Practice Connect #58

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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RACGP Standards transition period ends

As part of the release of the new (5th) edition of the Standards for general practices in October 2017, a transition period of twelve months was permitted for practices wishing to undertake a final round of accreditation against the outgoing 4th edition of the Standards.

The transition period allowed a practice to be assessed against the 4th edition until October 31, 2018, providing the practice’s assessment could be completed prior to this date while maintaining the requirements of its accreditation timelines.

As we have now passed this date, all assessments for the purpose of general practice accreditation will be against the 5th edition of the Standards. If you have any queries relating to accreditation, please contact your WA Primary Health Alliance Primary Health Liaison, or Practice Assist.


Have your say on WA outpatient reform

As a key stakeholder group, GPs are invited to have their say on WA Health’s Outpatient Reform Program.

WA Health is contacting GPs via secure messaging and fax asking them to complete the survey that will be available online from 19 November to 23 December 2018.

The full communication is available by clicking here.

WA Primary Health Alliance is working closely with WA Health to ensure their Outpatient Reform Program is informed by a GP perspective.

We are optimistic that this is an opportunity to make sure care is better integrated, to facilitate more appropriate access to specialist services, to improve information flows and to deliver a better outpatient experience for the patient.


Improving health record quality in general practice - a new guide

Maintaining good quality patient health records supports appropriate clinical decision making and continuity of care, especially with the increasing use of shared care models and the introduction of a national eHealth record (My Health Record).

Further, the maintenance of quality health records in general practice contributes to data provision for research and policy, education and medico-legal purposes.

To assist with the maintenance of high-quality health records, the RACGP has produced a new guide, outlining what constitutes a high-quality health record, and how practices can put systems in place to ensure they produce health records that are fit for purpose.

The guide also includes handy references to the Standards for general practices (5th edition), ensuring practices can easily cross-reference the content of the guide to the relevant indicators in the Standards.

To download a copy of the guide, please click here. A link to the guide is also maintained on the RACGP Standards and Other Resources page on the Practice Assist website.


RACGP Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare

Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare is a suite of resources that provide a clear and concise summary of the programs and funding options available to support care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health developed these resources to provide busy GPs and practice teams with practical advice on working towards the delivery of excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare.

Three resources are now available for download:

  • Five steps guide – This includes information to support GPs and practice teams to access programs and available funding options. This resource includes links and references to supporting documents and government information (download here)
  • Five steps visual poster – A condensed version of the five steps that can be displayed as a poster in your practice (download here)
  • Five steps summary sheet – A quick reference guide to relevant MBS item numbers and other policy and programs available to practices (download here)

The resources are also available on the Practice Assist website, in the Clinical Resources section of The Tool Kit.


Medicare Benefits Schedule

The 1 December 2018 MBS files (XML, DOC, PDF and ZIP) are now available to download from the MBS website by clicking here.

Want to know more about the legislation that covers the MBS? You can do so by visiting


Accreditation tip – the spills kit

RACGP Standards for general practices 5th ed (GP4.1D)

Managing blood and body-fluid spills is a key component of a practice’s infection control policy, and a process that all members of the practice team should be cognisant of. A practice should have at least one spills kit (this will usually depend on the size of the practice), and all staff should know where the spills kit is located, as well as being familiar with the practice’s procedure for using the spills kit.

Blood or body fluid spills need to be managed quickly and efficiently, as they are considered potentially infectious substances that could transmit disease should contact occur. Other patients, staff and visitors to the practice are at risk should they come into contact with spills, and surfaces may be damaged.

The spills kit should be contained in a suitable, rigid-walled labelled container (for example, a bucket or plastic box with a lid; the container itself forms part of the spills kit). Within the container should be the following items:

  • a laminated guide with a checklist of spills kit contents and the management procedure
  • PPE (including nonsterile or utility gloves, goggles / face shield, masks, disposable aprons)
  • plastic (clinical and general) waste bags
  • kitty litter, polymerising beads or other absorbent material
  • paper towels
  • scrapers (e.g. two small pieces of cardboard, bowl scrapers or broad paint scrapers)
  • detergent that can be made up when needed, or detergent wipes
  • hazard sign to quarantine the area

Note that detergent used for cleaning general spills will usually be satisfactory for the spills kit. If there is a transmission-based precaution, it is recommended that a disinfectant with claims against the microorganism concerned is selected.

