Practice Connect #53

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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Practice Assist survey

Whether you are a regular client of Practice Assist, or a Practice Connect subscriber, we would love your feedback on the services we are providing. By completing our survey, you can let us know whether we are meeting your needs, and help us identify opportunities for improvement.

Please take five minutes to complete our survey by clicking here.


AAPM National Conference

The Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) is holding its annual national conference from October 16 to 19, 2018. Titled Powering Your Journey, Driving Change, the conference will this year be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.

The AAPM National Conference offers a professional development opportunity which develops and reinforces the core principles of healthcare practice management. A variety of social activities are also on offer, culminating in the Gala Black and White Dinner at Great Hall, Parliament House.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend, with a range of attendance packages available. For more information, please click here.


August Incentives News Update

To access the August edition of the Incentives News, which includes information about the Workforce Incentive Program, Advisories from the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care, and other general updates relating to the Practice, and Practice Nurse, Incentives Programs, please click here.


MBS updates

Education resources

The Department of Human Services has added the 1 July Medicare Benefits Scheme changes to its suite of health professional education resources designed to help you work out claiming and billing MBS item numbers.

For more information and to access all eLearning and education guides, please click here.

September 2018 MBS download

The 1 September 2018 MBS files are now available to download. Included in the Schedule are changes to telehealth MBS items for psychological services.

To read about the amendments, and download the MBS files, please click here.


Accreditation tip - the doctor's bag

When reviewing the inclusions in your doctor’s bag, remember that emergency medicines should be selected based on the location of the practice, the health needs of the local community, the types of clinical conditions likely to be encountered, and the shelf life and climatic vulnerability of the medicine.

While there is a list of mandatory equipment that must be available for the doctor’s bag, the emergency medicines will be practice-specific. The Standards do, however, provide a list of suggested medicines. Through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Prescriber Bag, certain emergency medicines can be provided free of charge to prescribers, who can then provide them, without cost, to patients for emergency use.

GPs should be familiar with the medicines that are included in the doctor’s bags of their practices, and the RACGP recommends GPs seek appropriate and ongoing education on these medicines.

Remember to include the doctor’s bag in your maintenance schedule: the bag will include not only medicines, but medical consumables, and these should be regularly checked to ensure they remain within expiry dates. Depending on the medicines selected for your doctor’s bag, it may also need to be stored in accordance with state legislation, and should always be stored securely.

The practice’s doctor’s bag(s) will be inspected as part of an accreditation survey visit. Common non-compliances in this area include the absence of medicines available for the doctor’s bag, and the presence of expired medicines, and/or medical consumables, in the bag.

Useful links:

RACGP Standards for general practices 4th ed Criterion 5.2.2

RACGP Standards for general practices 5th ed Criterion GP5.3

PBS Prescriber Bag


Immunisation Update

Free National Immunisation Program Schedule resources for parents and carers

Following the update to the childhood immunisation schedule from July 1, 2018, the Department of Health has several resources available to assist parents and carers to understand the changes. These can be ordered, free of charge, by healthcare providers.

To preview the resources and access the ordering information, please use the links below.

National Immunisation Program childhood schedule changes – fact sheet

National Immunisation Program childhood schedule changes – poster

National Immunisation Program childhood schedule changes – fridge magnet

The digital Australian Immunisation Handbook is coming soon

The digital version of the Australian Immunisation Handbook will be available from mid-September 2018 at

Developed by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the digital Handbook will provide a single, up-to-date clinical reference guide for health care providers administering vaccines in Australia.

In addition to transitioning into a fully online, digital Handbook, providers will see new vaccination recommendations, including for meningococcal disease. Those working in remote locations or needing to work 'off-line' will be able to download relevant sections to take with them.


HealthPathways update

The HealthPathways WA Team recently published the Burns Injuries pathway. The team engaged with Professor Fiona Wood, Director of the State Burns Service WA, to ensure the pathway represented best practice for burn injury management in WA.

The pathway includes useful information on how to manage burns in a primary care setting, or prepare patients for transfer to the State Burns Service. The associated Specialised Burns Advice and Specialised Burns Management request pages include contact and referral information for the State Burns Service, who are willing to provide advice at any point on any level of burn injury. This includes submitting photos for review by the service.

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

HealthPathways events can be found in the Education and training section of this newsletter.


My Health Record update

Establish roles, responsibilities and policies in your practice

Prior to registering your organisation you will first need to establish your team members’ roles and responsibilities as they relate to interacting with the Healthcare Identifiers Service and the My Health Record system.

While your registration is being processed, this is an opportune time to:

If your practice intends to participate in the Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP), there are further registration and connections requirements you will need to complete.

