Practice Connect #44

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 


Alert - Latex sheath on Fluad trivalent influenza vaccine 

The following important alert has been circulated by the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) via vaccine updates to immunisation service providers. 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has investigated an incident report and confirmed the presence of natural rubber latex in the sheath covering the needle of the trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluad (sponsored by Seqirus), which is available for people aged 65 years and over through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Action for vaccination providers: 
  • Anyone who has a severe allergy (anaphylaxis) to latex should not receive fluad.
  • Before administering Fluad, confirm with patients that they have not had a past anaphylactic reaction to latex.
  • If you have patients with a severe latex allergy, they can be safely vaccinated with the alternative trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose.
Click on this link for further information and advice for vaccination providers. 


Western Australian Immunisation Schedule 

The WA Immunisation Schedule has been updated to April 2018. 

Access the latest WA Immunisation Schedule via the Practice Assist immunisation page here


HealthPathways - The 2018 Influenza Pathway is Live! 

HealthPathways WA would like to announce the launch of the 2018 Influenza Pathway, which includes important program informaiton from the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) for the 2018 program. 

HealthPathways WA has a suite of immunisation pathways available as a valuable clinical resource for general practitioners and nurses. 

Our recently updated immunisation pathways include: 

Immunisation HealthPathways are localised by GP Clinical Editors with the support of subject matter experts from CDCD and Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC WA).

Email the HealthPathways inbox if you would like a username and password to this free online portal for health professionals:


HealthPathways update 

HealthPathways have now published 386 pathways. The most recently published pathways are: 


HealthPathways CPD Events 

Registration for these events is essential for catering purposes. Each event has 40 Category One QI&CPD points attached. 

Rockingham General Hospital GP Education Event: Chronic Disease  - 26 May 
Presented by Rockingham Peel Group and Rockingham General Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.

Date:               Saturday, 26 May 2018
Time:               8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registrations)       
Venue:            Rockingham General Hospital, Education Centre Lecture Theatre, Elanora Drive, Cooloongup
Catering:        Morning tea and lunch will be provided 
Register:        RSVP by Friday 18 May 2018. To register, please visit here

Fremantle Hospital GP Education Event: Mental Health and Older Adults' Health - 9 June  
Presented by South Metropolitan Health Service and Fremantle Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.

Date:                Saturday, 9 June 2018
Time:                8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registrations)       
Venue:             Fremantle Hospital, Alma Street, Fremantle
Catering:        Morning tea and lunch will be provided 
Register:        RSVP by Friday 28 May 2018. To register, please visit here.

Armadale Health Services GP Education Event: Mental Health - 23 June 
Presented by East Metropolitan Health Service and Armadale Kalamunda Group in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.

Date:                  Saturday, 23 June 2018
Time:                  8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registrations)        
Venue:               Armadale Health Service, 3056 Albany Hwy, Mount Nasura
Catering:          Morning tea and lunch will be provided 
Register:          RSVP by Friday 15 June 2018. To register, please visit here.


Palliative Care and Advanced Care planning toolkit - featuring HealthPathways

Launced on 12 April 2018, the End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) website and Primary Care Toolkit aim to support palliative care and advance care planning knowledge and practice. 

The site is a part of a three-year project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, which aims to improve the care of older Australians through advance care planning activites and palliative care connections. 

The Primary Care Toolkit, which was developed by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), is one of the five online toolkits developed by palliative care, aged care, primary care and legal experts covering:
  • Residential Aged Care;
  • Home Care;
  • Primary Care;
  • Working Together; and 
  • Legal matters.
It leads primary healthcare practitioners and teams through the various steps involved in supporting advance care planning with patients and their families, including considerations for people of various religious and cultural backgrounds. There are links to fact sheets, guides, discussion starters, patient resources and podcasts. Users can also access materials on assesing palliative care needs, providing palliative care, managing dying, and bereavement. 

The Primary Care Toolkit is online and freely accessible here.

The Primary Care Toolkit is comprised of three domains: 
  • Clinical Action - supporting primary healthcare providers in knowledge and practice of advance care planning and palliative care,
  • Team Action - supporting primary care practices in delivering best practice care, quality improvement, and in the use of relevant systems eg MBS, My Health Record, etc,
  • HealthPathways - supporting HealthPathways teams in the development of palliative care and advance care planning HealthPathways, providing resources appropriate for HealthPathways, supporting primary healthcare workers in navigating to HealthPathways and mapping of the existing HealthPathways in advance care planning and palliative care across Australia. 


NPS MedicineWise update

Celebrating 20 years 

NPS MedicineWise is celebrating two decades of improving decision making around medicines and medical tests for health professionals and consumer alike. 

