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17 December 2020
In this issue
New eNewsletter in 2021
Medication review support in residential aged care
General Practice Incentive Fund Tasmania
COVID-19 Tasmanian HealthPathways
Intellectual disability project
Jean Hailes' Women's Health Survey results
New EMR at Parkville facilities
My Health Record Viewer update
Survey opportunities
In the north
In the north west
Useful resources
Educational opportunities
Upcoming events
General Practice Matters is evolving. Our eNewsletter coming to your inboxes in 2021
During the COVID-19 response, Primary Health Tasmania established the COVID-19 Update, a more frequent eNewsletter with a concise editorial style, and a wider audience.

Building on the lessons and positive feedback from this newsletter, Primary Health Tasmania will retire General Practice Matters and replace it with Primary Health Update in 2021, which will deliver weekly news to the full range of Tasmanian clinicians and other staff working in the primary health sector.

The eNewsletter's format, tone, and editorial remit has been developed in line with feedback from the Tasmanian General Practice Forum and the Allied Health Network, as well as relevant insights shared from recipients of our COVID-19 Update publication.

It will include a prominent section on news specific to general practice, as well as the latest COVID-19 news and resources relevant to the workforce. As with General Practice Matters, Primary Health Update will continue to focus on practical information that helps the workforce in their day-to-day work.

The first issue of Primary Health Update will reach you on 4 February.
More information
Support to optimise medication management in residential aged care 
The Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report highlighted regular medication reviews as a national priority area for people living in aged care facilities. COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of medication reviews to reduce polypharmacy, prevent medicine interactions and adverse events, and improve staff safety.  

Consultant Pharmacy Services is working collaboratively with Primary Health Tasmania to support GPs to optimise medication management in people living in aged care facilities. Residents who have respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease or diabetes are particularly likely to benefit from review of their medicines in the context of COVID-19.   

Consultant Pharmacy Services will be available to provide a COVID-19 specific medication management case review and in the new year, general practices can receive a visit by a consultant pharmacist. This is an opportunity to receive in-service education and to discuss complex cases.  

GPs can access this service free of charge. Advice may be provided by phone or video consultation if geographical limitations exist.  

Written resources to support medication management for aged care and other at-risk environments such as in-home care and disability care are currently under development.  

How to refer to Consultant Pharmacy Services:

Consultant Pharmacy Services will accept eReferral Smartforms.

A new eReferral Quick Guide for Consultant Pharmacy Services is available for download via the button below, explaining the five-step process.

Alternatively, you can initiate the process by contacting Peter Tenni (, 0439 850 086) or Shane Jackson (, 0408 485 430). 
Download the Consultant Pharmacy Services eReferral Quick Guide
More information
New general practice incentive fund for Tasmania
The Australian Government this week announced it has established the $2 million General Practice Incentive Fund Tasmania to attract and retain GPs in north and north west Tasmania.

Primary Health Tasmania will be working with HR+ to roll out the program, and will provide more information once available. 
More information
Tasmanian HealthPathways: Update on our COVID-19 HealthPathways
The COVID-19 Tasmanian HealthPathways continue to be reviewed regularly and are updated in accordance with national and Tasmanian recommendations.

The Pathways are checked fortnightly against the CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units, Tasmanian Health Department’s Primary Care Update and fact sheets, and where locally relevant, other HealthPathways regions. 

To access Tasmanian HealthPathways, log in with username: connectingcare and password: health.
Go to Tasmanian HealthPathways
New intellectual disability project seeks GP input
Primary Health Tasmania is working with the Council for Intellectual Disability on a new project that aims to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disability by designing tools, training, and resources for people with an intellectual disability, their supporters, and health professionals.

As part of the project, the Council would like to hear from GPs about their experiences in working with people with an intellectual disability.
More information
Results from Jean Hailes' sixth annual Women's Health Survey
Jean Hailes' sixth annual national Women’s Health Survey reveals the health needs and behaviours of women living in Australia, as they share their experiences of the past 12 months.

The survey was developed to identify emerging issues and trends in women’s health, and to inform health promotion activities (including Jean Hailes’ annual national Women’s Health Week campaign) so that they more effectively respond to the specific health and information needs of women in Australia.
View the results
New healthcare provider portal for the Parkville precinct hospital electronic records
Tasmanian GPs who have patients that attend the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Royal Children’s Hospital or Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria are advised these Parkville precinct hospitals now have a shared Electronic Medical Record (EMR) with a GP/provider portal called Parkville Connect.

Parkville Connect is a secure, web-based portal providing GPs, specialists and other healthcare professionals with access to patient information in the Parkville EMR. 

To find out more and to sign up, go to or email with questions.
More information
THS My Health Record Viewer now live
The Tasmanian Health Service (THS) has launched the My Health Record Viewer, which is available to all THS clinical staff.

The My Health Record viewer is located in the THS digital medical record, which is easily accessed by clinicians through the patient record. 

