Practice Connect #50

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

Read all stories




Practice Assist update 

RACGP Standards and Other Resources 

Practice Assist has updated The Tool Kit with a section on all things RACGP related. This includes:

  • RACGP Standards;
  • RACGP Patient Feedback guides and tools;
  • Information technology, security and privacy; and
  • Guidelines and resources from the Australian Government
To view all resources available, click here.


HealthPathways update 

Protecting Brains and Bones: What a GP Needs to Know 

Presented by Osborne Park Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.

Date:                Saturday, 10 November 2018
Time:                8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registrations)  
Venue:            University Club, UWA, Crawley WA 6009 (free parking is available at Entrance 1, Carpark 3)
Cost:                 Free
Catering:        Morning tea and lunch will be provided
Register:        To register, please visit here

Registrations are essential. RSVP by Friday, 2 November 2018. This event has 4 Category Two QI&CPD points.

Education sessions include:
  • Early diagnosis and management of Parksinson's Disease by Dr Barry Vieira 
  • Early diagnosis, differential diagnosis and management of dementia by Dr Brendan Foo 
  • Acute stroke and TIA, early diagnosis and managemnet by Dr Kien Chan 
  • Diagnosis and management of osteoporosis by Professor Charles Inderjeeth 
  • Geriatric residential outreach service summary by Dr Charmaine Chua 


NPS MedicineWise update 

Lower Back Pain 

NPS MedicineWise are now taking bookings for their next topic, Lower Back Pain.

This educational visiting program has been designed to help general practitioners confidently distinguish between non-specific low back pain and more serious forms that require further investigation and management. We explore the importance of staying active and provide resources to help you manage patient expectations about imaging.

If you would like to book this topic, contact Nicole Humphry with your details via email or phone (08) 6272 4921.


Immunisation update 

The Australian Immunisation Register has released some free online education modules to assist immunisation providers to better understand the AIR database and its features.

Topics covered:

  • Registering and requesting access to the AIR site
  • Accessing the AIR for the first time
  • Submitting information to the AIR
  • Overseas immunisations
  • Immunisation medical exemptions
To access the modules, visit here

For more information and to access the main eLearning site, visit here



My Health Record update 

RACGP training for general practitioners  

The best way to get clear on your obligations as a GP around My Health Record is by attending a training session. A My Health Record trainer can provide an education session at your practice, at a time that suits you best. Please email to arrange a time with one of our trainers or book a workshop via the RACGP. For more information on this exciting project, please go to

Training via RACGP

Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RACGP) are working hard to raise awareness and support for GPs and their patients. The RACGP is running several workshops for GPs and practice staff and you can register here

Workshop “My Health Record in general practice” hosted by RACGP 

  • West Leederville, RACGP WA Faculty office, Tuesday 7 August 2018, 7.00pm - 9.00pm (FULL)
  • Broome, Mangrove Hotel, Wednesday 29 August 2018, 7.00pm - 9.00pm. Click here to register.
  • Mandurah, Tuesday 11 September 2018, 7.00pm - 9.00pm. Click here to register.

For any other queries, please contact RACGP at (08) 9489 9555 or email

Resources available via RACGP

All GP practices around the country have been provided with an information toolkit including consumer awareness raising materials. If you did not receive your pack, please contact the team at WAPHA via The packs included instructions on how to reorder.

RACGP have great resources available for GPs about My Health Record such as:

  • Agreement to access the My Health Record template for General Practice
  • Practice Incentive Program E-Health incentive fact sheet (ePIP)
  • RACGP website contains resources specifically tailored to GPs

Contact for more information

For more information on this exciting project, please go to or contact our team at



Emergency Department Minor Works - 1 & 2 August 

Important information for GPs

Armadale Health Service’s (AHS) Emergency Department (ED) will be undertaking minor works to upgrade its telecommunications systems on 1 and 2 August 2018. Please note there will be disruption to our normal flow of services resulting in a potential increasing in waiting times for patients presenting to the ED with less urgent conditions.

How you can help

General Practitioners (GPs) are advised to consider the clinical needs of their patients and other alternative community services before referring them to the Armadale ED. If you need to refer a patient to the ED, please contact the ED Duty Officer on 9391 2176 beforehand to discuss the patient’s referral.

Thank you for your understanding and support.


National Cervical Screening Program

Recording Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status on Pathology Request forms 

The National Cancer Screening Register Rules 2017 require the following information to be collected about all individuals who undergo Cervical Screening Tests, where this information is reported and can be accurately recorded if available on the pathology request form:

  • Indigenous status 
  • Country of origing 
  • Preferred language 

This information enables the National Cervical Screening Program (NSCP) to:

  • Accurately measure and understand the screening participation rates and behaviours in these cohorts.
  • Inform targeted strategies to increase the screening participation of individuals in these cohorts in order to reduce their rate of cervical cancer.
  • Identify and record the cultural background of all patients which can assist healthcare providers in providing culturally appropriate care.
  • Record a patient’s preferred language and whether an interpreter is required.
  • Support access to Indigenous-specific health interventions which are designed to overcome the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people as per the Close the Gap initiative and Close the Gap initiative refresh.

