ATAGI continues to encourage all adults who were recommended to have a COVID-19 vaccine dose in February 2023, and who have not yet had one, to receive a vaccine dose as soon as possible.
Image: Disability provider alert 6 September 2023
For more information, refer to the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care ATAGI Update on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
This poster shows the key differences between each COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Australia as per ATAGI guidelines.
Access the resource here.
From 1 October 2023, the Department of Health and Aged Care will no longer be producing new COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules and the COVID-19 learning platform will close.
COVID-19 reference resources, including the COVID-19 Vaccines in Australia and ATAGI Recommended COVID-19 Vaccines Doses posters, will continue to be updated and available. For continued access to learning resources for COVID-19 vaccines, please visit COVID-19 vaccination training program | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
All primary care sites participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program must continue to either:
FAQ’s are available here
If you have any clinical questions regarding COVID-19 Vaccine administrations, please contact the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) on 1800 318 208 or COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@Health.gov.au
Endometriosis affects around 1 in 9 Australian women with those suffering waiting an average of seven years before diagnosis.
To build the capacity of primary care to manage this condition and improve access to expert, multidisciplinary services, the Australian Government is funding 20 endometriosis and pelvic pain clinics across Australia.
In WA, The Garden Family Medical Clinic in Murdoch and Pioneer Health Albany have been funded by WAPHA to participate. Women do not need to be an existing patient to access services.
The Garden Pelvic Pain Clinic in Murdoch can provide patients with a personalised, evidence-based treatment plan through education, support and connection to a qualified multi-disciplinary team. They are also offering services to all parts of WA through GP, nurse and pelvic physio appointments via telehealth (video or phone). Existing and new patients can find out more and register for an initial appointment at The Garden Family Medical Pelvic Pain Clinic or by phoning (08) 6186 7992.
Download a copy of the flyer for your patients here
Women in and around the Albany area can access the Pioneer Pelvic Pain Clinic for a multidisciplinary approach that provides comprehensive care. The dedicated patient support coordinator will work closely with patients, their treating GP and allied health providers to tailor a management plan that is specific to their needs and priorities.
New and existing patients can find out more and self-refer by emailing email@example.com, calling 08 9842 2822 or visiting Pioneer Health Albany Pelvic Pain Clinic.
HealthPathways WA is planning two working groups (Metro and Country) to inform the development of two obstetric pathways. Focus of the working groups are the First Antenatal Consult pathway (for consultations <10 weeks gestation) and the Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis of Fetal Anomalies pathway. The aims of the working groups is to explore gaps, existing knowledge, and current practice, and will provide an opportunity to give feedback on the drafted pathways. The working groups will consist of GPs, midwives, and hospital specialists (obstetrics, genetics, and maternal fetal medicine).
HealthPathways WA is seeking expressions of interest from GPs and community midwives for this event.
To express interest in attending complete the EOI form. For more information or queries around this event contact the HealthPathways WA team via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent transition to Primary Sense as WA Primary Health Alliance's data extraction and population health tool of choice, gives us the ability to improve your general practice data summary reports and how we deliver these to your practice.
We are developing a new secure online portal, the Primary Care Reporting Portal (the Portal), to house your general practice data summary reports. These will be available to all practices sharing data for PIP QI via the Primary Sense tool.
We anticipate that the Portal and your data summary reports will be available in October 2023.
The Portal will have a staged release.
We would like to thank all practices who are sharing data with WAPHA via Primary Sense that recently responded and completed the Primary Care Reporting Portal Survey for Stage 1 of the Portal release.
Please ensure your practice has completed the survey here as soon as possible.
For any further information on the coming Primary Care Reporting Portal or Primary Sense tool, please contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or via email email@example.com
The following resources and information may help you to understand the Primary Sense tool and how you can best use it in your practice.
To get the most out of Primary Sense, ensure that the desktop application is installed and configured within your practice. Please see the instructions below:
Additional specific topic Primary Sense reports user guides are available.
The Quality Improvement team has developed a range of PDSA templates that have a focus on the initial onboarding process for Primary Sense.
To access these PDSA templates please reach out to your local QI Coach via Practice Assist.
For all other support and information on Primary Sense please contact Practice Assist.
Please refer to the Provider Connect link to find out more about the Provider Connect platform that has replaced the old Vaccine Clinic Finder platform.
Watch the Reducing red-tape for healthcare organisations with Provider Connect Australia short informational video [0.45] for more information.
This is open Nationally to ALL healthcare provider organisations and their affiliates. If your practice wishes to get registered, then you can follow the instructions here. Alternatively, if you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the WA Primary Health Alliance Digital Health Team for assistance.
