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11 October 2018
In this issue
TGA: Urgent recall of ColoVantage bowel screening test
New Suicide Risk Tasmanian HealthPathway
General practice info on new Primary Health Tasmania website
Request a practice visit
Learn more about our data sharing program
Telehealth consults available with new genetics service
Free counselling service for veterans and families
New Lung Foundation Australia website
In the south
Useful resources
Education opportunities
Upcoming events
The Check Up with Dr Vivien Wright
Urgent recall: ColoVantage home bowel screening test
The TGA has issued a recall notice for Enterix Australia's ColoVantage Home-Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits, which also go by the brand names Bowelscan and BowelCare. 

It says a higher than expected rate of positive test results for blood in the stool of patients undergoing screening for bowel cancer has been observed.

The kits have been distributed to an estimated 1700 patients nationally via their GPs.

The product codes are 15015, 15034, 15032, 15030, 15024, 18001, 18002, 18004; the anomaly is limited to test card lot number T180203 with an expiry date of 6 February 2020.

Enterix advises GPs:
  1. if your patient has already had a colonoscopy, it is not necessary to repeat the FIT
  2. if your patient is scheduled for a colonoscopy, guidelines support a follow up. Repeating the FIT is not recommended
  3. the NHMRC clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, early detection and management of colorectal cancer recommends that “participants with positive iFOBT results should have follow-up investigation... Repeating the iFOBT test after a positive result carries the risk of a falsely negative test result on the second occasion because of low levels of bleeding from a cancer or adenoma, intermittent bleeding, or uneven distribution of blood in the stools
  4. if you feel it is appropriate, you may wish to inform your patient of this Product Defect Alert notification
  5. note that this product is in no way connected with the test kits used in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Enterix is expected to dispatch letters to all affected customers. Please do not contact them unless you believe that you have the goods under recall and have not received a recall letter.

For further information about TGA recall actions, click on the link below.
More information
New Suicide Risk Tasmanian HealthPathway available
Primary Health Tasmania has developed a new Tasmanian HealthPathway to guide clinicians caring for people at risk of suicide.

The Suicide Risk HealthPathway aims to guide best-practice assessment and management of people presenting with suicidality, including how to refer patients to local services.

To access it, go to Tasmanian HealthPathways via the button below (login with username: connectingcare and password: health) and search "suicide risk".
Go to Tasmanian HealthPathways
Information for general practice on new Primary Health Tas website
Primary Health Tasmania's new website includes a dedicated space for everyone working in general practice.

Located within the health professionals' section, the general practice pages cover topics including: There is also an archive of previous editions of General Practice Matters, should you wish to revisit any earlier issues.
More information
Book a Primary Health Tasmania practice visit
Primary Health Tasmania recently sent a letter to all general practices in Tasmania inviting them to book a practice visit.
This letter was sent to both the practice manager and the practice principal, and contained a booking request form and our data sharing agreement.
We have started to visit practices who have requested a visit. If you would like to request a visit for your practice, please complete the booking request via the button below.

More information about our practice visits is on our new website here.
Book a visit
Join our de-identified data sharing program to prepare for the QI PIP
Primary Health Tasmania has a lot to offer practices who share data through our data sharing program - the Primary Health Information Network, or PHIN.
In particular we can support practices to:
  • report for the upcoming QI PIP
  • improve practice data quality
  • better understand their patient population. 
All the data we collect is de-identified before it is sent to us and all data collection, storage and use is conducted in compliance with national standards. Once set up, data submission occurs automatically once per month and does not require staff time to send.
A copy of our data sharing agreement has been sent to every Tasmanian general practice and completed data sharing agreements can be returned via this email. You can get in touch via the same email to download an example practice report.

If you have not received your data sharing agreement or have misplaced it, a copy can be obtained here.
We are also able to offer the PenCS TopBar for participating practices in addition to quarterly data reports and the opportunity to work with us to help answer specific data questions or develop strategies to clean data.