For all individuals, healthcare providers are encouraged to provide Indigenous status, country of origin, and preferred language where this can be included on pathology request forms.



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 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 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



The Severe Asthma Toolkit 

Developed through the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma 

The toolkit was developed by a team of multidisciplinary clinicians from around Australia and Internationally. This toolkit was designed to target a broad audience that includes the settings of primary and tertiary care, as well as the many disciplines involved in severe asthma management, including: physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, pharmacists and psychologists. It is also hoped that the toolkit will allow clinicians in geographically diverse regions access to evidence based education and training.

The Toolkit’s modules put information at the fingertips of clinicians, while also serving as a long-term education resource. Modules include:

If you would like to know more please visit or email  



General Practitioners ideal to talk to people about alcohol use 

General practitioners are in the ideal position to talk to people about their alcohol use because:

  • GPs are highly accessible and see the majority of people in the population several times every year;
  • GPs develop long-term relationships with individuals in the context of their families and communities and people expect GPs to ask them about alcohol use;
  • Brief advice from GPs is highly effective in reducing alcohol use in the community, therefore potentially reducing morbidity from cancers, heart disease, mental illness and other chronic disease

What can GPs do to make it easy?

  • Link alcohol use to issues which the patient comes in with. If a patient comes in for a blood pressure review, symptoms related to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, mental, neurological or endocrine conditions, or have concerns about any cancers, alcohol use is very pertinent. It means that the GP can legitimately have reason to specifically ask about alcohol use. Linking the conditions with alcohol use, also provides the opportunity to ask the patient to reduce the alcohol use and return to review the condition, ensuring there is more time to deal with the alcohol use at a separate consultation
  • Make alcohol use part of the normal history-taking for new patients, perhaps making it part of a registration form which can reduce time in the consultation
  • Ask “When was the last time you had a drink of alcohol?” and “What and how much did you drink then?”. These two questions allow you to quickly explore the frequency and amount normally drunk, whether drinking was recent of if the amount consumed was more than four standard drinks.

Support and referral

GPs can seek the support of psychological services. Provide the patient with the number for the 24/7 Free Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 Metro or Country 1800 198 024 or find other resources through HealthPathways.



Developmental Coordination Disorder 

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a diagnosable condition (see DSM-V) where a person’s motor coordination is below what is expected for their age and is not due to any other neurological disorder. Many struggle with everyday activities such as dressing, using utensils, writing and many sport-based activities. In addition to many physical consequences such as lower fitness, muscle strength, and early fatigue, they are at higher risk of many social and emotional issues. These include lower self-esteem and confidence, higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and social isolation. It is a surprisingly common condition with an estimated prevalence rate between 5-15% of school aged children, however it is often not recognised by parents, teachers and health professionals. Do you want to know more?

The DCD research team at the University of Notre Dame Australia have developed a resource about the condition, specifically targeting parents, teachers, GPs and health professionals. The book contains detailed information about the condition as well as a range of ideas about how best to support someone with DCD. It is available free of charge, but we just ask you to complete a feedback form regarding your knowledge of the condition and the usefulness of the resource. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact Amanda Timler via email Please also visit our website or brochure here.



National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions 

Influence the future of lung conditions in Australia 

Lung Foundation Australia is developing the first National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions through funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

This action plan will be developed in consultation with an Advisory Group and is due for submission in early December. It will influence future decision making and resource allocation for the next 2-5 years to improve the lives of all Australians through better lung health.

Lung Foundation Australia are inviting a wide range of individuals and organisations to be involved in the consultation process, including people with lung conditions or caring for someone with lung conditions, health professionals, research institutions, peak bodies, government and other relevant stakeholders and organisations

To begin the consultation process, Lung Foundation Australia invites you to complete this survey

The survey will close on Sunday, 12 August and a summary of the results will be published on Lung Foundation Australia’s website. This summary, combined with a report on the current state of lung health in Australia, will guide their Advisory Group in the development of a draft framework for the plan. This framework will be released for public comment and the feedback incorporated before a final draft is submitted to the Federal Government.

For further information about the development of the National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions, please visit here


World First Research Gives Hope to People with MS 


Did you know that a Perth professor has conducted a trial which demonstrates the development of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in high-risk individuals could be delayed using narrowband UVB treatment, previously used to treat psoriasis?

Trials conducted by Professor Prue hart found that in 3 out of 10 people with a single episode of MS who were treated with UVB, the progression of their MS was halted.

Find out more about this world first research happening right here in Western Australia:

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!


Free Primary Care & Mental Health eLearning Modules for Primary Care Nurses 

Nurses working in primary care are at the frontline of the health care system and the frontline providers of stepped mental health services.