The recommended method for cleaning spills can be found in the RACGP Infection prevention and control standards (5th edition). Common issues at the time of the survey visit include staff being unaware of the location of the spills kit, and staff members being untrained in its use. The clinical team member with primary responsibility for educating staff members about infection control should ensure that the spills kit forms part of new staff orientation and induction, and that spills kit refresher training is included on the practice’s training schedule.

Useful links:

RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) Criterion GP4.1D
RACGP Infection prevention and control standards (5th edition) Section 3.2


Availability of Refugee Health Assessment Template

for Medical Director and Best Practice users

The Medical Director and Best Practice versions of the 2018 Refugee Health Assessment template are now available for download from the Victorian Refugee Health Network website.

The Refugee Health Assessment Template 2018 considers the primary care context including workflow and whole of practice approaches and will assist primary care providers to deliver high quality on arrival health care for people from refugee backgrounds. It also supports the delivery of refugee health assessments in line with current clinical recommendations, to assist primary care providers to complete the Refugee Health Assessment Medicare Item (Items 701, 703, 705, 707).

The software templates can be found here,  and will be included for all Best Practice customers in their December data update.


Notification of data updates - Best Practice

Administrator action is required for users of Bp Premier

A data update for the month of November 2018 is now available for your download. This will help ensure your access to the most up to date PBS, MIMS drug database, medication listings, word processor templates and MBS / DVA fee data. 

Action required
You will need to download this data update in order to apply it to your version of the software. Download the November 2018 Data Update from , selecting Resources / Bp Premier Downloads from the top menu. Scroll down to the Data Updates section, expand the November 2018 Incremental or Comprehensive Data Update, and you will be provided with a download button.

Support is available
For further information or advice on this notification, contact the BP software support team on 1300 40 1111.

October data update – updated vaccine codes

Best Practice has advised that following changes to the National Immunisation Program schedule in July 2018, practices need to have downloaded Bp Premier Indigo Revision 1 that was released on 16 August 2018 as well as the Bp Premier October data update which includes updated vaccine codes. Practices using Best Practice will need to download both of these updates to access the latest AIR functionality.


Congratulations to Jeni Anning!

AAPM WA Practice Manager of the Year

We would like to extend our congratulations to Jeni Anning, from Pioneer Health in Albany, who was recently awarded the title of AAPM Practice Manager of the Year for Western Australia.

According to the Pioneer Health website, Jeni was nominated by the team for “her hard work and dedication as Practice Manager. She has worked tirelessly to implement many new ideas to improve patient care.”

Each year, the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) recognises the valuable contribution of practice managers with state awards, with the winners then eligible for the national Practice Manager of the Year award.


Bentley Hospital update

Bentley Gastrointestinal Endoscopy update

Gastrointestinal endoscopy at Bentley Health Service will be required to meet the Ambulatory Surgery Initiative criteria:

  • Under 75 years
  • Under 120kg
  • Medicare eligible
  • Suitable for day procedure
  • Free of significant co-morbidities (not on insulin or warfarin)
  • Consent to having their procedure under ASI at Bentley Health Service

No out of pocket expenses will be incurred by the patient.

Please refer patients for gastrointestinal endoscopy via the Central Referral Service (CRS) using the "Request for Direct Access Gastrointestinal Endoscopy referral form template" available on the CRS website, found by clicking here .  

Referrals not meeting ASI criteria will be redirected to the appropriate public hospital based on catchment area and service capability.

Gastroenterology VMPs will only be able to refer patients to the Bentley Hospital endoscopy lists after consultation in their private rooms if they meet ASI criteria, so please consider this when referring for an opinion.


