Practice Connect #49

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 

Immunisation checks for school enrolment deadline 

Parents of children starting school next year are being reminded to ensure their children are fully immunised.

Each child's Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) history is provided at enrolment into public school, as well as most provate schools. The 20 July enrolment deadline for kindergarten and pre-primary makes this the perfect time to check children's immunisation stauts. 

The free childhood vaccines in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) currently protect children from infectious illnesses including measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, haemophilus influenzae type B disease, heptitis B, rotavirus, varicella (chicken pox), meningococcal disease, influenza and pneumococcal disease.

Parents also need to be aware that family assistance payments will not be paid to families whose children are not immunised, on a recognised vaccination catch-up schdeule, or have a certified medical exemption. 

HealthPathways WA have published several pathways to help healthcare providers ensure optimal outcomes for families including:  These pathways have been recently reviewed and updated by Dr Richa Tayal, with assistance from the Metropolitan Communicable Disease Directorate.

To access HealthPathways, please contact your WA Primary Health Alliance primary health liaison or email the HealthPathways team at


Cancer Screening update 

Cancer Council WA in collaboration with WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has developed three 'Plan Do Study Act' (PDSA) education activities on Bowel, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening. The activities support GPs and general practice in improving participation in the three National Cancer Screening Programs by identifying and engaging with eligible patients in their practice, increasing awareness of the cancer screening programs and encouraging informed participation. 

Follow the links below to download the activities. Each activity attracts 40 Category One RACGP QI&CPD, and 30 ACRRM PDP points:  


My Health Record update 

Opt-out has arrived 

The My Health Record Expansion Program has reached its pivotal stage, with the opt-out period running from 16 July until 15 October 2018. 

Consumer communication campaign 
The opt-out period will be supported by state-wide advertising across a variety of media channels and a significant community engagement campaign. The My Health Record team is also travelling state-wide to speak to the community about My Health Record at a variety of community events. 

Training for general practices
Although almost 100 per cent of general practices in WA are registered, while there has been an upward trend in GPs uploading data, there is still progress to be made. If your practice requires training in the My Health Record software and how to implement it into your practice workflow, please contact our team of experienced trainers at WA Primary Health Alliance to arrange a practice visit via 

Pharmacies using My Health Record
in the first half of 2018, the pharmaceutical industry has come on board and 39 per cent of pharmacies in WA are now registered providers. All publich hospitals in WA have been uploading their discharge summaries into My Health Record automatically since last year. 




HealthPathways update 

New neurology referral criteria 

From 1 September 2018, referral criteria will be introduced for adult metropolitan public neurology specialist services.

The waiting time for an outpatient appointment for adult patients with common neurology conditions is very long at metropolitan public hospitals. 

The introduction of these referral criteria intends to reduce waiting times for outpatient appointment by limiting referral to these patients who require specialist neurology care. Referrals not meeting the criteria will be returned to the referrer.

The HealthPathways team have partnered with the health services to develop neurology pathways which include information regarding primary care management of neurological conditions. Information regarding the inclusion/exclusion criteria and required information for referrals to public neurology services is also included.

The following neurology HealthPathways are adapted to WA: 
  • Bell's Palsy in Adults 
  • Headaches in Adults
  • Parkinson's
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Epilepsy in Adults
  • First Seizure in Adults 

The National HealthPathways Survey 

An expert research group from across WA, Australia and New Zealand has developed an online survey to gauge the uptake of HealthPathways (HPW), and the barriers and enablers to its use within Australia and New Zealand.

The study is the first national investigation into the update of HPW and could be vital in determining future policy development and implementation strategies pertaining to HPW.

If you are, or know of, a practicing health professional and would be interested in being a part of the study, please follow the link below to have your say.


The Curtin University Human Resource Ethics Office has approved the study. HREC approval number SPH-09-2014-05. For further information please contact Richard Varhol at


NPS MedicineWise update 

Management of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease 

People with type 2 diabetes who already have established cardiovascular disease are at particularly high risk of future cardiovascular events - highlighting the importance of optimising their cardiovascular risk factor and diabetes management. 

NPS MedicineWIse are hosting a small group meeting activity to discuss the prevention of cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease. 