Do you need to know more about working with patients who have mental health issues in your clinical setting?

These free Level 1 CPD eLearning modules have been designed with input from nurses working in primary care and other experts, are evidence-based and include real-life scenarios that primary care nurses experience in day-to-day practice.

You can also register for any of the Level 2 workshops. Spaces are limited for these workshops, so book now (please note, the eLearning Level 1 modules will be assumed learning prior to attending on the day).

Visit to start increasing your knowledge, skill and confidence in mental health.


Secondary Prevention of Heart Disease - 9 August 

For country WA Health Professionals.

Training Centre in Subacute Care WA invites you to join their first monthly session, An Introduction to Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention: What is it? Whose job is it? and What resources are out there? Presented by Clinical Engagement Coordinators from the Heart Foundation, Shelly McRae and Julie Smith. For further information contact or by phone 9431 2351

Date:                    Thursday, 9 August 2018
Time:                    2.00pm – 3.00pm  
Venue:                 Live via webcast 
Cost:                      Free
Register:             To register, please visit here



Treatment Refusal: Join the Conversation - 16 August 

This session has been arranged following a recent round table discussion on treatment refusal organised by WA Clinical Oncology Group. This round table discussion was developed in direct response to concerns from local WA oncology specialists; who are witnessing a growing number of patients who present with cancers and then seek alternative modalities or other therapies. At times, these patients return at a later date with metastatic cancers or those that require more invasive or extensive treatment – with poorer prognosis. The session will consist of a short presentation, case studies and panel discussion. This activity has 4 Category Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                Thursday, 16 August 2018
Time:                6.30pm – 8.30pm   
Venue:             The Bendat Parent & Community Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley 6014
Cost:                 $245 for non-members; $195 for members 
Register:         To register, please visit here



Drugs, Alcohol & Mental Health - 16 August 

Exploring the relationship between substance use and mental health issues. This one-day workshop examines the complex relationship between substance use or addiction and mental health problems. The course includes take-home references and tools for use afterwards. Content covered include Identifying the relationship between mental health and substance use, Signs and symptoms, Integrated treatment options and many more.

Date:                Thursday, 16 August 2018
Time:                9.30am – 4.30pm  
Venue:             Workzone Building, Level 1, 1 Nash Street, Perth 6000  
Cost:                 $245 for non-members; $195 for members  
Register:         To register, please visit here


ThinkGP Live Bunbury: Chronic Heart Failure and the Critical Role of the Primary Care Team - 18 August 

Join us for this impactful, case study based one day Active Learning Module (ALM) designed to bring GPs, GP registrars and practice nurses together as we put the spotlight on the role of the whole primary care team in the early recognition and optimal management of chronic heart failure. Take advantage of valuable case studies and learn from esteemed local speakers as we equip you with the take-home skills you need to ensure more efficient and effective care of your heart failure patients.

Date:                Saturday, 18 August 2018
Time:                8.00am – 4.30pm  
Venue:             Best Western Plus Bunbury Hotel Lord Forrest, 20 Symmons St, Bunbury 6230  
Cost:                  Free  
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



Setting the VIsion and Guiding the Way - 29 August 

Presented by Roz Lindsay from Engaging Potential. Leading teams successfully starts with our ability to provide clear direction for the future. Teams need shared purpose, understanding of what they are striving to achieve together, and clarity on how they will deliver the desired outcomes. This session will discuss what is important for team performance, develop practice vision for success and identify ways to communicate this to the practice team and patients.

Date:                    Wednesday, 29 August 2018  
Time:                    4.00pm – 8.00pm      
Venue:                WA Primary Health Alliance, Level 2, 2-5, 7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale 6103
Cost:                     Free
Register:            To register, please visit here



HIV PrEP Update for GPs and Practice Nurses - 29 August 

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-exposure prophylaxis (PREP). At the end of this update, participants will be able to Identify priority populations for testing, Describe HIV epidemiology, Describe what Anti-Retroviral Therapy is and how to access it, Communicate to patients what PrEP/PEP is and how to access it and Implement a range of HIV Prevention strategies. This activity has 6 Category Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                Wednesday, 29 August 2018  
Time:                6.00pm – 9.30pm (5.45pm – Registrations)
Venue:             Fraser Suites Perth, 10 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA
Cost:                  Free
Register:         To register, please visit here



Health promotion events in August 

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:  

MS Readathon

Embark on an epic adventure! The MS Readathon inspires kids to read as much as they can, all for an incredible cause. The rules are simple. Read whatever you like, as much as you can, in August. This year’s MS Readathon will be a magical quest and the adventure kicks off on the 1st of August and wraps up on the 31st of August. Best of all, by joining our quest, not only will you awaken a love of reading, you will be helping kids who have a parent with multiple sclerosis.

To find out more and to print out resources perfect for your practice’ children area in the waiting room, please visit here:

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.