Immunisation update

Transition of HPV vaccination records to the AIR

As of 1 November 2018, the previous HPV vaccination register will no longer accept HPV vaccination records. Immunisation providers should report all HPV vaccinations on the AIR.

Nearly all HPV immunisations administered in WA and recorded on the previous HPV vaccination register have been electronically transferred to the AIR, with just a few remaining that are being manually added by AIR staff.

Information for consumers, parents and health providers can be found by clicking here.

How to correct or amend information on the AIR

If a parent or individual believes their AIR record contains incorrect information or is missing information, they should first speak with their vaccination provider to ensure the data has been submitted accurately.

Where this has occurred, and the record is not displaying as the parent (or provider) believes it should, the AIR can be contacted to discuss the matter.

Vaccination information can only be accepted from a recognised vaccination provider in Australia. Changes cannot be made to vaccination details upon the advice of persons who are not vaccination providers e.g. parents.

To correct information previously submitted to the AIR by an immunisation provider please visit the AIR secure site.

Please note, an immunisation encounter cannot be updated if an information payment has already been made, or if you did not record the encounter. If an encounter submitted by another provider contains errors, email the AIR using their secure email or call 1800 653 809.

Eligible vaccination providers can get information payments of up to $6 per completed immunisation schedule and $6 per completed catch-up schedule for children under 7 years of age.

Further AIR information can be found by clicking here.


HealthPathways update

This year, HealthPathways partnered with Metropolitan Health Services to host several CPD education events at hospitals across the metro area. These events were free, and brought attendees face to face with local specialists to share knowledge and increase awareness of local services.

The HealthPathways team would like to thank all those who attended our CPD education events this year. We are currently in the planning stages for next year’s events and would appreciate any feedback or suggestions for topics in 2019.

To send feedback or access HealthPathways, email the team at or contact your WAPHA Primary Health Liaison for further information.


My Health Record update

Opt-out period extended to January 31, 2019

Last week, Minister Greg Hunt announced the My Health Record opt-out period is extended until 31 January 2019.

This means the Australian public has an additional two and a half months to decide whether they want to opt-out of My Heath Record. However, people can opt-out, opt-in or cancel an existing My Health Record at any time before or after the 31 January, except for a short period when all the new records will be being created.

Helpline and opt out portal

The help line and opt-out portal on the My Health Record website are available until 31 January. Both have been experiencing high demand during the last week, which has slowed down the responsivity. To assist, the Australian Digital Health Agency has implemented a call back function on the help line.

GP and practice toolkits

To support the extension of the opt-out period, new My Health Record toolkits will be provided to all general practices around the country. These will include tear-off notepads, stickers and brochures, all with the new opt-out date. We are yet to be advised by the Australian Digital Health Agency as to when the new toolkits will be available.

Strengthening Privacy Bill

The My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018 (found by visiting  has not yet passed the Senate, but it is expected to pass this week. The Bill will then return to the House of Representatives for consideration. If passed by the House of Representatives in the form provided by the Senate, it will then be assented and become law. The House of Representatives sits next on 26 November 2018.

Contact information

For more information, please visit, contact your PHL or the team of My Health Record experts at WA Primary Health Alliance via 


NPS MedicineWise update

NPS MedicineWise Education – Quality Prescribing Incentive PIP

The Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI) is one of the incentives of the Australian Government's Practice Incentives Program (PIP). It aims to encourage practices to keep up to date with information on the quality use of medicines and medical tests and assists practices with maintaining accreditation standards.  The Quality Prescribing Incentive is one of the incentives that will end in its current form on 30 April 2019. Practices wishing to access this incentive payment should act now, to participate in the activities required to qualify for the QPI PIP.

How does participating benefit my practice?

Your practice can receive annual financial incentives by completing a minimum number of eligible activities based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs in your practice.