Date:                     Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Time:                    7.30am – 8.30am
Venue:                 WA Primary Health Alliance Office, Level 2, 2-7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                      Free 

Information and resources covered at part of this small group meeting: 
  • An independent roundp of the latest evidence and guideline updates.
  • Discussion on the pharmacological options available for glucose management in an increasingly complex primary care environment. 
  • Data about how this high-risk patient group is being managed in primary care. 
  • Australian blood glucose treatment algorithm for type 2 diabetes and comparative drug table. 
To register, contact Nicole Humphry with your details via or (08) 6272 4921. 



New Paediatric Respiratory clinic at Fiona Stanley Hospital ​

A new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)-billed paediatric respiratory clinic commenced at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) on 1 July 2018. The hospital can bill Medicare for eligible patients seen privately in this clinic, where a referral to a nmaed specialist has been received via CRS. 

The new service providers comprehensive specialist assessment and management for children 0-15 years inclusive. Basic lung function testing is available for children four years and older. 

  • Asthma or other chronic respiratory conditions
  • Chronic cough, wheezing or breathlessness (including exercise induced symptoms), stridor or tachypnoea 
  • Recurrent respiratory tract infections 
  • Chest wall problems 
  • Non-respiratory conditions including paediatric sleep problems 
Referral instructions and prinatable patient information sheet are available on the FSH website. 

Eligible appointments are bulk-billed to Medicare, so there is no cost to parents/guardian. All Medicare revenue goes to the hospital to assist in the provision of services. 


Emergency 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 contingency plan for adverse and unexpected events such as natural disasters, pandemic diseases or hte sudden unexpected absence of clinica 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 collaboration 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


General Practitioners Survey: The role of general practice in youth mental health care 

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mentla Health is conducting a short survey of General Practitioners (GPs) to inform policy work on the role of general practice in youth mental health care. 

The survey investigates how GPs can be better supported in their critical roles in this complex area of practice and to help Orygen to understand the roles GPs currently play, the challenges they face and the support needed. 

Orygen has an advocacy role and the survey responses will inform the development of a policy report to be published later this year. 

The survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete and responses are anonymous and the survey is open until Wednesday, 25 July 2018. Link to survey here

For more information about Orygen, please see  


Share your views on dementia prevention 

Are you a GP or Practice Nurse? University of Melbourne researchers want to hear from you! 

Dementia is a trillion-dollar disease with no cure, and it is now the second leading cause of death in Australia. Policies and clinical guidelines indicate a role for primary care in preventing dementia.  The PRECIPICE Project is seeking GPs and Practice Nurses to help us understand dementia prevention in the primary care setting. 

You do not need to have any special interest in dementia or preventing dementia. We just want to hear your views and current practices, and the barriers and enablers to working with your patients to reduce dementia risk. 

You can participate on your own or with your colleagues, by telephone or by video link. Eligible participants can claim the time towards their self-directed CPD programs.

To find out more, visit or contact Kali from the research team directly. Phone 0470 241 932 or email



Primary care providers have a vital role in eliminating Viral Hepatitis in Australia 

With effective viral hepatitis treatments available to help manage hepatitis B and cure hepatitis C, Australia is leading the way for a future without viral hepatitis, which is the theme of Hepatitis Awareness Week 2018. An estimated 7,894 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 177,812 with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), at risk of deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is essential for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test, diagnose and allow early treatment for people living with viral hepatitis to prevent this. For more information, view here

Learn more: 


Making Choices, Finding Solution guide

The ultimate guide to help people remain independent, safe and well at home ​

The Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) would like to introduce the Making Choices, Finding Solutions guide, developed to assist people to find simple assistive equipment, technology and basic home modification solutions to support them to remain in their homes as they age and increase their overall wellbeing, safety and independence. 

The guide is full of useful tips and advice to help older people manage everyday tasks and common frustration. It addresses a range of solutions for issues an individual may encounter thorughout their home, including in the bathroom, laundry, bedroom and kitchen, in addition to outdoor tasks, housework, dressing and taking medication. 

The guide can be viewed here or if you would like to request a free copy for your waiting area please contact Leeanna Wilshire on (08) 9382 0275 or email

To find out more, please view here.  



National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot ​

Applications extended until 27 July 

The closing date for applications for the National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot has been extended to 27 July following an enthusiastic response from primary health care services. 

