Practice Connect #46

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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Royal Perth Hospital technical issue

GP Notify has been unable to send RPH admission, discharge or death notifications from 5 May 2018 due to technical issues. Please ensure all the GPs in your practice are aware that GP Notify is not currently sending. Other forms of communication, eg discharge summaries, are not affected.

Work is underway to resolve the issue as soon as possible. A system reset will need to be performed, which means that to receive GP Notifications in future, GPs will need to register. When you receive your GP Notify Confirmation form, please return it as soon as possible to ensure notifications restart.

RPH would like to apologise for any inconvenience.



Immunisation update 

Influenza vaccine supply update 

There has been increased demand for influenza vaccines across Australia this season. To date, the Western Australian Department of Health has distributed 450, 000 doses of free influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). This is 15% above the quantity distributed at the same time last year. 

WA is currently limiting NIP influenza vaccine ordering quantities to ensure equitable distribution of supplies. The Department of Health expects there will be enough vaccine available to ensure those eligible for the NIP vaccine can be vaccinated before peak influenza transmission in August/September. However, there may be ordering restrictions for short periods while waiitng for additional vaccine supplies to arrive in WA. 

WA Health does not have any influence over the private market supplies, but has however been advised more vaccine will be made available in the private market. 

Key points:
  • For patients aged 65 years and above, offer a QIV if there is no TIV in stock.
  • Please note: Those aged 65 and above should only receive 1 dose of influenza vaccine. Providing both a QIV and TIV in a single season is not recommended.
  • Children aged less than 9 years who have not previously been vaccinated should receive 2 doses, 1 month apart.

Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea alert for clinicians 

The following information was recently communicated via the WA Department of Health Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD). 

Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea have recently been detected in Australia caused by strains with the highest level of antibiotic resistance ever recorded. Most cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea have arisen in Southeast and East Asia. The initial approach to management of gonorrhoea remains unchanged, however:
  • be aware of the increased risk of multi-drug resistant isolates,
  • take 'test of cure' samples from all cases infected in Southeast and East Asia, and
  • seek specialist advice when first line treatment fails or where the antibiotic sensitivity report indicates resistance to ceftriaxone and/or azithromycin. 
For further information, please click here

National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) and National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) updates 

The NCSP and NCSR has recently communicated important updates for providers on the renewed screening program. Visit the Cervical Cancer Screening page on Practice Assist to view these short slide decks and ensure your practice is across any updates to the renewed NCSP. 

For further information

Self-collection for Cervical Screening 

When the new Cervical Screening was introduced last year, the self-collection option was put on hold as there was no MBS number for reimbursement. Some pathology providers are now able to send these to Victoria for processing under MBS. Please check with your local pathology providers to find out if they provide this option.

For further information contact the National Cervical Screening Program at 13 15 56


My Health Record update

My Health Record general practice mailout in June

Following the announcement of the opt-out period from 16 July to 15 October for the national My Health Record expansion, we are pleased to confirm you will receive a General Practice Information Pack in the mail towards the end of June. The materials can only be used in general practice from 16 July onwards, the commencemen9t of the opt-out period.

This is part of a nation-wide initiative by the Australian Digital Health Agency to inform consumers about My Health Record and opt-out, and support the conversations general practitioners will have with them.

The packs will include brochures, posters and additional resources for practice staff such as tear-off note pads to provide quick and easy information when talking to the patients. More resources can be ordered directly from the Australian Digital Health Agency if required during the opt-out period.

Last week, Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Health Agency addressed the National Press Club in Canberra on My Health Record expansion program in his speech “Your health in your hands: The digital evolution of health and care in Australia”. You can read more here



HealthPathways update

Working group 

HealthPathways are currently recruiting GPs for the Rheumatology working group scheduled for 19 June 2018.

HealthPathways working groups provide an opportunity for GPs and specialists to collaborate on patient care management and referral pathways, discuss issues and contribute to potential service design.

