Murray PHN eNews #78 | A new COPD model of care pilot

Edition 78  | A new COPD model of care pilot

Implementing a new model of care for COPD
The Managing Chronic Disease in Wangaratta and Benalla Reference Group - led by Northeast Health Wangaratta and Murray PHN - is  helping patients with chronic lung disease remain well enough to stay out of hospital.

Yesterday the group of 15 clinicians and one patient advocate launched a  20-page My Lung Health booklet and patient care flowchart  to support local doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals.

The innovative resources will be  piloted  through a representative group drawn from the 4,200 patients affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in North East Victoria.

Murray PHN has set COPD as one of the four main health priorities for the region. Despite falling death rates, COPD is still a leading cause of death and disease burden, after heart disease, stroke and cancer.  If successful, the COPD project will be rolled out more widely to the estimated 14,000 COPD patients across the Murray PHN region.

Photo courtesy of Wangaratta Chronicle. Pictured: Jan Lang Murray PHN Health Systems Coordinator, David Kidd Northeast Health Wangaratta Director Community Health, Partnerships & Well Ageing, Margaret  Bennett  Northeast Health Wangaratta CEO,  Penny Wilkinson Murray PHN Executive Director Health Integration and Engagement and Tessa Archbold Northeast Health Wangaratta Project Worker.

A Real-Time Prescription Monitoring System for Victoria

Legislation has been introduced in the Victorian parliament to deliver real-time prescription monitoring in the state - set to begin in 2018.

Under the proposed legislation, doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists would have access to a system that will review prescription histories of patients in their care.

The system will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone â€" which carry the highest risk of misuse â€" and monitor other high-risk medicines, including all benzodiazepines such as diazepam. It will also streamline the existing Schedule 8 permit requirements to reduce duplication and regulatory burden.

It would be mandatory for prescribers and pharmacists to check the system before writing or dispensing a prescription for a high-risk medicine, with some exceptions in certain circumstances. As Victoria will be the first state to roll out a prescription monitoring system of this scale, and to ensure it is embedded in clinical practice, appropriate transitional arrangements will be in place before this requirement comes into effect.

This initiative will involve the roll-out of a software system to over 1,900 medical clinics, 1,300 pharmacies and 200 hospitals throughout Victoria, as well as training and support packages for doctors and pharmacists.

A consortium being led by Western Victoria PHN will develop and deliver comprehensive training and education on the Real Time Prescription Monitoring system for doctors and pharmacists across the state.

The consortium consists of: Western Victoria PHN as lead agency, plus the Victorian PHN Alliance (VPHNA) -   of which Murray PHN is a member - and NPS Medicine Wise; in partnership with the Victorian Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks (PABNs), Odyssey House, the Association of Participating Service Users (APSU), Scriptwise and expert clinicians.

For more information, click here.

Dental Health Week 7-13 August 2017
This week is  Dental Health Week - aimed at educating Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of their lives.

Dental disease accounts for more than 63,000 hospital presentations every year in Australia and is the third-highest cause for preventable hospital admissions.

Data from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2011-2012 found approximately half of the local government areas in the Murray PHN region had populations that described their dental health as fair or poor.  The Gannawarra (42.3%) and Loddon (45.7%)  Shires had percentage rates below the state average (57.1%) who had visited a dental professional in the last 12 months. These areas also had percentage rates above the state average for people who had avoided or delayed visiting a dental professional due to cost.

New bowel cancer screening campaign launched

Cancer Council Victoria  has launched a new campaign to encourage participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Bowel cancer kills more people in Victoria  than breast and prostate cancer combined. Early detection is one of the best defences, and yet only 40 per cent of eligible people currently complete the home screening test when they receive it in the mail.

The campaign will run across a range of channels including TV, radio and social media, and creates a unique opportunity to promote bowel screening through general practice.

Over the past few weeks,  Cancer Council Victoria has written to  general practices across Victoria with information on the campaign and resources available to GPs and their practice team, including a  campaign webpage for GPs.

Murray PHN passes 100 pathways
Last week a milestone was reached when the 100th localised pathway was uploaded to Murray HealthPathways. It is a great effort from our staff who bring together clinical expertise and local knowledge, enabling health professionals in our catchment to access free and best practice clinical referral information and patient resources.

For more information about HealthPathways, including to request access, click here.