From the outset NPS MedicineWise has looked to the evidence and developed strong relationships with general practitioners around Australia to deliver its program. In 1999, NPS MedicineWise began peer educational visits to GPs. Since then, over 300,000 educational visits have been conducted by their field force bringing about positive differences to prescribing decisions. In 2009, NPS extended their evidence-based approach to improving decision making around medicines and medical tests and other technologies. Their first medical test program - on imaging for low back pain - rolled out nationally in 2010, and since then thousands of health professionals have participated in the NPS MedicineWise medical test programs.

The NPS MedicineWise primary care clinical data program, MedicineInsight, provides valuable insights into primary health care. It provides an opportunity for GPs to benchmark their data against similar practices Australia wide. Insights from the aggregated data also enhance programs for general practice, provide post-marketing surveillance of medicines, and support policy makers, regulators and health service providers to develop evidence-based health policy and achieve optimal patient outcomes.

From a small startup in 1998, NPS MedicineWise has grown into an organisation of almost 300 staff, including a field force of Clinical Service Specialists (CSS) located throughout Australia.

NPS programs are rigorously evaluated, measuring health outcomes and effectiveness, while continuing to demonstrate changes in drug and medical test utilisation in line with quality use.

A summary of the work completed so far, and the latest NPS MedicineWise evaluation report are available on the NPS MedicineWise website here


Ordering your 2018 - 2020 prescriber bag supplies book now

You can now order the prescriber bag supplies book for July 2018 to June 2020

Eligible prescribers can use the prescriber bag supplies book to receive certain Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines for emergency use by their patients.
  • If you submit an order before 25 April 2018, you'll get your prescriber bag book in June 2018 
  • If you submit an order after 1 May 2018, you'll get your prescriber bag book in July 2018. 

To order the book use the Request for prescriber bag supplies order book form. Please note, the Department will only accept typed order forms. They will return handwritten, incomplete or poor-quality forms.

You can email the order form to PBS general orders ( For more information and a postal address, please see here

Accreditation Tip

This is a great time to review the contents of your doctors' emergency bag. Recommended contents are available in the RACGP Standards for accreditation:  


Emergeny Response Planning Tool

The Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) is a cloud-based tool which assists general practices to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from, the impacts of emergencies and pandemics. The RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) require practices to have a contigency plan for adverse and unexpected events such as natural disasters, pandemic diseases or the sudden unexpected absence of clinical staff (Criterion C3.3). The ERPT is one way that general practices can meet this Criterion. 

The ERPT guides practices through a series of planning templates where critical information about the practice is entered and saved. The critical information entered in the ERPT is used to create an emergency response plan which is individually tailored to the practice, providing a roadmap to recovering from emergencies. 

The ERPT is managed by Healthpoint ANZ and was developed in collboaration with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). 

How much does it cost?

The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is funding a limited number of licenses for the first-year subscription of the ERPT. Licenses will be available on a first come, first served basis.

This offer will save general practices in WA $300 plus GST.

How do I access the tool?

Register your practice by accessing the following link and complete the registration details. 

For more information, see our fact sheet on the ERPT, contact your Primary Health Liaison or Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or email 

Education and Training 

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

These events are often in high demand, so we recommend registering as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!


Expression of Interest: PrEP Training for WA GPs, Nurses and Health Professionals Working in Primary Care 

A landmark in HIV prevention drugs, PrEP (tenovir with emtricitabine) is now approved for use on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, thereby providing broader access for any doctor, general practitioner, and endorsed nurse practitioner to be able to prescribe PrEP to an eligible Australian resident who holds a current Medicare card. 

With funding from the Western Australian Department of Health, ASHM will be providing a number of dinner updates in WA aimed at educating the health workforce to:
  • Identify priority populations for testing
  • Understanding HIV epidemiology
  • Understand what Anti-Retroviral Therapy is, and how to access it 
  • Comprehend PrEP safety and usage data
  • Understand effectiveness of PrEP
  • Understand different HIV prevention strategies including PrEP and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
  • Explain to patients what PrEP/PEP is and how to access it
  • Implement a range of HIV Prevention Strategies encompassing prescribing PrEP and ongoing monitoring of the patient on PrEP
Date:                    Various throughout 2018/2019
Time:                    6.00pm – 9.00pm (5.45pm – Registrations)
Venue:                 Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Broome
Cost:                     Free (Dinner provided)
Register:            Registrations are essential for catering. Please visit here

Further questions can be directed to Kate Bath (HIV Senior Project Officer) or on telephone 0413 471 937.