Please contact your Primary Health Liaison or a member of the My Health record team at WA Primary Health Alliance via for assistance with the above if required.


NPS MedicineWise update

Virtual visits give GPs more options to book NPS CPD at a date and time that suits them

NPS MedicineWise Clinical Service Specialists (CSS) travel throughout WA metro and regional areas to deliver free, evidence based CPD to GP practices.  However, regional practices don’t have to wait for an NPS CSS visit.  NPS CPD can be delivered at any time, via the internet as an interactive Skype Virtual Visit. 
Virtual visits are interactive discussions or topic content and as such, they qualify for RACGP and ACRRM accreditation, typically;

  • 2 Category 2 RACGP points in the QI CPD Program for the 2017-2019 triennium and
  • 1 Core point in the ACRRM PDP Program for the 2017-2019 triennium.

The topics available are posted on the CPD section of the NPS website: To view the NPS Virtual Visit Brochure, please click here.
GPs and Practice Managers who would like to book an NPS Virtual Visit can book through the website or contact Nicole Humphry at WAPHA on 08 6272 4921 / email


Nominate for Regional Clinical Committees across the state

The purpose of the Regional Clinical Committees is to bring to bear professional, organisational and personal experience to inform the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) Board and staff about system/service changes and improvements that enhance quality, and deliver better health outcomes in the region.  As champions of change, members maximise and leverage their own clinical networks to improve health outcomes through joined up care.  They assist WAPHA to achieve progress in the areas identified as the pillars: Aboriginal Health, Population Health, Health Workforce, Digital Health, Aged Care, and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).

WA Primary Health Alliance is currently seeking nominations from general practitioners and clinicians in Great Southern, Kimberley, Midwest, Pilbara, South West, and Wheatbelt Regional Clinical Committees.

For more information, please click here.


Australian College of Mental Health Nurses free CPD modules

The Mental Health Essentials eLearning program has been developed by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, to support nurses working in general practice and primary care to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to incorporate mental health into day-to-day practice.

The 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.

Five one-hour Level 1 CPD modules are available for free until 31 December, 2018. To sign up for an account and access these modules, please click here.


Diabetes WA Let's Prevent program in the South West

Diabetes WA has launched Let’s Prevent, a free, structured health education program designed for adults at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke. First feedback has been very positive. To read an article in The Busselton Dunsborough Mail, please click here.

This program equips people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make positive and sustainable changes to their health behaviours. The ultimate goal is to help them avoid or delay a future chronic condition.

If you live in Bunbury, Busselton, Harvey, Collie (or anywhere in between) and you want to make a positive step towards staying healthy for longer, check if you are eligible to book in.

To find out more, please click here.


Are you currently a member of WA Practice Nurses Association?

If not, you are encouraged to join your local group to promote, inform and support Practice Nurses in WA.

Membership is $50 per annum, or $130 for three years (August to August), and benefits include:

  • A Welcome Pack including a WAPNA badge, WAPNA pen, latest newsletters and other resources
  • Regular education opportunity emails
  • CPD certificates as evidence of attendance at educational events
  • Discounted registration for WAPNA seminars (three per year: March/April, June/July, and October)
  • DVDs of seminars available for purchase
  • Triannual newsletters
  • Networking opportunities

New members can download a membership form from here.

Note: if you are an existing member and need to renew your membership, please use the following Paypal link


Dementia Awareness Month

September is Dementia Awareness Month. Its aim is to encourage all Australians to become more aware of dementia, to gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and how we can support people living with dementia.

The Centre for Dementia Learning provides training and information for health professionals in a number of different care settings from understanding the fundamentals through to providing more specific care.

To upskill your dementia knowledge, please click here.

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!


AAPM Practice Managers’ Networking Events in September

Join your local AAPM WA networking host for networking with like-minded practice managers. People involved in practice management and non-members of AAPM are welcome to attend.

Pre-registration is essential for all networking events, and registration can be completed using the links in the below table.

AAPM members receive 2 CPD points.

Session Date Time Location Registration link
Perth Metro Speed Discussions Wednesday, 12 September 2018
5.45pm – 7.30pm Dome CafĂ©, 293 Albany Highway, Victoria Park 6100
Mandurah and surroundings areas networking Tuesday, 18 September, 2018 6.30pm – 8.30pm Sandy Cove Tavern, 146 S Yunderup Rd, South Yunderup 6208
Freo Friends Networking Tuesday, 25 September, 2018
5.45pm – 7.30pm Black Swan Health, Suites 105-108, First Floor, Wesley Central, Fremantle 6160



Clinical Deterioration: Identify, Assess, Prevent Seminar – 13 to 14 September

There is a significant potential for patients across any clinical setting to rapidly become unwell. Recent system changes have been rolled out to encourage better management of clinical deterioration. However, your ability to recognise and respond to changes in a patient’s condition early is a high priority if acute illness is to be averted. Attend this two-day seminar to gain knowledge that will help you to feel more confident that your essential assessment skills and early nursing management can detect early cues and prevent poor patient outcome. Learn about the power of assessment when your patient is deteriorating, how to recognise sepsis early, warning signs of acute kidney injury and many more.

