6. Communicable diseases
General practitioners (GPs) have an important role in the prevention and management of communicable diseases. This includes advice on prevention, immunisation, early detection and management.
The use of immunisation information systems1 such as the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) and Vaccination Information and Vaccination Administration System (VIVAS) in Queensland helps raise immunisation rates. The available information in these databases helps to create recall-and-reminder systems and individual immunisation records within GP electronic medical records. An adult immunisation register is planned from September 2016.2
Updates on communicable diseases and notification requirements are available from the Department of Health.
Notification of particular infectious diseases to state public health units is mandatory (the law overrides all privacy regulations). This is almost completely automated by pathology laboratories, but for clinically diagnosed infections such as varicella and herpes zoster, the GP is required to notify the relevant authority.
- Community Preventive Services Task Force (USA). Recommendation for use of immunization information systems to increase vaccination rates. J Public Health Manag Pract 2015;21(3):249–52.
- Department of Health. Update: Expansion of Australia’s immunisation registers. Canberra: DoH, 2015. Available at www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/news-20152310 [Accessed 13 May 2016].