In recognition of a GPs contribution and time taken away from usual practice, remuneration will be offered. Please see flyer here for further information. 

GPs are encouraged to submit an expression of interest to along with a contact number, practice name, working group(s) you would like to participate in and a brief description of relevant experience. An invitation to participate in the working group will be sent to selected GPs.

HealthPathways CPD events ​

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 – Registration)
Venue:                  Armadale Health Service, 3056 Albany Hwy, Mount Nasura, WA 6112
Catering:             Morning tea and lunch will be provided 
Register:             RSVP by Friday 15 June 2018. To register, please visit here



Digital Health update 

CAT4 Version Support - Update Now 

WAPHA has received a list of all CAT4 versions currently in use by practices in WA and discovered that most practices are running on old versions of the program from as far back as 2015 (version 4.0 was released in June 2015).

This means that some practices have not run any updates on their CAT4 software since first installed. The current version is 4.10.1 released in March this year.

WAPHA recommends upgrading to the latest version as soon as able to ensure the product is fully compatible with clinical software, as well as fixing any errors or bugs that may have been discovered.

Later versions of CAT4 also include more accurate reporting of Shared Health Summary uploads, new cervical cancer screening guidelines, improved clinical risk calculators, additional MBS items, pathology codes and much more.

If you’re not sure of what version your practice is on, you can check on the login screen as below.

A quick guide on how to check for updates is also available here.

Please remember that your practice will have to run updates on the server version of CAT4 as well as any desktop installations your practice has.

For technical support, please contact the team at PenCS on 1800 762 993.



NPS MedicineWise update 

Starting, stepping down and stopping medicines 

Knowing when and how to step down or stop medicines safely and effectively is a key quality use of medicines (QUM) consideration. 

This education visiting program uses proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), as one of the most commonly-prescribed, familiar medicines in general practice, to illustrate in detail what to consider at initiation, when to review, and when it's appropriate to step down or stop. 

Education visits are available as: 

  • One-on-one tailored discussions for GPs (30 minutes)
  • Small group meetings for up to 10 health professionals - GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists (1 hour) 
If you're short on time, consider a virtual visit. Virtual visits are the same live, one-on-one, interactive discussion with the same NPS Clinical Services Specialist just conversing through your computer via Skype. 

If your practice participates in MedicineInsight, your data will be used to customise the visit, providing richer insights into the topic and evidence. MedicineInsight tools, such as the generation of patient lists according to clinical parameters to facilitate follow-up of patients potentially at risk, can also be demonstrated. Non-participating practices will receive insights drawn from aggregated MedicineInsight clinical data.

To book, contact Nicole Humphry, NPS Coordinator at WAPHA on (08) 6272 4921 or visit the NPS MedicineWise website.



Orygen research study into Youth Depression and Suicidality 

Call for GP and Practice Manager Interest 

  • Do you have an interest in Mental Health?
  • Would you like to see an increase in young people engaging with your practice?
  • Would you like to contribute to an innovative national study to design and develop a locally targeted training that can improve access to primary care for youth in your region?
We are currently seeking GPs that practice within Rockingham, Mandurah, Waroona, Murray and Pinjarra who would be interested in contributing to suicide prevention in your region. 

Orygen; The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, will be visiting GP practices between the 19 and 22 June 2018; providing you with the opportunity to share your insights, knowledge and challenges as a primary care provider in youth depression and suicidality. 

Consultations wil take no longer than one hour and can be conducted one-to-one or as group over a breakfast/lunch/dinner meeting dependant on your preference and availability. 

If you would like to participate, have any questions regarding the study or would like any further information; please don't hesitate to contact Chloe, Suicide Prevention Trial Project Officer on 0408 462 549 or (08) 6278 7940, or via email at  



Depression and Anxiety Care - Implementation of the Target D

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) are looking for ten general practices which operate in the Primary Health Network South metro boundary to implement the Target D toolkit. 

