Practice Connect #40

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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NEW Practice Assist Resources

There are now more than 130 fact sheets, templates and resources available on the Practice Assist website, which can be found in the Resource Library.

This month we have added fact sheets on:

We have also taken the hard work out of writing your practice policies and procedures, by providing the Policy and Procedure Practice Manual. The Manual is a full set of template policies and procedures aimed at assisting a general practice with achieving accreditation against the RACGP Standards for General Practices (4th edition). The Manual can be found in The Tool Kit as a MS Word document for practices to edit to suit your own practice needs. Visit HERE

If there is a fact sheet, template or other resource you would like us to provide, or if you have a question for our Help Desk team, please contact 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or email

Practice Manager Networking Sessions: RACGP Standards for general practices, 5th edition 

Presented by Dr Michael Civil, formerly Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee - Standards for general practices.

These free, catered sessions will discuss the changes to the Standards, the implication of the changes, and how to meet them in your general practice.

For session information and to register, please visit HERE


Changes to the Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive delayed until 1 May 2019 

The Practice Incentive Program (PIP) has been a key driver in quality care in the general practice sector and the PIP QI Incentive will continue to build on this important work, further strengthening quality improvement in primary health care.

As announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget measure Quality Improvement in General Practice, the design of the new QI Incentive will support general practice to better understand the quality of care being delivered, leading to better outcomes for patients.

However, in a statement released to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) this week, the Australian Government stated that the additional 12 months will enable the Department to ensure that any implementation issues are identified and addressed and that general practice have adequate opportunity to prepare.

Through practice support teams, such as Practice Assist in Western Australia, PHNs are already working closely with many practices to implement quality improvement – this work will not be slowed due to the new implementation date. The additional time frame will also allow the Department to have more detailed conversations with your practice support staff on how quality improvement is delivered in each of your respective regions.

The changed time frame will mean that the following five incentives which were to cease on 1 May 2018, will now continue through to 30 April 2019.

The five Incentives are:

  • Asthma Incentive
  • Quality Prescribing Incentive
  • Cervical Screening Incentive
  • Diabetes Incentive, and 
  • General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive . 
The six PIP Incentives that continue to remain unchanged are: 
  • eHealth Incentive
  • After Hours Incentive
  • Rural Loading Incentive
  • Teaching Payment 
  • Indigenous Health Incentive, and 
  • Procedural General Practitioner Payment. 


Cervical screening resources and launch of cervical screening flipchart resource 

The WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) will launch a new Cervical Screening Flipchart resource to coincide with National Closing the Gap Day on 15th March 2018.

The flipchart is designed to support healthcare providers in WA to engage with Aboriginal women about the importance of regular cervical screening and has been developed in close consultation with the BreastScreen WA and the WACCPP Aboriginal Women’s Reference Group.

For more information, please contact Kay Walley, Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer at or telephone (08) 6553 0716.

A collection of resources are also available to help you understand and communicate what the cervical screening changes mean for women and healthcare providers in WA.


  • Resources for healthcare providers and women can be downloaded or ordered from HERE
  • A range of tools and activities, including a social media kit, can be accessed HERE  
Cancer Council Australia  Commonwealth 


Immunisation update 

2018 Australian Government funded influenza vaccines for over 65 years 

The Australian Government will fund two new flu vaccines in 2018 to try to better protect the elderly: 

  • Sanofi's High Dose FluZone vaccine, which contains four times the amount of flu antigen than the standard does; and 
  • Seqirus' (CSL) Flu vaccine, which containts the adjuvant MF59, a substance that improves the immune response. 
For further information please see media release by The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP Minister for Health HERE


Children are missing out on free meningococcal ACWY vaccine 

Preliminary information obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) indicates that providers may be missing key opportunities to protect children from serious meningococcal disease. AIR data suggests that many children attending for their routine immunisations scheduled at 18 months and three and a half to four years have not been given the MenACWY vaccine.

MenACWY vaccines are safe to administer at the same time as other scheduled childhood vaccines. Nimenrix® can be given as a single dose to children receiving their 12 or 18 month scheduled vaccination and Menveo® should be used as a single dose to protect children aged two years and older, including when they present for scheduled vaccinations on or after three and half years of age.

The number of meningococcal infections in WA doubled between 2016 and 2017, and last year children under five years of age had more than twice the number of meningococcal infections compared to any other age group.

Please ensure that you opportunistically vaccinate all children aged 12 months to less than five years, regardless of the reason they attended your clinic.

Notification of adult influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register 

In preparation for the influenza season, immunisation providers are reminded that all vaccinations, including adult vaccinations, should be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Providers who use practice management software should check with their vendors whether their software is up to date, to ensure all adult vaccinations are transmitted to the register. Providers that use paper-based systems and the online AIR Secure Site to transfer encounters are reminded to transmit all adult vaccinations, including influenza to the register.


HealthPathways update 

HealthPathways have now published 366 pathways. The most recently published pathways are: 

Medical Cannabis Pathway 

The use of Cannabis Based Products (CBPs) has been approved by the Australian Department of Health and a number of products can now be prescribed as a Schedule 8 or Schedule 4 medicine in Western Australia. The HealthPathways team have now published a Medical Cannabis Pathway which details the important prescribing information for general practitioners.