Payments are calculated at $1 per Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) per year. The average FTE GP has an SWPE value around 1000 annually, equating to $1000 per annum per FTE GP. The Department of Human Services will advise practices through their Practice Incentives Program quarterly payment advices of the expected number of activities that must be completed by 30 April 2019 to be eligible for the payment. You can also establish your practice's activity requirements by contacting the Practice Incentives Program on 1800 222 032.

Payments are made in the May quarter to practices that have met the requirements in the 12 months to 30 April 2019.

How do we participate?

Practices registered for the Practice Incentives Program don't need to apply separately for the Quality Prescribing Incentive. To register or find out more about the Practice Incentives Program or your practice requirements, call the Practice Incentives Program on 1800 222 032 or visit the Department of Human Services website.

To book educational activities that qualify for the QPI PIP, visit the CPD section of the NPS MedicineWise website (, or contact Nicole Humphry at WAPHA on 08 6272 4921 / email


Are you using up-to-date order forms for your prescription stationery?

You will need to use the current order forms to request PBS and RPBS stationery

From 1 January 2019, Medicare won’t process orders for prescription stationery if you’ve used an outdated form, and will send the form back to you.

To make sure you receive your order, you need to ensure you use a current order form, available on the Health professionals forms by title website (select “O” for the list of order forms), which you can find by clicking here.

Instructions on how to return / submit the form are available on the forms themselves.

Please note that forms are to be completed digitally: handwritten forms will be returned to you. The forms have been created as fillable PDFs that you can download and complete on your device.

Please also make sure you’ve registered your practice location and delivery address with Medicare before submitting your forms.

The order form for PBS or RPBS computer prescription stationery has recently been updated: if you are an eligible prescriber, please make sure you use the most recent form, which you can find here.


Expressions of interest for sexual health training in your community

Are you interested in bringing the Nuts and Bolts of Sexual Health training to your community?

Expressions of interest are open for the delivery of the Nuts and Bolts of Sexual Health training to your organisation or community. Nuts and Bolts develops the core knowledge, attitudes and skills required to provide information and support for young people around respectful relationships and sexual health issues.

This course is suitable for a wide range of people working with young people including Aboriginal health workers, AIEOs, SEWB workers and other mental health workers, AOD workers, health promotion officers, nurses and teachers. 

To submit an EOI, please complete the form, or contact Robyn Wansbrough, Manager of Education and Training at Sexual Health Quarters, on 08 9227 6177 or for more information.


The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health News and Events

November 11 – 17 was Perinatal Anxiety and Depression week, and the November edition of the Women and Newborn Health Service publication is available.

This newsletter includes information about symposiums in 2019, education events, and a wide range of useful information about health promotion, services and studies.

You can also visit the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) website for information and support, or to access the Health Professionals Resource Hub.


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!


Who’s Who in Kwinana and Rockingham – 20 November

General Practitioners, Practice Managers, Nurses, Allied Health and Pharmacists are invited to attend an interactive evening to meet the commissioned WAPHA services in Kwinana and Rockingham. Meet the providers face to face and see what they can offer your patients.

Date:               Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Time:              5.30 - 7.30pm
Venue:            Hotel Clipper, 20 Patterson Rd, Rockingham
Cost:               Free (canapes and drinks provided)
RSVP:             by Tuesday 13 November, click here


Exercise is Medicine Workshop – 20 November

Presented by local accredited exercise physiologist, Dr Nicole Gordon, the interactive two-hour workshop details the role of physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic disease by treating physical activity as a vital sign. The suite of resources made available to participants will support them in their assessment, management and referral of patients with and at risk of chronic disease.

Suitable for GPs, nurses, and allied health professionals. This session has been allocated four Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points, and two ACRRM PDP points.

Date:               Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Time:              6.30pm - 8.30pm (registrations from 6.00pm)
Venue:            Room 1.021, Building 412, Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch
Cost:               Free
Register:       please click here


Living well with lung cancer – 21 November (webinar)

This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, you're invited to the fourth webinar in the Lung Foundation Australia's free six-part webinar series. Hear experts discuss the importance of exercise and diet to live well during treatment, manage symptoms and side effects, as well as aid recovery from treatment.

