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RACGP Tasmania newsletter

27 February 2019

Tasmania in action

A message from our Chair, Dr Jennifer Presser

It has been a difficult start to the year in Tasmania with several large bushfires that had threatened our communities. Even at Headspace in central Hobart, up to a third of my young patients were presenting with exacerbation of their asthma due to the smoke in the air.

Last week, I spoke with our immediate RACGP past president Bastian Seidel, whose practice is situated less than 500m from the Huon Valley evacuation centre. As well as offering health checks and support to people seeking help at the shelter, Bastian spoke to Prime Minister Scott Morrison who visited the site briefly. Bastian commented that ongoing mental health and social work support for the state is a critical need.

General practices are key organisations supporting local communities. GPs have a holistic perspective that stretches from asthma to Centrelink and an acute understanding of how families will be managing one year from now.

We have been lucky that lives were not lost, RACGP Tasmania sends its deep gratitude to everyone who worked extremely hard to help manage the impact of the fires. Thank you to all GPs and practice staff, volunteers, emergency workers, allied health professionals, home-owners and their families who have provided support. Please make sure you include your own self-care as part of your holistic view of health in your family, practice and community. If the RACGP can be of any assistance with practice support, information or lobbying, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

On a happier note, RACGP Tasmania’s Fellowship and Awards Ceremony will be held in Hobart at the Astley Room, Derwent Entertainment Centre on Saturday 21 September 2019. Please email RACGP Tasmania or call 6212 5888 for more information. Registration opens soon.

Dr Jenny Presser
Chair, RACGP Tasmania

Sports solutions: Managing the injuries

Saturday 30 March 2019

GPs have commented that this workshop has provided insights and skills in successfully managing the ‘Monday morning walking wounded' presentations.

'Sports solutions' reviews common injuries caused by overuse, direct impact, strains and sprains. This workshop also considers how managing a sports injury correctly minimises the damage and maximises the chances of a full recovery.

A range of effective sports injury treatment scenarios will be discussed, including:

  • current treatment approach and return to play guides for sprains and strains
  • simple strapping and taping options
  • appropriate imaging modality to assist diagnosis
  • concussion management guidelines
  • safe return to play recommendations
  • moving a casualty with suspected spinal injuries.

This full-day, interactive workshop will be delivered in Launceston. 

Register now to secure your place. 

Accredited CPR workshop

Saturday 30 March 2019

Have you completed your CPR update for the Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) 201719 triennium?

We received excellent feedback for the RACGP Tasmania CPR workshop series regarding the time-efficient format, including the pre-reading component and participation in practical skills assessment session. To achieve competency, participants are required to complete both components. 

Two sessions are available in Launceston: 10.45–11.45 am or 12.00–1.00 pm.

To register, please visit the RACGP website.

Be exam ready in 2019

Take this opportunity to maximise the quality of your RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) exam preparations by attending an RACGP Tasmania pre-exam course. Learn examination techniques and refresh your knowledge across the various domains of general practice to enhance your chances of success.

Currently two workshops are available:

Objective Structured Clinical Examination
Saturday 6 April 2019
Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and
Key Feature Problem (KFP) components 
Saturday 15 June 2019

For enquiries, email Melita Medisauskas, Examination Officer, or call 03 6212 5888.

Register now.

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound ALM

Saturday 30 June 2019

In this workshop, rural GPs can improve their understanding of point-of-care ultrasound applications in the diagnostic process.

This full-day, interactive workshop will provide registrars, and rural and remote GPs the opportunity to identify practical applications of ultrasound technology in rural general practice settings and use point-of-care ultrasound devices under the guidance of experts.

The workshop is accredited for 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points and is also approved for the Rural Procedural Grants Program.

For more information, please email RACGP Rural or call 1800 636764.

Can you help supervise medical students at Agfest?