Information about our practice data program is on our new website here.
Get in touch
New service: Clinical genetics service with telehealth capacity
A new private clinical genetic service based in Brisbane is offering telehealth consultations across all aspects of genetics, including preconception carrier screening, prenatal, paediatric, adult non-cancer (such as cardiac) and cancer genetics.

Genes Australia consultant Dr Di Milnes says Tasmanian residents seeking clinical geneticist appointments are all in a telehealth-eligible area and will therefore receive a Medicare rebate. 
More information
Free counselling service available for veterans and their families
Health professionals caring for veterans and their families are advised the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling and support. 

VVCS services include:
  • counselling for individuals, couples and families provided in-centre as well as through outreach counsellors
  • group programs to treat issues like anxiety, anger, pain and trauma
  • after-hours telephone counselling
  • information, education and self-help resources
  • suicide prevention training
  • crisis support.
Outreach counsellors are psychologists and mental health-accredited social workers working in private practice. If you are interested in becoming an outreach counsellor, please contact the service via this email.
More information
Lung Foundation Australia: New website, World COPD Day coming up
Lung Foundation Australia have launched a new website, designed to act as a central source of information and resources to support people of all ages living with lung disease, in the lead up to World COPD Day.

The awareness day falls on 21 November and the Foundation has a range of materials available to support health practitioners.
More information
In the south
New service: Consultancy to support parents at home, back to work
A new fee-for-service consultancy based in Hobart aims to support parents at home and returning to work, and has a website with information about settling, feeding, practical home help and more.

The Summer Breeze Consultancy, which aims to complement existing parenting support services, also offers a free service to parents at the Elizabeth Hope Baby Club in Glenorchy on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Founder Summer Gwynne, a registered nurse, advises the service has been approached by two obstetricians in Hobart and intends to open consulting rooms with them early next year.

More information is available by clicking on the button below.
More information
Moonah Doctors name change
Health professionals in the state's south are advised Moonah Doctors has changed its practice name to Moonah Health Centre.
Primary Health Tasmania's new database: Our Services Portal
Our Services Portal is a new interactive database that aims to put you in touch with services commissioned by Primary Health Tasmania in your local area.

You can access it via the button below, and may wish to bookmark the webpage on your browser for easy retrieval. The map on the homepage shows the local government areas (LGAs) where particular services are available to local residents.

Search results link to information including:
  • what the service covers
  • where it is available
  • who is eligible
  • referral processes
  • key contact details for the service providers.
Note not all services are physically delivered in each LGA indicated, but people in that area have access to the services either face-to-face or through other means such as telehealth or phone support.
Go to Our Services Portal
New Medicare billing for immunisation education guide
The Australian Department of Human Services has developed the Education Guide - Medicare billing for immunisation.

It's intended as a quick reference guide to support immunisation providers with Medicare billing for immunisations and is available via the button below.
View the guide
My Health Record: Clinical software simulators available
Health professionals can access a range of clinical software simulators or ‘sandboxes’ to simulate the viewing, creating and uploading of clinical information to a fictional patient’s My Health Record.

There are simulators for Bp Premier, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie, and Communicare.
The training environment - which can also be used to practise assisted registration - also provides a simulation of the My Health Record Consumer Portal, which can be accessed via the button below.
More information
New website to support new and expectant mums' emotional wellbeing
Health professionals caring for new and expectant mothers are advised the MumSpace website can act as an easy access point for a range of resources for their emotional support.

The website brings together trusted support programs and resources from Australia’s expert perinatal mental health organisations, led by the Parent-Infant Research Institute and including partners such as the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia and Queensland University of Technology.

MumSpace, which you can access via the button below, is funded by the Australian Government and can also be found on its digital mental health gateway Head to Health.
More information
New booklet for parents with questions about vaccination
The new Questions about vaccination booklet is now available to help parents better understand immunisation and to answer key questions about vaccination.

The resource replaces the old Understanding Childhood Immunisation resource and can be accessed via the button below.