More than 30 primary health care centres have already applied to take part in the Pilot, which aims to improve access to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Prigram (NBCSP) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

The NBCSP offers free bowel screening kits to people aged between 50 and 74. Participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is about half that of other Australians (19.5% compared to 42.7%). Research and consultations have shown that many of the barriers to bowel screening could be addressed if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were able to receive screening kits at their local primary health care centre, instead of by mail. 

The Pilot project will give primary health care crentres a chance to see if an alternative way of accessing the NBCSP can boost participation. 

For more information about the National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot, go to

You can also contact the Menzies team directly, by emailing or phone Boden or Jenny on (07) 3169 4240.

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!


My Health Record webinar: Practice Managers & Receptionists - 18 July 

The webinar for Practice Managers & Receptionists will outline the benefits, features and functionalities of the My Health Record. Discussion surrounding the responsibility of Practice Managers and staff in practices will also be provided. Presented by Heather McDonald (Director of Education and Adoption). 

Date:                Wednesday, 18 July 2018  
Time:               10.30am – 11.30am      
Venue:            Live via webcast  
Cost:                 Free
Register:        To register, please visit here


HIV PrEP update for GPs and Practice Nurses - 18 July 

This training will provide GPs, nurses and health professionals working in primary care an update on strategies available for the prevention of HIV transmission, focusing on prevention particularly pre-expose prophylaxis (PrEP). At the end of this update, participants will be able to identify priority populations for testing, Understand HIV epidemiology, Implement a range of HIV Prevention Strategies and many more. This activity has 6 Category Two QI&CPD points attached. 

Date:                  Saturday, 28 July 2018
Time:                 6.00pm – 9.00pm (5.45pm – Registrations)     
Venue:              Kailis Bros, 101 Oxford St, Leederville WA 6007
Cost:                   Free (dinner and refreshments provided)
Register:          To register, please visit:  


Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital GP Education event - 21 July 

Presented by North Metropolitan Health Service and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA. Topics for this event include: Anorexia Nervosa, Emergency Presentation with Mental Health Issues, Somatisation, Low Back Pain and many more. This activity has 40 Category One QI&CPD points.

Date:                   Saturday, 21 July 2018
Time:                   8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registration)
Venue:                Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, G Block, Level 8 Joske Seminar Rooms, Blue Lifts Hospital Avenue, Nedlands 6009
Cost:                    Free 
Register:           RSVP by Friday 13 July 2018. To register, please visit here



Data in General Practice GP Breakfast Forum - 24 July 

GPs will need to respond to Commonwealth funding changes that will incentivise better use of practice data. WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) invites GPs to join Chair, Dr Richard Choong, and General Manager State-Wide Commissioning & Clinician Engagement, Bernadette Kenny for a discussion on the power of practice data; how it can be used to optimise business performance and drive quality improvements that provide better patient care. 

Date:                    Tuesday, 24 July 2018   
Time:                    7.00am – 8.30am (6.45am – Registrations)     
Venue:                 Matilda Bay Restaurant – Roe Room, 3 Hackett Drive, Crawley WA 6009
Cost:                      Free 
Register:             To register, please visit here


WAPNA Seminar - 28 July 

This seminar is about The Bulging Obesity Crisis: Current Management Trend and Neurological Disorders: Useful Information, Therapy Solutions and Neuro-Rehabilitation. This seminar provides 4 hours towards your CPD requirements.

Date:                    Saturday, 28 July 2018
Time:                    11.30am – 5.00pm    
Venue:                 International on the Water Hotel, 1 Epsom Avenue, Ascot WA 6984
Cost:                      $55 for members; $85 for non-members  
Register:             To register, please fill out this form here and email by 20 July 2018   


My Health Record in General Practice Workshop - 7 & 29 August 

The RACGP are running a series of ‘My Health Record in general practice’ face-to-face workshops being held across Australia, including the following locations in Western Australia:

Perth – My Health Record in general practice workshop

Date:               Tuesday, 7 August 2018    
Time:               7.00pm – 9.00pm
Venue:            RACGP WA Faculty Office, 34 Harrogate Street, West Leederville WA 6007
Cost:                 Free

Broome – My Health Record in general practice workshop

Date:               Wednesday, 29 August 2018
Time:               7.00pm – 9.00pm   
Venue:            Mangrove Hotel, 47 Carnarvon Street, Broome WA 6725
Cost:                 Free

The Broome event is being run in conjunction with the RACGP WA Faculty who will be conducting a PLAN workshop session as a breakfast workshop on the Thursday morning. Details are as follows:

RACGP WA is holding a FREE Information Session to assist GPs to complete the new online planning learning and needs activity (PLAN). The session will be followed by an interactive workshop to assist you onsite until 10am. Please bring your own device.

