Practice Connect #37

Welcome to Practice Connect, a fortnightly update for practice managers, nurses and practice administration staff on relevant issues, upcoming events and education.

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Immunisation update

Launch of WA Paediatric Meningococcal Vaccination Program

Effective immediately, the Western Australian Department of Health has commenced the Paediatric Meningococcal Vaccination Program for Western Australian children aged 12 months to five years. This program will provide free access to the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Children under five years of age are at a higher risk of invasive Meningococcal disease due to the emergence of a virulent serogroup W strain and to a lesser extent, serotype Y. 

The Western Australian Immunisation schedule has been updated and can be accessed on the WA Health site.

The Western Australian Meningococcal ACWY vaccination guidance table can be accessed here.

Important information on the Meningococcal ACWY paediatric and adult vaccination programs can be accessed on the WA Health site.


Bowel Cancer Screening Program update

New National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Test Kit

A new immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) kit and associated pathology services were introduced into the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program) from 2 January 2018. The Program is a population based screening program that aims to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce the number of Australians who die each year from the disease.

Eligible people are invited by mail to complete a test kit at home and directed to send it to the Program’s pathology laboratory for analysis. There is no cost involved. The test can detect tiny amounts of blood in faeces which may be a sign of cancer or polyps.

The new kit (an Eiken kit – OC Auto-sampling Bottle 3 – using the Pledia analyser) and associated pathology service was selected by the Australian Government Department of Health through an open market tender process. The new kit is included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and is already used widely in Australia and overseas.

The new pathology provider is Sonic Healthcare Limited (Sonic). The current test kit is no longer available to the Program from January 2018 as it will cease to be produced. Kits received in 2017 will still be tested by Dorevitch.

Sonic commenced services from 2 January 2018. Consequently, there will be no disruption of services for people to be invited through the Program. The new kit sample collection method is very similar to that of the kit currently used.

Instructions for patients are available on the Cancer Screening website

This instruction brochure will be provided to invitees with the kit, along with an information booklet which can be accessed here.

Demonstration kits should be available in early 2018. Please email if you would like to place an order.


My Health Record update

My Health Record Training and Resources

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is working with the Australian Digital Health Agency to roll-out My Health Record across Western Australia. WAPHA has formed a My Health Record team to ensure general practices, community pharmacists, specialists and allied health professionals across the state are provided with information and resources to assist in the implementation of the system into practice work-flow and provide patients with accurate information.

Currently the focus is on increasing provider readiness across the healthcare sector and WAPHA’s My Health Record team is planning awareness expansion visits across Western Australia (WA) with the objective to provide training to general practices. During 2018 the team will visit all WA regions including metropolitan and country areas. If you have queries, you can contact the team via

Patient waiting room materials such as brochures and posters are currently being developed and will be mailed to every practice in WA around April. This will be aligned with a nation-wide campaign to inform the public about My Health Record. Until you receive the package in the mail, you can continue to order materials via or call (02) 6269 1080. Please ensure you include the name of the brochure you are requesting for example My Health Record ‘All you need to know’, your practice/organisation name, street address, contact name, phone number and the quantity of brochures required.

My Health Record Survey extended closing date!

A request to complete a provider readiness survey was sent to all general practitioners in December. Please note the deadline was extended and closes tomorrow Wednesday 31 January. Please complete this 5-minute survey. Your feedback is much appreciated.


HealthPathways update 

HealthPathways WA have now reach 352 pathways. The most recently published pathways are:

Partial Pathway Update:

New clinical resources and patient information factsheets on Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia in the perinatal period have recently been added to the Perinatal Mental Health pathway. These updates include:

Using feedback received through the HealthPathways site, the team are continuously reviewing pathways to provide general practitioners with the most relevant and up-to-date resources and information. If you would like us to change or add a service please use the ‘send feedback’ button in the top right-hand corner of the relevant page.

To access HealthPathways please contact your WAPHA Primary Health Liaison or email the HealthPathways team for login details at


NPS MedicineWise update

Codeine scheduling changes taking effect from 1 February 2018

In this month’s Australian Prescriber, Dr David Liew interviews clinical pharmacologist Darren Roberts about why codeine is being rescheduled to a prescription-only medicine and what the implications are. Read the full article in Australian Prescriber or listen to the podcast on the NPS website.

Support resources are also available. These include:

  • Overview on NPS website; Codeine – what you need to know
  • Upscheduling of codeine webpage. RACGP have released a new online resource – which includes resources from RACGP, TGA, Scriptwise and NPS MedicineWise. To view this resource, please visit the RACGP website
  • NPS MedicineWise have released patient resources about the codeine changes which are available in English and eight other community languages. These languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean and, Spanish. These resources can be accessed by visiting the NPS website.

Education and training 


Common Vulval Conditions Webinar – 1 February

Jean Hailes is hosting a free webinar for health professionals to explore the diagnosis and management of some common vulval conditions. Topics include an anatomy refresher, examination and consultation essentials to improve practice, common vulval conditions (eczema, candida, lichen sclerosis and lichen planus), investigation, management options and when to refer. This activity has 3 Category 2 QI&CPD points attached.