Vaccination providers are also advised the Australian Immunisation Register has been updated to make it easier for them to use, and further information can be accessed here.
Download the booklet
APNA funding opportunities for general practice nurses
Nurses working in primary healthcare settings including (but not limited to) general practice, correctional health, community health, or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health services, are invited to apply for the following opportunities:
  • APNA Building Nurse Capacity (BNC) - a project starting in February 2019 that will focus on the development of nurse-led (team-based) models of care that meet local population health needs, and contribute to building the capacity of the healthcare team. Find out more.
  • A 12-month transition to practice program providing a structured system of support for nurses transitioning to primary health care. Find out more.
More information
Chronic pelvic pain education session for GPs
Date: Wednesday 17 October
Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm start 
Location: Ulverstone
Host: Pain Solutions
Dr Karin Jones, specialist pain consultant, will be providing an education session for GPs on transferring discoveries in pain science to chronic pelvic pain.

Click here to find out more.
Two-day poverty education workshop
Date: Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 November
Time: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Location: Launceston
Host: Social Solutions
Cost: $324.50 (including GST, workbook and catering)
Nairn Walker presents this two-day workshop that helps participants to understand the challenges faced by poverty and how it shapes the interactions and experiences of a person's everyday life.

Bridges out of Poverty offers solutions that are practical and strategic, addressing everyday interactions through to policy implications in every sector, from justice, health and housing, education and employment, through to transport and training.

Click here to register.
The Check Up
We chat to Dr Viv Wright about a varied, globe-trotting career as a GP

Vivien Wright has been a doctor for 37 years, working in three countries and maintaining roles in hospital, community and general practice medicine. 

She's also a qualified medical acupuncturist, with her practice in this field currently associated with the Augusta Road Medical Centre, where she was a GP from 1990 to 2002.

These days, the busy Dr Wright is also a GP editor/leader with Tasmanian HealthPathways - a web-based information portal developed by Primary Health Tasmania.

It's designed to help primary care clinicians plan local patient care through primary, community and secondary healthcare systems.

"My role is to curate information on a given subject into a practical form that can be accessed very quickly and can also lead seamlessly to further information if required," she explains.

"The pathways contain both medical information and map out the present medical services in Tasmania.

"Each pathway has been developed with the assistance of our specialist, allied health and nursing colleagues in that area."

Here’s what else she told Primary Health Tasmania:

  • On her favourite Tasmanian HealthPathway: "The Funny Turns pathway! 'I had a funny turn yesterday' is a relatively common presentation in general practice which deserves to be taken seriously. The expression is usually used when a patient felt suddenly very unwell without warning and without explanation but has returned to their usual level of functioning. Usually the patient wants to be reassured that their heart is okay but there are of course a variety of reasons for transient episodes of suddenly feeling unwell. The Funny Turns pathway is great because not only does it guide the GP through the possibilities from brain (neurological and psychological), heart, arterial and blood system to ear to endocrine (pancreas and adrenals), drugs (prescribed and recreational) in a quick practical fashion, but the questions in the assessment section can be used by the practice nurse to rapidly triage patients who phone up seeking advice and an appointment." 
  • On her advice to young GPs: "GPs now routinely manage medical conditions that several decades ago they would have referred to their physician colleagues. Remember that if you are feeling inadequate at present that you aren’t alone! Doctors get to where we are because we share personality traits like conscientiousness that can make us very self-critical. The excellent GP you admire still probably secretly feels that s/he is not good enough because there is always something more to know and some skill to be learnt or improved upon." 
  • On  the biggest challenge of working in general practice: "Time and information pressures. The reason that I continue to work for Tasmanian HealthPathways after nearly five years is that I think this is an essential tool for the management of both time and the need for specific information immediately at the point of clinical care. I am immensely proud of the whole Tasmanian HealthPathways project which is one of 44 HealthPathway organisations internationally."

Do you know someone working in general practice who would be a good subject for The Check Up? Suggest them by clicking the button below and getting in touch!

Nominate someone for The Check Up
Contact us
1300 653 169
If you would like to submit an article or provide feedback on General Practice Matters,

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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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