6 April 2023
WA Primary Health Alliance 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.
Throughout this newsletter, the term 'Aboriginal' is used to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, unless stated otherwise.
Primary Sense Update
Over 65% of eligible WA general practices have already installed the Primary Sense population health management, data extraction and clinical support tool.
If your practice has submitted your EOI but not yet installed Primary Sense onto your practice IT systems and desktops, the following steps are needed to complete your transition:
For support and questions on your transition to installing Primary Sense, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
If you are one of the 250+ practices with Primary Sense installed or your practice is working towards installing Primary Sense, you may be now thinking about how I notify my patients of this change.
There is a suite of resources available to you that can be used to notify your patients that your practice is working with your Primary Health Network (PHN) to further improve the quality and safety of care, through the use of Primary Sense.
Feature - Health Assessments
What is Chronic Disease? Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on peoples’ quality of life. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector. Many people with chronic conditions do not have a single, predominant condition, but rather they experience multimorbidity – the presence of 2 or more chronic conditions in a person at the same time.
Chronic Disease Management, when undertaken with a team care approach can enable positive health outcomes for your patients. Resources to support this approach are available through multiple sources
WAPHA's data extraction tool of choice Primary Sense assists practices to identify patients eligible or due to have one of the above Health Assessments.
Health Assessments are an excellent opportunity to undertake and embed Quality Improvement activities within your practice.
General Practice is where patients have ongoing and trusted relationships with their GP and where ACP is best initiated and promoted.
GPs are well placed to raise the topic of ACP with all older patients. For example, when they attend for their over 75-year health check, when dementia is suspected, those with life-threatening, complex, and chronic illnesses and those patients with terminal illness. A conversation about ACP fits well with a GP’s responsibility to ensure that the patient receives, and understands, advice on various healthcare options relevant to any current diagnosis and realistic assessment of prognosis. ACP is a process that all patients, and especially those who are at risk of deterioration in health, can benefit from.
More information can be found on ACP and general practice here
If you would like to discuss any of these activities further, please contact Practice Assist and one of our friendly team will connect you with your QI coach. If you haven’t seen it previously, we encourage you to visit our Quality Improvement Toolkit , developed by our QI team to assist you with your journey.
Emerging evidence of the value of health assessments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the primary care setting (2019) provides learnings that can be applied across both Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and private general practice.
The greatest contributor to the disparity in health outcomes between Aboriginal people and the general Australian population is potentially preventable chronic disease. The role of practices in preventive health care is vital to addressing health disparities faced by Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Health Assessment (MBS715) can be seen as a vehicle to support the delivery of evidence-based preventive health care.
Within Australia, the limitations of health assessments have been highlighted, with calls for a greater focus both on the social and cultural determinants of health and on considering what is important to the patient.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decreases, or when the structure and strength of bone changes. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women, especially older women who are past menopause, are at highest risk.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed based on the patients’ medical history, a physical examination by a doctor, and a bone mineral density test. The bone density test uses a special x-ray to look for signs that bones are becoming weaker and assigns a “T-score” based on the results.
Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones. All of these factors can be discussed with the patient during their routine Health Assessment and if they have a diagnosis of Osteoporosis, the option of a GPMP and TCA could be utilised to assist with the dietary needs (dietitian) and the weightbearing exercise (Exercise Physiology or Physiotherapist).
If you need assistance to identify patients who are eligible for a Bone density scan the contact Practice Assist and we can assist you.
The Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) will be closed for the Easter period from 3:00pm Thursday 6 April 2023 and will re-open 9:00am Tuesday 11 April 2023. No vaccine deliveries will be made on Friday 7 April 2023 or Monday 10 April 2023.
VOC will also close on Tuesday 25 April 2023 for ANZAC Day and will re-open 9:00am Wednesday 26 April 2023. No deliveries will be made on Tuesday 25 April 2023.
Delivery Acceptances and Stock on Hand reporting will still be due by COB Friday 7 April 2023. It is suggested that sites complete their reporting requirements prior to 3:00pm Thursday 6 April 2023. Sites will not be able to place further orders for vaccine until reporting requirements are met.
If you need to report a Cold Chain Breach (CCB) incident while the VOC is closed, please complete the Cold Chain Breach Reporting Form and email it to COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@health.gov.au . The CCB will be assessed once the VOC reopens on Tuesday 11 April 2023.
If you need to report a Vaccine Administration Error (VAE) or make a Clinical Enquiry, you should email the VOC at COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@health.gov.au. The case will be assessed, and clinical advice will be provided when VOC reopens on Tuesday 11 April 2023.
If additional vaccines are required, you may consider contacting a nearby COVID-19 vaccine provider and arrange for the transfer of excess doses.
The updated Service Finder though healthdirect will replace Vaccine Clinic Finder as the best place for patients to find and book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
A re-direct will soon be in place for any Vaccine Clinic Finder links. All states and territories are asked to update any references to Vaccine Clinic Finder to healthdirect Service Finder.
Find out more
CoRiCal is a tool developed by the Immunisation Coalition to help people make decisions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. It shows how the vaccine can lower the risk of catching, getting sick from or dying from COVID-19.
It also shows the risk of getting rare side effects from the vaccines.
This is calculated based on a patients age, sex, and vaccinations. You can choose to see the results ‘as a chance' or 'per million people' by clicking on the tabs.
The results shown are only a guide. This tool does not consider other things that can affect risk of infection or illness from COVID-19, including the patients general health, where they work or go to school, or their COVID-19 safe behaviours.
Find the tool here
Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
Typical symptoms of measles include fever, coryza, conjunctivitis and cough, followed by a maculopapular rash. About 10% of measles infections involve complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. Returned travellers with a measles-compatible illness should be identified at reception, fitted with a mask, and isolated immediately. If you suspect measles, contact your local Public Health Unit.
Typical symptoms of overseas-acquired enteric diseases such as typhoid, paratyphoid and hepatitis A, include fever, lethargy, jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea. Consider faecal pathogen testing for symptomatic returned travellers and advise to abstain from high-risk activities (e.g. food handling) while the diagnostic work-up is underway.
Travellers should be up-to-date with all routine vaccinations. Receipt of two doses of measles-containing vaccine should be confirmed in all persons born since 1965 prior to international travel.
Children typically receive measles-containing vaccine at 12 and 18 months, but infants travelling to countries where measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring, may receive a measles vaccine from as young as 6 months of age, after an individual risk assessment.
Vaccination for typhoid fever and hepatitis A should be considered for people travelling to endemic areas, particularly those staying with family. See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for further information about vaccination for international travellers.
Persons planning travel overseas should be reminded about food safety precautions, mosquito-bite prevention, and safe sex practices to reduce their risk of exposure to communicable infections. Visit Healthy WA – Travel Health for further details.