This session is accredited for 3 Category Two points, delivered by Sharon Safstrom QI&CPD Coordinator for WA. PLAN is an online activity designed to assist you to map out and document your learning needs. It is a mandatory QI&CPD requirement for the 2017-19 triennium.

Date:                Thursday, 30 August 2018  
Time:                7.30am – 9.00am (7.15am – Registrations)      
Venue:             Mangrove Hotel, 47 Carnarvon Street, Broome WA 6725  
Cost:                  Free (light breakfast provided)
Register:         To register, please visit Bookings are essential. 


Practice Managers Education Day - 17 August 

The Practice Managers Education Day will provide practice managers of varying experience with the opportunity to hear from industry experts on a range of topics to help work cohesively and effectively with your team. There will also be opportunity for networking with fellow practice managers. Session topics include Workplace Mental and Wellbeing, Business Management and Planning, Financial Transparency, Bullying and Harassment and Quality Improvement.

Date:                Friday, 17 August 2018
Time:                8.00am – 4.00pm    
Venue:             Technology Park Function Centre, Bentley WA 6102   
Cost:                 $260pp for AAPM members; $360pp for non-members   
Register:         To register, please visit here


Advance Care Planning Seminar - 21 August 

Presented by Advance Care Planning Australia, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network and Cancer Council Western Australia, this Perth-based seminar will be run by recognised leaders in the field of advance care planning across sectors, legal considerations and implementation. The event is recommended for professionals leading and implementing advance care planning in health services, residential aged care and primary care.

Date:               Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Time:               9.00am – 4.30pm (8.30am – Registration)
Venue:            Bendat Parent and Community Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley 6014
Cost:                 $150pp early bird special, $195pp general rate  
Register:        To register, please visit here


The Who's Who in Armadale - 28 August 

A networking opportunity for GP practices and local health services in the Armadale community. The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and City of Armadale invite you to our next networking event to meet your local health services, including Mental health and psychological services, Aboriginal health services, Drug and alcohol services and many more.

Date:               Tuesday, 28 August 2018
Time:               6.00pm – 7.30pm  
Venue:            Avocados Perth, 2 Mount Street Kelmscott WA 6111
Cost:                 Free
Register:        To register, please visit here



Health promotion events in July 

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:  

Take a step towards eliminating hepatitis C during Hepatitis Awareness Week! 

It has been over two years since revolutionary direct acting antiviral medications (DAAs) for treating the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as s85 and s100 medications. This ground breaking decision enabled general practitioners to initiate treatment.

Despite this development, Western Australia has lagged behind other states as far as treatment uptake is concerned. Between March 2016, and June 2017, only 16% of the affected population initiated hepatitis C treatment.

Encouragingly though, to March 2017, 80% of hepatitis C treatment initiations in WA were prescribed by GPs. With on-going GP participation, we can all work to increase treatment rates across WA, and strive towards the virtual elimination of hepatitis C by 2030.

World Hepatitis Day takes place on 28th July each year, and with the effective DAAs available for hepatitis C, the significance of this day is immense. The medications are curative (90%-95% of cases), have much shorter treatment duration than previous treatments (8-12 weeks usually), are orally administered, and also importantly – present little or no side-effects.

In WA, Hepatitis Awareness Week runs from Monday 23rd July to Saturday 28th July, to coincide with World Hepatitis Day. This is a great opportunity to have the conversation with patients about their viral hepatitis status, to increase testing and of course treatment initiation.

For information about prescribing, consult The Silver Book (Guidelines for managing STIs and BBVs)

For information about Hepatitis Awareness Week, World Hepatitis Day and other services available for those at risk, or affected by viral hepatitis contact Hepatitis WA or Peer Based Harm Reduction WA

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.