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


NPS MedicineWise update 

Virtual Visits 

NPS MedicineWise Clinical Service Specialists (CSS) travel throughout WA metro and regional areas to deliver free, evidence based continuing professional development (CPD) to general practices. However, regional practices don’t have to wait for an NPS CSS visit. NPS CPD can be delivered at any time via the internet as an interactive Skype Virtual Visit.

Virtual Visits give general practitioners more options to book NPS CPD at a date and time that suits them.

Virtual Visits are interactive discussions or topic content and as such, they qualify for RACGP and ACRRM accreditation, typically;

  • Category Two RACGP points in the QI CPD Program for the 2017-2019 triennium; and 
  • Core Point in the ACRRM PD Program for the 2017-2019 triennium.
The topics available are posted on the NPS website

GPs and practice managers who would like to book an NPS Virtual Visit can book through the website or contact Nicole Humphry at WAPHA on (08) 6272 4921 or email


Community of practice for consumer engagement survey 

The Health Consumers’ Council, supported by the WA Primary Health Alliance, is looking to support a community of practice for staff and consumer representatives across the whole WA health system – including primary, community and hospital services – to share information and examples of good practice in the area of consumer engagement.

We have developed a short survey to understand the level of interest and to inform the scope and content for this community of practice. Click HERE to take the survey and tell us what you think by Wednesday 21 March at 8pm.

More information about the community of practice is available on the Health Consumers’ Council website.

If you have any questions about this survey or the community of practice, please contact the Health Consumers’ Council at


Seeking expressions of interest - Improving GP access for vulnerable populations

WAPHA has commissioned Ruah Community Services and Silver Chain Group to deliver a service with the intended outcome of improving the chronic disease management of marginalised population groups in the Perth metropolitan area.

Under this proposed model, a nurse practitioner works with clients of Ruah, Richmond Wellbeing and Silver Chain in partnership with a case worker where available. The nurse practitioner will undertake a comprehensive health assessment including investigation, screening, monitoring and evaluation of the client’s chronic disease, as well as developing an individualised plan using the principles of self-management.

The service is looking to work with general practitioners to transition patients into seeing a regular general practitioner. This will develop an integrated and collaborative model of care that is individualised for the client.

If you are interested in being involved in this exciting initiative, please contact Kher-Sing Tee, Regional Manager at WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) on telephone (08) 6278 7902 or email to discuss further.


Scholarships for WA nurses and midwives 

The WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) is pleased to announce that a new round of scholarships is now available to nurses and midwives working in private and publicly funded sectors that are committed to delivering cervical screening services.

Scholarship funding will cover the cost (theory and clinical practicum components) of attendance at the Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) Cervical Screening for Nurses course.

The theory component will be delivered on 18 – 21 June 2018 in Perth, with the clinical to be confirmed by SHQ at a later date.

Eligible applicants are encouraged to complete the scholarship application form. Applications close 4pm Friday 16 March 2018. For more information, please visit the scholarships webpage or email


Do you need to update your practice details with Royal Perth Hospital? 

To change your practice’s preference for how to receive discharge summaries or to update any other details in the GP database (which is used by many sites), please email or phone (08) 9224 7066 with:

  • Your practice's preferred method of discharge summary delivery - secure electronic, fax or mail (some sites send a hard copy in addition to electronic or fax).
  • Your practice name, address, phone, fax and, for secure electronic transmission, your practice's EDI code (obtained from your secure messaging provider). 
  • A list of all current GP's at your practice including their provider numbers. 
Please note: For problems receiving discharge summaries electronically, please contact your secure messaging provider's help desk in the first instance. 



Permanent skin staining from intravenous iron infusions 

The Department of Health (WA) has been made aware of a series of complaints from patients who have been left with permanent and irreversible skin staining following extravasation during intravenous iron infusions. These events have occurred across a range of facilities within the public, private and primary care setting.

It is a timely reminder to ensure that sufficient information, including potential material risks, is provided to all patients to enable them to give informed consent. Notifying relevant staff of this issue and reviewing your appropriate organisational policies is encouraged.

Please contact the Department of Health’s Senior Policy Officer Georgina Low at (08) 9222 4370 for any queries about this issue or if there is any further information you require on this topic.

Education and training 

Visit our Webinars & Workshops page for more events in your area. 



Women's health webinar series 

Cancer Council WA presents the annual Women’s Health Webinar Series for GPs and practice nurses to hear specialists present on issues affecting women’s health. The webinars are free to attend and you can tune in for one or all three sessions.

For more information and to register for a webinar, visit the links below. Registrations are essential; you will be provided with the webinar link upon registration.


Webinar recording on codeine rescheduling now available for viewing 

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s (ACRRM) first webinar on codeine rescheduling is now available online, free of charge for all members and non-members. The webinar, brought to you in partnership with the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), CRANAplus, and the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), gives you expert advice on the impact codeine rescheduling could have on rural and remote health providers.