Date:              Thursday, 13 September – Friday, 14 September 2018  
Time:              9.00am – 4.00pm (registration from 8.30am)
Venue:           Holiday Inn Perth City Centre, 778-788 Hay Street
Cost:               $398 for one day, $520 for both days
Register:       To register, please click here


Women’s Health Strategy & Programs 2018 – 13 September, 15 October & 7 November

The Women’s Health Strategy & Programs provides training to improve the health and safety of families in WA Health. Please refer to the table below for upcoming sessions in 2018.

Session Date Time Location
Perinatal Anxiety Disorders Thursday, 13 September 2018
9.00am – 4.00pm Special Dining Room, KEMH, Subiaco WA 6008
The Uses and Misuses of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale Monday, 15 October, 2018 9.00am – 1.30pm Special Dining Room, KEMH, Subiaco WA 6008
The Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale Wednesday, 7 November, 2018
9.00am – 1.30pm Special Dining Room, KEMH, Subiaco WA 6008

For more information, please click here. From this page, you can also register by scrolling to the bottom of the page to find Bookings and download a Registration form.


Mandurah and surrounding areas networking – 18 September

The WA Rural Networking Group is a group designed to provide an opportunity to connect like-minded Practice managers from all disciplines to learn from each other by sharing ideas, sharing experiences, giving perspectives and brainstorming any current issues. Our meetings are casual and held in a relaxed atmosphere where you can purchase refreshments and/or a meal and network with other practice managers.

Date:               Tuesday, 18 September 2018   
Time:               6.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue:            Sandy Cove Tavern, 146 S Yunderup Rd, South Yunderup WA 6208
Cost:                Free (food and beverage at own cost)
Register:        To register, please click here



HIV PrEP Update for GPs and Practice Nurses – 18 September and 10 October

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). This program will also include an STI update and WA AIDS Council session covering a health consumers perspective around PrEP.

Date:               Tuesday, 18 September, 2018   
Time:               6.30pm – 9.30pm (registration from 6.15pm)
Venue:            Karratha International Hotel, Cnr Hillview & Millstream Rds, Karratha 6714
Cost:                Free (this course will also be delivered via webinar)
Register:       To register, please click here

Date:               Wednesday, 10 October, 2018   
Time:               6.15pm – 9.30pm (registration from 6.15pm)
Venue:            Fraser Suites Perth, 10 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA 6004
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please click here


HR Masterclass and Front of House Training: HR & Communication – 5 & 6 October

AHIG Training presents an HR masterclass, and a front-of-house communication workshop, facilitated by David Wenban, a practising lawyer with extensive experience in health and community services. The full-day masterclass will cover HR topics including performance management, use of social media, privacy, and effective management, while the half day training will include team culture, workplace standards, telephone etiquette, and managing data.


Date:                Friday, 5 October 2018   
Time:               11.00am – 5.30pm
Venue:            Citiplace Community Centre, Upper Level Walkway, City Station Complex, Cnr Barrack & Wellington Streets, Perth
Cost:                $220.00
Register:        To register, please click here

Date:                Saturday, 6 October 2018   
Time:               9.00am – 1.00pm
Venue:            Citiplace Community Centre, Upper Level Walkway, City Station Complex, Cnr Barrack & Wellington Streets, Perth
Cost:                $220.00
Register:        To register, please click here

For more information, please click here


Black Dog Institute Perinatal in Practice – 6 October (Northam) & 24 November (Albany)

Learn about the current understanding of perinatal mood disorders and its management, using lecture, case studies and interactive exercises. Thanks to the generosity of CBH Group, Black Dog Institute is offering significantly reduced-cost workshops in regional areas across Western Australia.

Date:               Saturday, 6 October 2018   
Time:               9.00am – 5.00pm
Venue:            Northam Recreation Centre, 44 Peel Terrace, Northam WA 6401
Cost:                $50.00
Register:        To register, please click here

Date:               Saturday, 24 November 2018   
Time:               9.00am – 5.00pm
Venue:            Masters Builders, 30 Graham St, Albany WA 6330
Cost:                $50.00
Register:        To register, please click here

These sessions are suitable for Allied Health providers, Nurses, Midwives, Counsellors, GP Registrars, GPs and Psychologists.

