Issue 18
May 9, 2019
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Don’t Be in the Dark on Privacy

The privacy of patient health information is an important area in which general practice can play a central role. Next week the The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is partnering with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to celebrate Privacy Awareness Week (PAW). PAW is running from Sunday 12th May to Saturday 18th May with the year’s theme being: Don’t be in the dark on privacy.

This week offers general practices the opportunity to review their practice privacy policies and processes. To support this the RACGP has developed a suite of privacy resources to assist practices in meeting their obligations under legislation, including the Privacy Act 1988, the various Health Records Acts and Australian Privacy Principles. Resources include privacy guides, a patient privacy policy template and a patient privacy pamphlet template. Visit their website to access the full range of resources.

The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme came into effect in February 2018. The scheme sets mandatory notification and control requirements for data breaches involving personal information held by organisations, including general practices. In February 2019, as part of the RACGP eHealth webinar series, the RACGP delivered webinars on the scheme in conjunction with the OAIC. These webinars are designed to assist GPs and general practice teams with understanding the scheme and their obligations for assessing and responding to potential data breaches in their practice. A webinar recording is available for viewing. Additionally, the RACGP has developed an NDB scheme factsheet and response flowchart.

The RACGP Technology Survey 2018 indicated that 87% of GP respondents are entirely digital, with no supplementary paper records maintained. With general practices increasingly storing, maintaining and transferring patient information digitally, it is essential that practices understand the subsequent risks, their responsibilities, and policies and procedures required to protect patient information.

The RACGP resource Information security in general practice is designed to assist general practices in meeting their legal obligations for information security and the requirements necessary for accreditation against the RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition). To learn more visit the RACGP Prevention Protection Preservation site.

WentWest also holds Medico legal workshops on privacy, data breaches and confidentially on a regular basis. For more information please chat with your WentWest Practice Development Officer or contact our Helpdesk on (02) 8811 7117 or

Webinar - My Health Record for Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and Occupational Therapists
Tuesday 14th May, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Obesity – It’s a Weighty Matter
Tuesday 21st May, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Mental Health Professional Network Event
Tuesday 21st May, 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Medical Director Training: My Health Record
Wednesday 29th May, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

NSW Health Campaign - People with Liver Disease

Flu is much more serious than a cold and spreads easily. Most people recover after at least four days of bed rest, but for people with liver disease it can lead to a severe and life-threatening illness. In 2017, over 650 people died in NSW from the flu.

An annual flu shot is the best protection against the flu. The flu shot is safe and does not give you the flu.

Download the resources available for this campaign on the NSW Health website.

Recall - Weleda Baby Teething Powder 60 g

Consumers and health professionals are advised that Weleda Australia Pty Ltd, in consultation with the TGA, is recalling batches of Weleda Baby Teething Powder 60g. The recall is being conducted because small, threadlike (up to approximately 1 cm long and less than 1 mm wide), soft, slivers of white plastic could potentially peel off the jar cap upon first opening. This is due to the tight fit of the cap on the jar and friction. Weleda Baby Teething Powder is a homeopathic preparation used to treat discomfort associated with teething in infants. If the plastic was not noticed and ingested it presents a potential choking hazard to infants. There have been no reports of patient harm.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, contact Weleda customer service on 1300 551 454 or 02 9997 5171.

BreastScreen Trailer Location

The BreastScreen trailer is at Bunnings Warehouse, Marsden Park until Thursday 30th May, offering screening for all women aged 40 years and over. Appointments can be made by calling BreastScreen NSW on 13 20 50 or booking online. Download the practices poster and display in your waiting room, to support awareness of breast screening.

GP Association meetings

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

Westmead: Dermatology GP Updates, Wednesday 29th May.

Mount Druitt: Valvular Heart Disease, Friday 31st May.

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