Mental health care can be complex and time consuming. Target D is an approach in which patients complete an online assessment and receive a treatment recommendation matched to their predicted risk of future mental health problems. 

The Target D approach has been developed based upon 15 years of research and investigation, by the University of Melbourne. The approach seeks to enhance the capacity of general practice to meet the needs of the people that seek their care.

For further information on the implementation of the Target D toolkit, please see this flyer.


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!


New eating disorders resources for GPs 

The Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders has rebranded as the InsideOut Institute, a national institute for research and clinical excellence in eating disorders.

Eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses, their development is multifactorial, and without effective treatment they can cause serious and permanent harm or even death. General practitioners are part of a network of providers for people with eating disorders, and can be crucial for coordination and treatment.

To coincide with the launch, we have developed a new website which includes treatment services database, clinical practice guidelines, resource library and training opportunities.



GP Education Event: Vulnerable Minds, Fragile Bones & Planned Ageing - 9 June  

Presented by South Metropolitan Health Service and Fremantle Hospital in partnership with WAPHA and HealthPathways WA. This education session includes topics such as Managing Difficult to Treat Depression, Update on Older Persons Mental Health, Advanced Care Planning and more. This activity has 40 Category One QI&CPD points.

Date:                     Saturday, 9 June 2018
Time:                    8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registrations)  
Venue:                 Fremantle Hospital, Alma Street, Fremantle WA 6160
Cost:                      Free
Register:              RSVP by Friday 28 May 2018. To register, please visit here


Perth Metro Speed Discussions - 13 June 

Join your local AAPM WA networking host for networking with like-minded practice managers. Come along with your pressing issues and assist others with your own experiences for one on one discussions with colleagues. Hosted by Simone Dorevitch.

Date:                     Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Time:                    5.45pm – 7.30pm
Venue:                 Dome Café, 293 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park WA 6100
Cost:                      Free (food and beverage at own cost)
Register:              To register, please visit here



GP Education Event: Mental Health - 23 June

Presented by East Metropolitan Health Service and Armadale Kalamunda Group in partnership with WAPHA and HealthPathways WA. This education session will include topics such as Managing Substance Abuse Disorders, Psychopharmacology, Mood Disorders and many more. This activity has 40 Category One QI&CPD points.

Date:                     Saturday, 23 June 2018
Time:                    8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registration)
Venue:                 Armadale Health Service, 3056 Albany Hwy, Mount Nasura, WA 6112
Catering:              Morning tea and lunch will be provided 
Register:              RSVP by Friday 15 June 2018. To register, please visit here


GP Education Session 2018: Influenza vaccination of special groups - 27 June

This event will identify target groups for vaccination and those at risk of severe disease from influenza, discuss the new strains for the 2018 influenza vaccines and preparations, and differentiate between passive and active vaccine safety surveillance systems in WA. Speakers include Dr Chris Blyth (Dept. of Infectious Diseases, General Paediatrics and Immunology, Princess Margaret Hospital) and Dr Alan Leeb (Illawara Medical Centre, SmartVax). This activity has 4 Category Two CPD points.

Date:                     Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Time:                    7.00pm – 9.00pm (6.30pm – Registrations and light meal/refreshments)
Venue:                 Grace Vaughan House, 227 Stubbs Tce, Shenton Park 6008
Cost:                      Free
Register:              To register, please visit flyer here


Recalls and Reminders Clinical Software Training - 25 & 28 June

Presented by Katrina Otto from Train IT Medical and funded by WAPHA, this free face-to-face clinical software training workshop is available to practices who are using Best Practice and MedicalDirector. Learning objectives include design an effective recall and reminder system, use actions for preventive health activities, generate patient recall and reminder lists, implement systems for Immunisation and Cancer Screening recalls and reminders, and many more.