These sessions have 40 Category 1 RACGP QI&CPD points, 6 hours CPD for Australian Association of Social Workers, and are a CPD Recognised Activity for the Australian College of Midwives.


Cracks in the Ice: In the Frontline – 17 October (webinar)

The next Cracks in the Ice webinar will focus on supporting frontline workers with key information and resources about crystal methamphetamine. The webinar will be presented by Allan Trifonoff and Roger Nicholas from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA).

Date:                Wednesday, 17 October, 2018
Time:               9.00am – 10.00am (WST) (12.00pm – 1.00pm AEDT)
Venue:            Online
Cost:                Free
Register:        To register, please click here


BreastScreen WA’s Pink Ribbon Breakfast – 22 October

BreastScreen WA (BSWA) is holding the annual Pink Ribbon breakfast with keynote speakers Professor Christobel Saunders AO, MBBS, FRCS, FRACS, FAAHMS, and Kathleen Mazella OAM.

Date:                Monday, 22 October, 2018
Time:               Breakfast from 7.30am – 9.00am (registration from 7.00am)
Venue:            Fraser’s Function Centre, Kings Park
Cost:                $40.00 (inc GST)
RSVP:              by Tuesday, 16 October, 2018
Register:        To register, please click here

For further information, please email BreastScreen WA or phone (08) 9323 6707.


Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions Project Findings – 24 October

If you are a GP interested in expanding your professional knowledge on alcohol screening and brief interventions, please consider attending the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) Grand Round to hear presentations on the Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Project, which was carried out with the WAPHA funding in 2017-208 at Fiona Stanley and Rockingham General Hospitals. The presentation will cover burden of alcohol in Australia and project overview, patient and staff attitudes, research evaluation results, clinical impact and operational feasibility and future directions.

Date:               Wednesday, 24 October 2018   
Time:               12.00pm – 1.00pm (registration from 11.50am)
Venue:            Fiona Stanley Hospital, Education, Lecture Theatre G.1
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please click here (RSVP by 28 September 2018)


Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT) Casley-Smith Method – 8 – 13 November

This is a comprehensive and detailed, hands-on, six-day course. It ill give you the training and skill set you need to be able to treat and manage clients with Lymphoedema, as well as other associated conditions like lipoedema and oedema.

Date:                8 - 13 November, 2018
Time:               8.30am – 5.00pm
Venue:            Australian Institute of Fitness, 177 George St, Perth 6000
Cost:                $1700.00
Register:        To register, and for more information, please click here


Protecting Brains and Bones: What a GP Needs to Know – 10 November

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

Date:               Saturday 10 November 2018
Time:               Presentations from 8.30am to 3.30pm (registration from 8.00am)
Venue:             University Club, UWA, Crawley WA 6009, free parking available at Entrance 1, Carpark 3
Catering:       Morning tea and lunch will be provided
Register:       To register, please click here

Registrations are essential. RSVP by Friday 2 November 2018.

This event has 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points.

Education sessions include:

  • Early diagnosis and management of Parkinson’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 management by Dr Kien Chan
  • Diagnosis and management of osteoporosis by Professor Charles Inderjeeth
  • Geriatric residential outreach service summary by Dr Charmaine Chua


The Ehlers-Danlos Society Learning Conference Australia – 10 to 11 December

After years of demand and need The Ehlers-Danlos Society is very excited to bring together in Australia leading world experts to discuss the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and related disorders, including the recently-described hypermobility spectrum disorders.

Date:               Monday, 10 December – Tuesday, 11 December 2018    
Time:               8.00am – 6.00pm (Day 1), 7.30am – 6.00pm (Day 2)
Venue:            Curtin University Building 410, Kent Street, Bentley Perth WA 6102
Cost:                $150 (Day 1), $350 (Day 2)  
Register:        To register, please click here


Health promotion events in September

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.

13 September is R U OK? Day

R U OK? Day is our national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask, “Are you ok?” and support those struggling with life. Taking part can be as simple as learning R U OK?’s four steps so you can have a conversation that could change a life.

The day is about inspiring people to start these conversations every day of the year.  Help get your workplace and community asking, "Are you ok?" with Every Day Resources.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia with almost 20,000 diagnoses and close to 3,500 deaths each year.

To learn more and get involved, please click here.

Dementia Awareness Month

Dementia Awareness Month is Dementia Australia’s national awareness-raising campaign held every year throughout September. 

Its aim is to encourage all Australians to become more aware of dementia, to get a better understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and how we can support people living with dementia.

This year’s theme is Small actions Big difference.

There are many small actions people can take to create a big difference for people impacted by dementia, their families and carers. 

To get involved in Dementia Awareness Month, please click 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.