Management and Leaders Forum - 10 May

Presented by The Australian Health Industry Group, attendees will learn how to create a business plan, how to use benchmarking to achieve success, providing customer services vs providing excellent customer service, policies for complying with the privacy act when handling sensitive data and how to manage social media in your workplace.

Date:                    Thursday, 10 May 2018
Time:                    9.00am – 4.30pm
Venue:                 Cliftons Venues, Parmelia House, 191 St George Terrace, Perth WA
Cost:                     $220 for AHIG members; $280 for non-members
Register:            To register, please visit here


Controversies in treating high blood pressure in general practice - 16 May 

VentureWise, NPS MedicineWise and Prospection have joined forces to establish Clinical Trial Assist – an initiative to test new and innovative clinical trial models in primary care. This is a free education session on hypertension and you will also hear about a current clinical trial by The George Institute, Curtin University and Sydney University and how to assess patient suitability for inclusion. This activity is accredited for 2 Category Two QI&CPD points.

Date:               Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Time:               6.30pm – 8.00pm (refreshments served from 6.30pm)
Venue:            The University Club of Western Australia, Hackett Drive, Crawley WA 6009
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please email or call (03) 9412 5528. Please RSVP by Thursday, 10 May 2018.


Rural and Remote Retrieval Weekend - 17 to 20 May

The annual Rural Health West, Rural and Remote Retrieval Weekend conference provides participants with the opportunity to learn about the management of medical emergencies in a remote environment when experiencing limitations on access to equipment, personnel and resources. For more information, see flyer here

Date:                Thursday, 17 May – Sunday, 20 May 2018
Time:               Thursday, 3.15pm – Sunday, 2.30pm  
Venue:             Karijini National Park, Banjima Drive, Karijini WA 6751
Cost:                 Single - $1600pp; Twin share - $1350pp; Triple share - $1200pp; Quad share - $1050pp; Camping - $950pp (Inclusive of accommodation, meals and on-site transport)
Register:         To register, please visit here


Perth Nurses' Conference - 28 to 29 May

Every year Ausmed Education holds a nurses' conference specifically designed for your region and aimed at assisting nurses to rapidly get up-to-date on current topics. Attend this local nurses' conference to gain a broad range of clinical and professional updates relevant to your practice. Take time out and network with like-minded colleagues. Topics include: Healthcare settings and unavoidable changes, Wound dressing selection, Safety when dealing wtih people on ice, The genetics of breast cancer and much more. 

Date:               Monday, 28 May – Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Time:               9.00am – 5.00pm   
Venue:            Holiday Inn Perth City Centre, 778-788 Hay Street, Perth WA
Cost:                $590 for two days
Register:       To register, please visit here


GP Education Sessions 2018 - 24 and 31 May

Session One will be presented by Dr Lewis Marshall (Sexual Health Physician, FSH) and Dr Sally Murray (Sexual Health Physician, RPH). Topic will be on what is happening around STI's including update on the new PBS listing for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, the current epidemiology in syphilis and gonorrhoea in WA and improving knowledge of STI risk groups and testing and screening options. 

Date:               Thursday, 24 May 2018
Time:               7.00pm – 9.00pm (6.30pm – Registrations)   
Venue:            Grace Vaughan House, 227 Stubbs Tce, Shenton Park 6008
Cost:                 Free
Register:        To register, please RSVP Natalie Foreman at  

Session Two will be represented by Dr Aesen Thambiran (Medical Director, Humatarian Entrant Health Service) and Dr Justin Waring (Medical Director, WA TB Control Program). This session will provide general practitioners with better understanding of medical conditions affecting migrant populations including tuberculosis. 

Date:               Thursday, 31 May 2018
Time:               7.00pm – 9.00pm (6.30pm – Registrations)   
Venue:            Grace Vaughan House, 227 Stubbs Tce, Shenton Park 6008
Cost:                 Free
Register:        To register, please RSVP Natalie Foreman at

This event has 4 Category Two CPD points attached. For more information, please see flyer here


Financial and Operational Performance - 31 May

Presented by Brentnalls SA, this workshop will support practices to build their capacity to continuously improve business processes to optimise busines sperformance. This activity is accredited for 4 Category Two QI&CPD points. For more information, see flyer here

Date:                    Thursday, 31 May 2018
Time:                    4.30pm – 8.00pm       
Venue:                 WAPHA Offices, Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                      Free 
Register:             Registrations are essential. Please visit here


Managing Data Safety in GP Practices - 31 May 

RACGP WA together with MDA National present this workshop to give participants an opportunity to explore privacy and information security in general practice with the experts. Practical strategies for addressing common data vulnerabilities, including randomware will be addressed as well as responsibilities around maintaining the privacy and security of patient data, and obligations under the new Notifiable Data Breaches scheme. 