In this webinar recording, Dr James Finn, Addiction Medicine Specialist, and Dr Suyin Tan, Pain Medicine Specialist, provide their advice on how to best manage patients in rural and remote Australia. When watching the recording, you can view the chat box by selecting the pink chevron icon in the bottom right of the screen.

To listen, please click HERE


Living and Leading the Change Process - 19 March 

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 resistance 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 Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                  Monday, 19 March 2018
Time:                  4.00pm – 8.00pm   
Venue:               WAPHA Offices: 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                    Free
Register:           To register, please visit the following website


Fremantle Nurse Network - 22 March 

A workshop presented by Merle Taylor on The Diabetic Care Plan and Diabetic Review. This is intended to be a fun learning event.

Date:                Thursday, 22 March 2018
Time:                6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue:             Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall, 10 Foss St, Palmyra WA 6157  
Cost:                 Gold coin donation
Register:         To register, please contact June at                                                                        
                             RSVP by Friday, 16 March 2018


Rural Health West Annual Conference - 24 to 25 March 

Breaking down the barriers in the bush – mental healthcare for our rural communities is an opportunity for rural medical and health practitioners to hear from mental health leaders and advocates about the latest services and treatments, share their personal insights, and enhance their skills and abilities to successfully care for patients with mental health issues.

Date:               Saturday, 24 March – Sunday, 25 March 2018
Venue:            Hyatt Regency, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000
Cost:               Early bird for GPs and specialists $600, discounted prices for students and registrars
Register:        To register, please visit the following website           


My Health Record Workshop for Practice Managers and Nurses - 26 to 28 March

This educational session will look at the My Health Record system from the perspective of the Practice Manager and Practice Nurse, including: 
  • what Practice Managers need to know to support GPs, other colleagues and patients;
  • the role of the Practice Nurse in contributing clinical information; 
  • features and benefits of My Health Record for general practice; and
  • how practice staff can work collaboratively to integrate My Health Record into their workflow and their patients' care 
This My Health Record for Practice Managers Workshop has been allocated five AAPM CPD points per one hour of education by The Australian Association of Practice Management Ltd (AAPM).

Cost: This is a free event, and places are limited. Light breakfast will be available during the session. 
Date   Time Venue Registration
Monday, 26 March 2018 7.30am - 9.00am Joondalup Reception Centre
102 Boas Ave, Joondalup WA 6027
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 7.30am - 9.00am Secret Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club
11 Palermo Cove, Secret Harbour WA 6173
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 7.30am - 9.00am WAPHA, Level 2
2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale WA 6103

Following the conclusion of the formal training at 8.30am, there will be a thirty minute Q&A session with the trainer from the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Please note that three sessions have been scheduled - if this date or location doesn't suit you, please contact to discuss alternative sessions. 


Immunisation Education Sessions - 3 April to 4 May

Immunisation Education Sessions be presented by Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control and WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) will cover influenza updates, antenatal vaccination, cold chain management, interpretation of AIR reports and a catch up scenario.

These will be interactive sessions with 30 minutes of open question time, so please bring along any tricky questions you might have.

Please note that these sessions do not replace the yearly immunisation update, you can complete this HERE 

Cost:                 Free – certificate of attendance will be provided
Register:        To register, please visit the following website       

Date Time Location
Tuesday, 3 April 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm Currambine Community Centre, Currambine
Wednesday, 4 April 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm  WAPHA, Room 6 & 7, Rivervale
Thursday, 5 April 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm Stirling Community Centre (Charles Riley), North Beach 
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm Harrisdale Pavilion, Harrisdale 
Thursday, 12 April 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, Secret Harbour 
Friday, 4 May 2018 12.00pm - 2.00pm  The Rise, Middle Swan 



Working with Defensive and Destructive Aspects of the Self: From Infancy to Adulthood - 4 to 5 May 

This seminar by Dr Magagna (Head of Psychotherapy Services at London, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) will take a developmental focus to explore the growth of object-relations with particularly attention on defensive and destructive aspects of the psyche and their implications in clinical treatment.

Date:               Friday, 4 May – Saturday, 5 May 2018
Time:               9.00am – 5.30pm (8.30am – Registration)
Venue:            Rottnest and Garden Rooms, Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle
Cost:                $550
Register:        To register, please visit the following website                     


Health promotion events in March 

Is your practice looking for a health promotion activity for your practice?  Each edition we provide a list of upcoming health promotion activities for the coming months along with resources and contact details. You can also view all health promotion activities for the year by visiting Practice Assist’s health calendar

The March Change 

The March Charge is a fun personal fitness challenge that has an enormous impact on how cancer is researched and treated. Just by walking or running for the Cancer Council this March, and raising funds, you can help us Charge ahead with cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support services. You can choose to go solo or get your friends/family/colleagues together and do it as a team – it’s up to you!                                

For more information and to register, please visit:      

World's Greatest Shave - 14 to 18 March 

This iconic event is one of Australia’s biggest fundraisers. It’s an annual event where family, friends, businesses and individuals come together to raise money by getting sponsored to be brave and shave their head. You can also show your support by colouring your hair, waxing and more. The money collected from sponsors will go towards research, which is needed to find better treatments and cures for leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders.

Take part and sign up today:

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.