In Practice newsletter
19 February 2016
Have your say: Standards for general practices (5th edition)
The draft RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) was launched on Monday 15 February and all stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback.
The draft Standards are available for download on the RACGP website.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Standards team on (03) 9998 8630 for more information.
RACGP Council meeting update
The 58th RACGP Council gathered in Melbourne last week for the first full Council meeting of 2016.
The Council deliberated on a multitude of issues, including the RACGP’s future governance model and the ongoing community awareness campaign, The Good GP.
Connection with Primary Health Networks (PHNs) continues to be an area of focus, with Faculty Board chairs and members leading in the strengthening of relationships with their local PHNs.
As outlined in the RACGP position statement on PHNs, the RACGP believes there is opportunity for PHNs to add value where they support the primary healthcare sector to provide quality primary healthcare services to the community, including coordination, integration, and relationship building.
The RACGP Council also finalised the next series of recommendations to Choosing Wisely Australia, to be released in March. Choosing Wisely is a global initiative focused on identifying medical tests, treatments and procedures that are proven to be of low value or carry an unnecessary risk; the RACGP is a first wave member of this important initiative.
Last week’s Council meeting also endorsed several new RACGP policies, including the Code of Conduct and the Social Media Policy.
The RACGP remains committed to sharing the details of the work it is performing on behalf of members and patients; active member engagement is uppermost in all Council deliberations.
Zika virus update
The Department of Health has updated its Zika Virus information to include interim guidelines for management of pregnant women with Zika virus exposure and recommendations to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus.
These guidelines and recommendations have been developed by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), and are endorsed by the CDNA and the Australian Health Protection Committee. All GPs are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this latest information.
GP resources for responding to inappropriate diagnostic test requests
GPs occasionally receive requests from patients to order specific medical imaging or pathology tests that may or may not be appropriate in the management of the patient. These test requests can arise from a variety of sources and GPs may experience pressure to comply with them in order to preserve good relations with their patients.
There are various risks associated with ordering tests that are unlikely to be of clinical benefit.
To help GPs respond to inappropriate diagnostic test requests, the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC-QC) has developed a set of resources outlining the RACGP position, a patient information sheet to inform discussion between GPs and patients, and a template letter to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners.
RACGP faculty name changes
The RACGP state and national faculties have recently been renamed as part of an RACGP-wide corporate redesign strategy.
The faculties are now known as:
- RACGP Rural
- RACGP Specific Interests
- RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- RACGP Queensland
- RACGP NSW&ACT
- RACGP SA&NT
- RACGP Tasmania
- RACGP Victoria
- RACGP WA
There are no changes to the way the faculties operate. State and national branches of the RACGP remain bound by the RACGP Constitution and will continue to operate as normal.
In Practice poll – ePIP eligibility criteria
The ePIP eligibility criteria has been revised. In addition to the existing criteria, from 1 May 2016, a general practice will be required to upload shared health summaries (SHS) to the My Health Record system (formerly the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)) for 0.5% of the practice’s standardised whole patient equivalent (SWPE) to be eligible for ongoing ePIP payments.
The revised ePIP requirement equates to about five shared health summaries per full-time equivalent GP per quarter (i.e. for a practice with five full-time equivalent GPs, it would equate to 25 uploads per quarter). A practice can receive a maximum payment of $12,500 per quarter.
The RACGP does not support this change. Instead of SHS upload targets, the RACGP advocated for incentives that support data accuracy and quality, and the appropriate and timely sharing of data across the healthcare sector.
To inform the RACGP’s work in the area, you are invited to participate in a poll to let us know if your practice will upload shared health summaries to maintain ePIP eligibility.