Participants have a choice of attending one of the following two sessions:

Best Practice

Date Time Location
Monday, 25 June 2018 9.00am – 12.00pm Aloft Hotel, Tactic 4 Room, 27 Rowe Avenue, Rivervale 6103
Thursday, 28 June 2018 1.00pm – 4.00pm WAPHA Offices, Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103

To register, please visit here

Date Time Location
Monday, 25 June 2018 1.00pm – 4.00pm Aloft Hotel, Tactic 4 Room, 27 Rowe Avenue, Rivervale 6103
Thursday, 28 June 2018 9.00am – 12.00pm WAPHA Offices, Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103

To register, please visit here



Culture Safety Training (CST) Module 6 - Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 

This three-hour module, delivered by the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), has been designed to assist General Practitioners (GPs) in adopting a comprehensive primary health care approach to the care of Aboriginal people with mental health needs, or who may be misusing Alcohol and/or Other Drugs.

Some of the topics covered in the module include: historical impacts and intergenerational trauma; practical tips for raising Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Alcohol and Other Drug issues; culturally appropriate assessment tools; and support available, including referral pathways.

AHCWAs CST is recognised through RACGP. Participants must complete Module 1 of AHCWAs CST package before enrolling in Module 6. GPs who have not completed Module 1 (4 CPD points) in the past are able to complete an abridged one-hour online version (0 CPD points) prior to attending Module 6. Completion of Module 6 will award participants with 4 CPD points. Completion of both Module 1 (non-abridged) plus Module 6 will award participants with 40 CPD points.

Course dates are as follows (session times 8.30am – 12.30pm)


Date Region Location Flyer
12 June 2018 Kalgoorlie Bega Garnbirringu Health Centre, 16-18 MacDonald St Click here for more information
14 June 2018 Esperance BOICO, 4-6/56 The Esplanade Click here for more information
19 June 2018 Bunbury The Hudson Road Family Centre, 95 Hudson Road, Withers Click here for more information
21 June 2018 Albany The Juniper Beryl Grant Community Centre, 31 Townsend St, Lockyer Click here for more information
25, 26, 29 June 2018 Perth Metro AHCWA, 450 Beaufort Street, Highgate Click here for more information
3 July 2018 Medina Moorditj Koort, 150 Gilmore Avenue Click here for more information
5 July 2018 Northam Bridgeley Centre, Mortlock Room, 91-93 Wellington St Click here for more information
17 July 2018 Carnarvon CMSAC, 14-16 Rushton St Click here for more information
19 July 2018 Geraldton GRAMS, Rifle Range Road, Rangeway Click here for more information
24 July 2018 Port Hedland WMHSAC, Unit 1/17 Hamilton St Click here for more information
26 July 2018 Karratha/Newman Karratha Healthcare Centre, 66 Welcome Rd Click here for more information
30 July 2018 Broome KAMS, 12 Napier Terrace Click here for more information
31 July 2018 Kununurra OVAHS, 112 Ironwood Drive Click here for more information



Health promotion events in June 

Is your practice looking for a health promotion activitry 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


Telehealth helping GPs improve care for regional patients 

Regional General Practitioner Dr Damien Zilm says the expansion of Telehealth has been a fantastic development for remote patients.

Speaking ahead of Telehealth Awareness Week 25 – 29 June, he said country patients now received higher quality and more patient-centred care because they had better access to clinicians.

Dr Zilm is both a provider and a user of Telehealth. As a GP, telehealth enables him to give more integrated care to remote patients who are seeing a specialist.

“Telehealth helps people stay in their own community and to stay connected to their own GP, and allows the GP to incorporate the specialist’s care plan into their own management, so all of us are on the same page.

I find that communicating with reception staff and the patients about the Telehealth hook-up is the key”

Telehealth Awareness Week is 25 – 29 June and has been organised by the WA Country Health Service.

Clinicians can find out more about telehealth by calling 1300 367 66 or visiting

Dr Zilm is a GP working in Laverton, Leonora and Northam, and is the GP lead for the Statewide Emergency Telehealth Service and Inpatient Telehealth Service. He is on the WAPHA board as Country PHN chair and is the WAGPET chair.


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 at

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.