Job opportunities at Murray PHN      careers  

Murray PHN is currently recruiting for the following vacancies:

Scholarships available for AOD nurse practitioners  

 alcohol and other drugs

The Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network is offering scholarships to Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) Nurse Practitioner Candidates working in the Loddon Mallee region of the Murray PHN catchment.   The scholarships provide financial support towards completion of a Nurse Practitioner Master's degree and may be sought by eligible applicants with the endorsement of their employing organisation.

Applications close on Friday 8  September. Click here for more details.

Grants for cancer services in the Loddon Mallee Region    cancer  
The Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service is funding a grants program for organisations providing specialist and generalist cancer services to residents of the Loddon Mallee region.

Project funds will be awarded for sustainable service development which support the implementation or align to priority areas of the LMICS Strategic Plan. There are three grant categories of up to $80,000 each. Applications close on 30 August. Click here for more details.

After-hours Supercare nursing service in Bendigo  Bendigo  potentially avoidable hospital admissions  

The Supercare Nursing Service is now  operating at the Bendigo UFS Pharmacy on the corner of View and Barnard Streets from 6pm to 10pm every night. It is  a government-funded service providing triage, assessment, treatment and/or referral to a GP, emergency department or other healthcare provider for ongoing care.

The free after-hours service is staffed by experienced registered nurses from the primary and community healthcare sector with qualifications in immunisation and mental health first aid. It's  designed to provide the community with after-hours care to take pressure off local emergency departments, particularly with category four and five presentations that can be managed in the primary care setting. Click here for more details.

New COPD online training modules    COPD  

New individual training modules on various Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) topics have been released by the Lung Foundation Australia. The training allows    general practitioners, nurses, exercise professionals and pharmacists  to focus on specific COPD topics that are most relevant to them and their patients, and to complete quick refresher courses.

The new modules include: managing exacerbations of COPD;  preventing deterioration of COPD (smoking cessation, immunisation and oxygen therapy); about COPD; the respiratory system and COPD; pulmonary rehabilitation and physical activity; diagnosis of COPD (including case finding and spirometry); inhaler device technique; and COPD medicines. Click here for more details.

Online tools for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug sector    alcohol and other drugs  

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre (AODKC) has added a suite of online resources.

These include: two short animated films on  illicit drug use  and  volatile substance use  among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;  two infographics providing the key facts about  illicit drug use  and  volatile substance use  among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and two HealthInfoBytes; one about the Knowledge Centre's  tobacco web resources  and the other about the latest  Volatile substance use review.

These resources are in addition to two recently published eBooks and  webinar recordings  on topics including  ice and alcohol harm reduction.

Haemochromatosis Awareness Week 2017    genetic disorders  
This week is Haemochromatosis Awareness Week (7 to 13 August). Haemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in Australia - about 1 in 200 people of northern European origin have a genetic risk.

The Australian Academy of Science has released an easy-to read and jargon-free article on inherited iron overload, reviewed by medical advisors to Haemochromatosis Australia.  Click here for more details.

Murray PHN CPD events
For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Regional news  

Government news


External CPD events

  •  Click here  to access a list of external CPD events.





Surveys and consultations



My Health Record

To support the uptake of digital health services, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council has approved Australia's National Digital Health strategy (2018-2022).

In a communique issued after their council meeting, the Health Ministers noted:

The strategy has identified the priority areas that form the basis of Australia's vision for digital health. It will build on Australia's existing leadership in digital health care and support consumers and clinicians to put the consumer at the centre of their health care and provide choice, control, and transparency.

The strategy  Safe, seamless, and secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia - identifies seven key priorities for digital health in Australia including delivery of a My Health Record for every Australian by 2018 unless they choose not to have one.

More than five million Australians already have a My Health Record, which provides potentially lifesaving access to clinical reports of medications, allergies, laboratory tests, and chronic conditions. Patients and consumers can access their My Health Record at any time online or on their mobile phone.

The strategy will also enable paper-free secure messaging for all clinicians and will set new standards to allow real-time sharing of patient information between hospitals and other care professionals.

The National Digital Health Strategy Safe, seamless and secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia is available here.

Copyright © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.

Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Murray PHN ABN  92 156 423 755

You can subscribe to this newsletter via our website by


No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be Logged in to post a comment.