A case of measles was confirmed in a WA returned traveller from Bali, Indonesia. The case spent time in the Perth and Midwest regions while infectious between 1 and 11 September 2023.
Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for measles in patients presenting with fever and rash who have recently returned from overseas or attended one of the listed exposure locations at the same time as the case.
Are you a clinician looking for ways to provide the best care to your hepatitis B patients?
New ASHM resources are now available to support you with the next steps upon diagnosis, and to guide you through the process of referring Hepatitis B patients to an accredited HBV s100 community prescriber.
Learn more via the ASHM Hep B care. It's primary care, too webpage.
To address the increasing waitlist for paediatric services in the Great Southern, WAPHA’s Regional Integration Manager Lesley Pearson and Practice QI Coach Jo Crooks have been working with clinicians in the region to improve the management of children waiting for developmental paediatric assessments.
As part of an integrated series of planned initiatives, the Great Southern Paediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessment education event was held in early August for more than 30 health professionals from general practice, psychology, pharmacy, service providers and the WA Country Health Service (WACHS).
During the education event, Dr Rebecca Cresp Consultant Paediatrician and Head of Department at Albany Health Campus presented on assessment and management of children with ADHD and ASD.
Dr Christine Oosterhuis from Pioneer Health Albany attended the event and said that Dr Cresp’s presentation was extremely informative and valuable for health professionals who treat children.
"As a medical doctor, there were many key take-home messages. A child doesn’t need a diagnosis or label, the family needs strategies and resources to manage the child’s symptoms or difficult behaviours. Many health providers can facilitate this whilst awaiting a paediatric assessment. GPs have a key role in identifying, investigating and managing co-morbidities (e.g. sleep disturbances). Providing education, community and online resources to families is essential and can make a difference. We all have a role in encouraging and assisting parents to advocate for their children,” Ms Oosterhuis said.
For further information about the Great Southern education event or ways that your practice can improve paediatric assessments and referrals, contact Practice Assist to be linked in with a Practice QI Coach in your area.
Research & Surveys
Emerging Minds is conducting the National Workforce Survey for Family, Parent and Child Mental Health again following the success of the inaugural survey in 2020-21. The survey will inform strategies and policy to meet the needs of health, social and community services workers across Australia, and support improved outcomes for infants, children and families.
Complete the survey for your chance to win an iPad. There are 5 iPads to be won over two draws. The first two prizes are drawn in September 2023 and the last three prizes are drawn in November 2023. Be sure to complete the survey early for a chance in both draws.
The survey closes on Wednesday, 15th November 2023. Check out the Emerging Minds website for the latest resources or to read, download, watch or listen to the results of the previous survey in 2020-21.
Education & Events
Join this upcoming webinar hosted by Dr Norman Swan, with Prof Leon Flicker, Prof Amy Brodtmann and Dr Simon Torvaldsen, as they discuss the latest advances in Alzheimer’s treatment. This webinar will explore what else is on the horizon, what other interventions should still be used, and how the focus on intervention has shifted to early dementia.
View the flyer here
The Department of Health and Aged Care invite you to their webinar on 60-day prescriptions for selected PBS medicines. This webinar is for primary care and will discuss the policy change. There will also be time for Q & A’s.
When you're ready to join, please use this link here
Password: sjKyqrNP274 (75597767 from phones and video systems)
If you can't attend the webinar live, you can watch the recording whenever it suits you best using the same link. The recording will be available within the week following the live webinar.
An interactive Virtual Roadshow bringing a tailored approach of Cardiovascular Risk Reduction from the Heart Foundation in collaboration with WAPHA.
This interactive, live Virtual Workshop will bring together a specialist presentation followed by breakout groups and completed with live audience Panel Q & A with the following objectives:
In a world of ever-evolving challenges, it's crucial to embrace innovative solutions and prioritise the well-being of individuals and communities. Our conference theme, "Looking Beyond," will delve into the realms of People, Resilience, and Innovation, exploring new pathways to enhance mental health services and support in rural and remote areas.
To register and secure your spot, visit our conference website
For any inquiries or assistance, please contact us at RRMHC@ruralhealthwest.com.au or 08 6389 4500.
We are excited to welcome health professionals from across rural WA to Walyalup, Fremantle on the 18 and 19 November for the 2023 Aboriginal Health Conference. The 2023 conference theme is Dedication: The Story of our Elders and will provide opportunity to learn from those who came before us, hear their stories, reflect on how we can move through the challenges faced by so many, and find a way forward together.
More information, including details on the travel support available for delegates and their families, can be found on the Aboriginal Health Conference website