Thursday to Saturday 2–4 May 2019

HealthStop is an opportunistic, preventative health initiative that provides a fantastic opportunity for medical students to offer blood pressure testing and health advice to a diverse range of Agfest patrons.

Students applaud the value of a face-to-face experience with ‘real patients’ and thoroughly enjoy the interactions. One student commented, ‘I came in for my rostered two hours and stayed all day. It was a great boost to my confidence to get good feedback from the people I saw. The GP supervising our group was really supportive.’ Another said, ‘I was nervous at first, but everyone is so upbeat and encouraging. The patrons have great stories and offer real insight into the variety of medicine in general practice’.

HealthStop is supervised by University of Tasmania clinical lecturers and RACGP GPs who generously volunteer their time to support our enthusiastic upcoming doctors.

If you can assist for an hour or two at HealthStop, we warmly welcome you. A complimentary entry ticket is provided to supervisors.

Please contact Julia Ray with your availability and preference for day and time.

Developed by RACGP Tasmania in partnership with the University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Society.

National news and opportunities

RACGP Foundations grants and awards 2019

This year, RACGP Foundation is proud to offer 16 research grants and awards to GPs and registrars. Up to half a million dollars is available in general practice research funding. You could play a vital role in shaping the health of Australia.

RACGP Foundation is where general practice research begins. Online applications open on Tuesday 5 March 2019.  For more information, visit the RACGP Foundation website.

National Close the Gap Day – Get involved

Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies of any country in the world, but this is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Close the Gap campaign was established over a decade ago to work towards closing the health gap and achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within a generation. It transformed from a popular movement into a force that has shaped government policy.

But, there is more to be done!

You can join in and support change during the National Close the Gap Day on Thursday 21 March 2019.

To participate, you can:

  • register your own event
  • attend a Close the Gap event in your area
  • sign the online petition calling for action from governments, or
  • share information with your networks via social media.

No matter how big or small, every action is important to help raise awareness.

For more information and advice, visit the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation website or email RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.  

New RACGP Practice Technology and Management guides and resources

Improving health record quality in general practice

Maintaining quality patient health records supports appropriate clinical decision-making and continuity of care. The maintenance of quality health records in general practice contributes to data provision for research and policy, education and medico-legal purposes. It is also a vital component of medico-legal protection for practitioners.

The RACGP's new guide, Improving health record quality in general practice, outlines what constitutes a high-quality health record and how practices can put systems in place to ensure they produce health records that are fit for purpose.

Responding to online reviews

Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth for recommending goods and services, including health services.

To assist members in responding to online reviews about individual GPs and general practice organisations, the RACGP has introduced a new resource, Factsheet: Responding to online reviews.

The factsheet provides information about when and how to respond to online consumer reviews, useful information about dealing with negative and positive reviews, and relevant legislation regarding the use of reviews for advertising and marketing.

Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme

In February 2018, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) commenced the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme.

The scheme outlines the mandatory requirements for organisations, including general practices, in responding to data breaches.

The Notifiable Data Breaches scheme – Fact sheet has been developed to assist general practices to appropriately assess and identify notifiable data breaches and to know their reporting requirements under the NDB scheme. 

External news and information*

GPs screen their patients for atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias

Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias are common medical problems of increasing prevalence that are often identified and managed by GPs.

Researchers at University of Sydney are conducting an online survey to explore the views, knowledge and practices of GPs and registrars regarding cardiac arrhythmias. The information is important to health policy makers, education providers and professional bodies. We have obtained ethics approval from the University of Sydney (ethics approval number 2018/740).

As a token of appreciation for completing this survey, your name will be placed into a draw to receive one of three $50 gift cards.

This research will contribute to the PhD studies of Dr Kam Wong (GP and Clinical Senior Lecturer). His supervisors are Professor Clara Chow (Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine), Professor Tim Usherwood (Professor of General Practice) and Dr Cindy Kok (Honorary Researcher).

Begin the survey.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.


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