Date:              Thursday, 1 February 2018
Time:              4.30pm – 6.00pm
Venue:           Live via webcast
Cost:               Free
Register:      To register, please visit event weblink


Privacy, Security and Patient Consent Webinar – 1 February

Hosted by the Australian Digital Health Agency, this webinar will outline the security features of the My Health Record System, the legislation which underpins healthcare providers’ use and providers’ obligations as they relate to consumer consent.

Date:               Thursday, 1 February 2018
Time:              2.00pm – 3.00pm  
Venue:           Live via webcast
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please visit event weblink


Optimising Business Performance Program (Business Planning) – 6 February

Brentnalls SA are presenting a module on Business Planning. This module will focus on strategic planning and how to apply it in a general practice environment, the value of values in driving business performance, prioritising strategic actions, and strategies for ensuring effective execution of a strategic plan and monitoring ongoing performance. This activity has 2 Category 2 QI&CPD points attached.

Date:               Tuesday, 6 February 2018
Time:              5.00pm – 7.30pm
Venue:           WAPHA Offices: 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale WA 6103  
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please visit event weblink


Cervical Screening Program Update Webinar – 6 February

Presented by Professor Ian Hammond, this free webinar will provide a question and answer forum for GPs on the renewed Cervical Screening Program, how to prepare your patients for the changes and, support improvements in participation. This activity has 2 Category 2 QI&CPD points attached.

Date:              Tuesday, 6 February 2018
Time:              7.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue:           Live via webcast
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please visit event weblink.    


Optimising Business Performance Program (Good Governance) – 7 February

Brentnalls SA are presenting a module on Good Governance. This model will focus on the fundamental principles and process that support good governance, strategies for facilitating effective decision making in the general practice environment, getting your team to all work in the same direction, and understanding process of effective delegations of authority.

Date:              Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Time:              7.30am – 9.00am
Venue:           WAPHA Offices: 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale WA 6103  
Cost:               Free
Register:      To register, please visit event weblink.   


Communicating with Consumers – 8 February

Hosted by the Australian Digital Health Agency, this webinar will outline for healthcare providers how and what to communicate with consumers regarding My Health Record and the range of materials on offer to support this communication, as well as how to register a consumer through clinical software.

Date:              Thursday, 8 February 2018
Time:              2.00pm – 3.00pm  
Venue:           WAPHA Offices: 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale WA 6103 
Cost:               Free
Register:       To register, please visit event weblink


WA Women in Leadership Series Breakfast – 12 February

The Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) WA Branch are hosting a breakfast launch for their Women in Leadership series. This event will provide an opportunity to hear about the panellists’ leadership pathways, achievements and advice for other women in a panel discussion format. Panellists include Professor Christobel Saunders, Liz MacLeod, Debbie Karasinski, and Professor Lyn Beazley.

Date:              Monday, 12 February 2018
Time:              7.15am – 9.00am
Venue:           Bruce Hunt Lecture Theatre, Royal Perth Hospital, Wellington Street Entrance
Cost:               ACHSM Members $35; Non-ACHSM Members $45
Register:      To register, please visit event weblink


Living and Leading the Change Process – 16 February

Roz Lindsay from Engaging Potential is presenting Living and Leading the Change Process. This session aims to introduce key concepts associated with overcoming people’s resistant to change. Through a mix of concepts, practical methods and discussions, this workshop will explore the brain’s role in change, the barriers to implementing change and ways to address these barriers. This activity has 8 Category 2 QI&CPD points attached.

Date:              Friday, 16 February 2018
Time:              8.00am – 12.00pm
Venue:           WAPHA Offices: 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale WA 6103  
Cost:               Free
Register:       To register, please visit event weblink.                                                 


Mandurah and Surrounding Areas Networking – 20 February

This casual open discussion forum offers a great opportunity to network with like-minded practice managers and discuss any management issues or concerns you may be experiencing. People involved in practice management and non-members of AAPM are welcome to join.

Date:              Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Time:              6.30pm – 8.00pm
Venue:           Dome CafĂ©, The Boardwalk, 73 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah WA 6210
Cost:               Free (food and beverages at own cost)
Register:      To register, please visit event weblink.        


ACHSM Live Webcast Series 2018 – 23 February

The Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) are launching a series of live webcasts. Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government will be the inaugural national webcast presenter. Topics covered include the medical workforce challenge, sustainability of the MBS and the PBS and, obesity challenges facing our society. 

Date:              Friday, 23 February 2018
Time:              9.00am – 10.00am  
Venue:           Live via webcast
Cost:               ACHSM Members $20; Non-ACHSM Members $65
Register:      To register, please visit event weblink.


Health promotion events in February 

Are you looking for a health promotion activity for your practice?  Each edition we provide a list of upcoming health promotion activities for the coming month along with resources and contact details. You can also view all health promotion activities for the year by visiting Practice Assist’s 2018 Health Promotion Calendar.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - February

This year Ovarian Cancer Australia are encouraging women to #KnowAskAct as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Women should KNOW the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, ASK for help if they have symptoms or ask others if they have symptoms and, ACT by participating in an Ovarian Cancer Awareness activity to continue to support women with ovarian cancer. This website contains ovarian cancer resources and information on symptoms, risks and treatment, as well as how to register for an event.


Practice Assist 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.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.