For patients who are over the age of 18, THS clinicians will upload discharge summaries, pathology reports, radiology reports and some prescription and dispense information.

To assist THS clinicians, please keep the My Health Record summaries updated for patients who are at high risk of hospital admission or have a planned hospital admission. This includes current medication lists, allergies, and medical conditions.

More information regarding the My Health Record is available via the My Health Record Enquiry Line on 1800 723 471 or online via the button below.
More information
Survey opportunities
The following surveys are seeking input from Tasmanian GPs:
Happy holidays from Primary Health Tasmania
All Primary Health Tasmania offices will close on the afternoon of 24 December and reopen at 9:00am on Monday 4 January.

Wishing you all a restful and safe holiday break.
In the north
Launceston Community Nursing Service: Christmas arrangements
The Launceston Community Health Nursing Service advises it will be running a reduced service on Christmas Day.

GPs are advised to continue to direct all referrals to LCHNS via TasCCRS and My Aged Care as usual, and those for EID/CoNECs via the dedicated direct referral process.
More information
In the north west
Ensuring your public sector endoscopy referrals are received
A reminder that the correct fax number for all north west public sector endoscopy referrals is (03) 6441 5942. Referrals sent to an older fax number will not be received, and risks delays to patients accessing diagnostic assessment. 

To download the current (February 2019) referral template which includes the correct fax number please click the button below. Please delete any previous versions you may have downloaded to your practice template list and update the fax number in your address book/contact list. 
Access the referral template
COVID-19 resources from the Tasmanian Government
The Tasmanian Government’s coronavirus website has a wide range of resources available for health and aged care workers, as well as general resources that can be used in your practice, such as posters, translated material and other resources you may find useful.

Local health professionals are also advised a COVID-19 testing campaign, the Keep on top of COVID summer campaign, is currently being rolled out and includes radio, social media and newspaper advertising. 

If you would like some assistance in developing COVID-related materials for your business, please contact the COVID-19 Public Information Unit via this email.
More information
Download the testing clinic information fact sheet
New fact sheet on identifying adverse events following immunisation for different skin tones
The Melbourne Vaccination Education Centre has developed new information about identifying adverse events following immunisation in diverse skin colour.
Access the information
The Australian Immunisation Register: it’s all about the data!
The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia. Data quality is fundamental to its effectiveness. 

Services Australia has developed a data quality user guide to assist vaccination providers to ensure the data they submit to the AIR is accurate. The guide includes:
  • common reasons for encounter ‘pend’ status (and how to avoid this)
  • practice management software issues (and a list of recommended actions)
  • quality control measures (and a list of information sources)
  • data cleaning using AIR Due/Overdue Reports (an overview).
Services Australia has also developed a guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to request, download, save, customise and modify an AIR-010A Due and Overdue Immunisation by Practice Report. 

This report is used to:
  • identify individuals seen for a Medicare service at a practice who, according to the AIR, are either due or overdue for a vaccination on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule
  • identify vaccination details that are missing (or not yet recorded) on the AIR.
Download the Australian Immunisation Register Data Quality User Guide
Download the Australian Immunisation Register AIR-010A Due and Overdue Immunisation by Practice Report User Guide
Nutrition recommendations for preconception and pregnancy
The following Public Health Services resources are available for GPs and practice nurses to refer to if they wish:
The postcards can be ordered free of charge via the email below.
More information
Updated templates
The following templates have been updated and are now available on the Primary Health Tasmania website:
  • Karadi Aboriginal Corporation Integrated Team Care referral form for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service (MD and BP)
Access the new templates
Reminder: Work-related mental health guidelines
Tasmanian health professionals may wish to access two evidence-based guidelines that can assist in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients experiencing the after-effects of COVID-19 or the anniversary of the 'Black Summer' bushfires:
Foundations of spirometry in primary health care course
The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association has launched a new online education course that provides a fundamental level of awareness for primary healthcare nurses to confidently undertake quality spirometry.
More information
Cardiac Community Network’s Education Interface Program – upcoming events
Supported by Primary Health Tasmania, the Cardiac Community Network has been set up with the aim of improving communication and collaboration between GPs and secondary care services, focusing on the management of cardiac-related conditions.

The Network's Education Interface Program will be delivered statewide through a videoconferencing forum. The next sessions will be:
More information
Advanced training in suicide prevention
The Black Dog Institute is running advanced training in suicide prevention for GPs and GP registrars on Saturday 13 March. 
More information
Depression dilemmas workshop
The Black Dog Institute is running a workshop featuring case studies to explore strategies to tackle depression on Sunday 14 March.
More information
Contact us
1300 653 169
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Brought to you by Primary Health Tasmania (Tasmania PHN).
The information in this newsletter comes from a range of sources, and every reasonable effort is made to ensure it’s accurate.
While the Australian Government helped fund this document, it has not reviewed the content. The Australian Government and Primary Health Tasmania are not responsible for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided herein.
Copyright © 2018 Primary Health Tasmania, all rights reserved.

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