Date:                    Thursday, 31 May 2018
Time:                    6.00pm – 8.00pm (5.45pm – Registrations)
Venue:                College House, 34 Harrogate Street, West Leederville 6007
Cost:                     $19.80 for members and registrars; $27.50 for non-members
Register:            To register, please visit here


TADPole: Treating Alcohol and other Drugs in Primary Care - 9 June 

Edith Cowan University: SIRCH and WA Primary Health Alliance invite you to attend a RACGP Category One TADPole event. An Active Learning Module (ALM) has been developed consisting of three separate education activities each two hours long. Activities include challenging attitudes and common issues encountered in general practice, enhanced understanding of specific drugs and comorbid conditions and motivational interviewing and brief intervention. 

Date:                    Saturday, 9 June 2018
Time:                    9.00am – 5.00pm (8.30am – Registrations)  
Venue:                 International on the Water Hotel, 1 Epsom Avenue, Ascot WA 6104
Cost:                      Free
Register:            To register, please visit here



Living and Leading the Change Process - 14 June 

This session presented by Roz Lindsay from Engaging Potential aims to introduce key concepts associated with overcoming people's resistance to change. Through a mix of concepts, practical methods and discussions we will explore the brain's role in change, the barriers to implementing change and ways to address these barriers. This activity is accredited for 8 Category Two QI&CPD points. For more information, see flyer here

Date:               Thursday, 14 June 2018
Time:               4.00pm – 8.00pm  
Venue:            WAPHA Offices Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please visit here


Multidisciplinary perspectives on preventing falls for older hospital patients and their transition back home - 15 June 

Falls remain a major health problem for older people, in hospitals and in the return to home. The Australian Association of Gerontology WA are hosting a one-day regional Falls Prevention Forum in Bunbury as part of a commitment to support training, research and education in ageing. The forum will cover important aspects of falls prevention implementation and sustainablitiy in hospital and community settings, the transition between hospital and community settings, and the transition between hospital and home. The keynote speaker will be Professor Lindy Clemson, Occupational Therapist from the University of Sydney.

Date:                    Friday, 15 June 2018
Time:                    9.30am – 4.15pm  
Venue:                 Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus, 585 Robertson Drive, East Bunbury WA 6230
Cost:                     $70 for AAG members; $100 for non-members
Register:             To register, please visit here


GP Webinar: Challenges in Patient Care in the Last 12 Months of Life - 19 June 

This seminar will explore some of the challenges in patient care in the last 12 months of life. Seminar topics include Navigating the grey zone between advanced illness and the end of life by Professor Geoff Mitchell (The University of Queensland), Research directions in end of life care by Professor Angus Cook (UWA), Clinical planning for patients in the last 12 months by Dr Sophie Fletcher (Palliative Care Registrar) and many more. 

Date:                   Tuesday, 19 June 2018  
Time:                    6.00pm – 7.30pm
Venue:                 WAPHA Offices, Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                     Free
Register:            To register, please email Angus Cook at   


Diabetes WA Aboriginal Health Forum - 27 June 

The Diabetes WA Aboriginal Health Forum: Working together today for a stronger tomorrow forum will showcase innovative programs and initiatives, the latest diabetes research and will feature keynote speakers from across Australia. For more information, please see flyer here

Date:                   Wednesday, 27 June 2018  
Time:                   9.00am - 4.00pm (8.30am - Registrations) 
Venue:                Technology Park Function Centre, 2 Brodie Hall Drive, Bentley WA 6102
Cost:                    Free
Register:           To register, please visit here

Registrations close 21 June 2018. Forward enquiries, video conferencing requests and dietary requirements to or call Natalie Jetta on 9436 6202. 


Health promotion events in May 

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.

World Lupus Day - 10 May 

World Lupus Day is sponsored by the World Lupus Federation, a coalition of lupus patient organisations from around the world, united to improve the quality of life for people affected by Lupus. Through coordinated efforts of its global affiliates, the World Lupus Federation works to create greater awareness and understanding of lupus, provide education and services to peopl living with the disease, and advocate on their behalf. 

Please visit Lupus WA to get involved. 


Patient group education programs for Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes WA provide a range of group education sessions for patients living with Type 2 diabetes, throughout regional Western Australia and metropolitan Perth.

The SMART programs are a range of short group education sessions designed to help better manage patient's Type 2 diabetes. Bookings are essential, and attendance at all of the SMART programs is free for NDSS Registrants and Diabetes WA members.

The group education calendar can be found here.

Bookings can be made online into programs using the interactive calendar, or by contacting Diabetes WA on telephone 1300 001 880. 
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.