Date:               Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Time:               1.00pm – 2.00pm (AWST)
Venue:            Online
Cost:                Free
Register:        please click here


Black Dog Institute Perinatal in Practice – 24 November

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, 24 November 2018   
Time:                9am – 5pm
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.


Introduction to Advance Care Planning - 27 November (Narrogin)

An information session for Narrogin GPs and clinical staff about Palliative Care WA's Advance Care Planning community workshops.

Date:              Tuesday, 27 November 2018    
Time:              12.00pm – 1.15pm
Venue:           The Rural Clinical School of WA Office, 55 Fairway St, Narrogin
Cost:                Free (lunch provided incl vegetarian option) 
Register:       To register, please contact Joanne Potts (08 9853 9700 /  

For more information, please review the flyer.


Introduction to Advance Care Planning - 28 November (Albany)

An information session for Albany GPs and clinical staff about Palliative Care WA's Advance Care Planning community workshops.

Date:               Wednesday, 28 November 2018    
Time:               5.30pm – 7.00pm
Venue:            Learning and Development Seminar Room, Level 1, Albany Hospital
Cost:                Free (refreshments provided) 
Register:        To register, please contact Great Southern Palliative Care Service (08 9892 2550)

For more information, please review the flyer.


ASHM HIV s1000 Community Prescriber Course – 1 & 2 December

HIV is now considered a manageable chronic condition requiring lifelong treatment. Prescribing HIV medications is increasingly simplified with a range of single tablet regimes with low side-effect profiles. General practitioners can play an important role in the management and treatment of HIV and other co-morbidities associated with HIV, particularly for clients with substance misuse.

The HIV s100 Prescriber Course is designed to support GPs in managing and treating HIV in the general practice setting, providing them with the opportunity to establish relationships with local specialist services for ongoing mentoring and referral. Upon successful completion of this training and the associated case assessment, medical practitioners ay apply for authority to prescribe section 100 drugs for the management of HIV.

Date:               Saturday, 1 December & Sunday, 2 December 2018    
Time:               8.30am – 5.00pm
Venue:            Fraser Suites Perth, 10 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth
Cost:                Free for WA participants, $560 (non-WA ASHM members) or $600 (non-WA, non ASHM members)
Register:        by 23 November by clicking here

For more information, please review the flyer.


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:                8am – 6pm (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

Are you 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:  ANDA has been using the Week to speak out about supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of expecting and new parents, including raising awareness about the signs to look for and where to go to seek support.



The state of men’s health is in crisis. Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier. Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. Three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

For more information on how you and your organisation can get involved in Movember (including some tips and a style guide for growing the “mo”), please go to


World COPD Day – 21 November

World COPD Day is an annual global initiative run by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to raise awareness about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and improve COPD care throughout the world.

In 2018, Lung Foundation Australia’s World COPD Day campaign ‘don’t let shortness of breath stop you from living your dreams’ is focused on raising awareness of COPD symptoms, and empowering people with COPD to take control of their condition. Whilst there are many medicines available to treat COPD symptoms, there are also a number of lifestyle habits which can dramatically improve symptoms, and even slow disease progression.

You can also download resources from the Lung Foundation Australia by clicking here

NPS MedicineWise has a Clinical E-Audit available and the Lung Foundation provides a useful and simple infographic on COPD.

World AIDS Day – 1 December

World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died.

The national World AIDS Day theme for Australia in 2018 - is: "Everybody Counts." World AIDS Day aims to encourage Australians to educate themselves and others about HIV; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting prevention strategies; and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.

As a community and as individuals, there is a lot we can do in relation to HIV. Working in partnership with people with HIV, we can encourage others to understand how HIV is transmitted. We can support people to access testing, treatment and care, as we know that commencing treatment at the early stages of HIV results in better health outcomes and reduces the likelihood of onward transmission.

Please click here for more information about events and how you can get involved .

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.