Issue 08
March 8, 2018
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Transforming primary care

In an important reform for primacy care in Australia, almost 200 Health Care Homes (HCH) are now enrolling patients with chronic and complex conditions into the HCH program. These HCH will provide better coordinated, flexible and patient-centred care for up to 65,000 Australians over the next two years. A Health Care Home is a general practice or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) that provides enhanced, comprehensive care for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung conditions.

One in four Australians have at least two chronic health conditions and for these people, our health system can seem disjointed and hard to navigate, making it difficult for patients to access different services and appointments. By emphasising team-based, coordinated care and better communication, the HCH model can address these issues, placing the patient at the centre of care.

In western Sydney, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN) is working with 23 local practices to evolve primary care so patients and communities experience better health outcomes.

Local clinical consultant pharmacist, Vinita Deshpande works with Mt Druitt Medical Centre and was recently interviewed for a HCH newsletter. She explains her role within the practice and how being a Health Care Home has changed patient care - “We are following up on them more, trying to make sure we get some data more regularly, their blood pressure, weight, blood glucose monitoring and being in more regular contact with them to see how they’re managing.”

Read the full article online or visit the Department of Health’s website for more information on HCH.

Health Care Homes infographic shows a patient surrounded by members of a care team and how they can coordinate care.

RACGP - Twilight Online: Flu vaccination webinar
Wednesday 14th Mar, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Meet your neighbour
Thursday 15th Mar, 10:00am - 12:30pm
My Health Record: Get connected - Opt out is coming
Thursday 22nd Mar, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Hepatitis C new treatments course
Saturday 24th Mar, 10:00am - 3:00pm

Healthy kids for professionals

In a bid to help reduce rates of childhood obesity, NSW Health have established a number of programs to support clinicians in identifying and managing children who are above healthy weight. Working closely with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA), training sessions and resources have been developed and are available on the Healthy Kids for Professionals website.

AMA - Final determination

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has re-authorised general practitioners that practise in defined business structures to set intra-practice fees and to collectively bargain as single practices in relation to the provision of Visiting Medical Officer services to public hospitals and with Primary Health Networks (formerly Medicare Locals). The ACCC grants this authorisation until March 2028. The ACCC has also decided to grant interim authorisation to the AMA to ensure the AMA continues to have the benefit of authorisation until the new authorisation comes into effect. Read more about the final determination online.

Easter long weekend operating hours survey

The Easter period is one of the busiest times of year for western Sydney hospital emergency departments. The increased influx in presentations to EDs over this period can lead to extended waiting times to access care. To help create local community awareness of the availability of primary care providers during this period we're asking GPs to complete our online survey to provide details of amended operating hours.

My Health Record medicines information view

The new medicines information view in My Health Record allows health providers to quickly sort and display information about a patient's medications. Find out more about this new feature on the My Health Record website.

GP Association meetings

The below GP Association meetings are coming up in western Sydney:

Westmead: Ophthalmology GP updates - Wednesday 21st March
Mt Druitt: HPV screening: an Australian success story - Friday 23rd March

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