17 February 2022
Welcome to Brisbane South PHN's weekly newsletter for primary health care providers. If you would like to get in contact with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT: The official guidance underpinning the health advice in this publication is rapidly evolving; in some rare instances information may be already out of date at the time of publication. Please always check links provided for the latest information.
Serving the region – Brisbane South PHN update
This week at Brisbane South PHN, we are:
Guidance on new treatments for COVID-19
There are now a number of treatments available for management of COVID-19, with most of these currently only available through Metro South Hospital and Health Service (HHS). Information and guidelines on the use of these treatments is being published on SpotOnHealth HealthPathways as it becomes available. Don’t forget to check 'What’s changed?' at the top of the COVID-19 pathways for recent updates.
GPs considering the prescription of disease-modifying treatments, including new oral antivirals being pre-placed in residential aged care facilities and Aboriginal Medical Services for out-of-hospital treatment, can seek clinical advice from Metro South HHS specialists. Contact details can be found on COVID-19 Requests.
If you are a GP working in the greater Brisbane south region seeking access to SpotOnHealth HealthPathways, contact email@example.com or call the GP Clinical Decision Support Line on (07) 3493 4899 for the login details.
ATAGI statement on defining 'up-to-date' status for COVID-19 vaccination
In their clinical guidance for the use of COVID-19 vaccines, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), has revised their guidance on what is considered ‘up-to-date' vaccination status. The policy implications of these recommendations will be worked through at a state and national level, with ATAGI recommending the changes take effect at the end of March 2022.
A summary of these recommendations includes:
Recommendation on the use of inhaled budesonide in adults and children
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has published conditional recommendations on the use of inhaled budesonide in adults and children who have COVID-19. They recommend inhaled budesonide be considered within 14 days of symptom onset in adults with COVID-19 who do not require oxygen and have one or more risk factors for disease progression. Budesonide is safe to use in pregnant and breastfeeding/chestfeeding people.
TGA provisionally approves Vaxzeria (AstraZeneca) for booster doses
On Tuesday 8 February 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster vaccine for individuals aged 18 years and above. The decision to receive AstraZeneca as a booster must be made in consultation with a medical professional. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna) are preferred as booster doses in Australia, irrespective of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used. This includes people who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for their primary course.
Ongoing expression of interest for Novavax and Moderna
129 general practices in Brisbane South are participating in Novavax vaccination, with the first 45 commencing next week. Brisbane South PHN continues to facilitate ongoing EOIs to all COVID-19 vaccinating general practices interested in administering Novavax and/or Moderna.
Enhancement to the COVID-19 digital certificate
The COVID-19 digital certificate has recently been enhanced to display all COVID-19 vaccinations an individual has received, including booster doses. Previously, the COVID-19 digital certificate only displayed the 2 most recent vaccinations. Individuals that have received a booster dose prior to 23 January 2022 will need to regenerate their COVID-19 digital certificate for it to recognise their additional COVID-19 vaccinations.
COVID-19 escalation pathway
A COVID-19 escalation pathway infographic has been published on the Queensland Health COVID-19 information for primary care webpage. The infographic outlines what to do when your COVID-19 patient requires a high level of care.
Does your health care organisation use Electronic Prescriptions, Secure Messaging, Medicare look ups or My Health Record?
All of these services require a valid NASH certificate. The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and Services Australia have announced that on Sunday 13 March 2022 many NASH certificates (SHA-1 National Authentication Service for Health) will expire and health care organisations need to apply for a new SHA-2 NASH certificate. This new certificate has been developed to meet advancing technology and security requirements.
Act now to ensure no disruptions to these systems and patient care. Check your NASH certificate expiry date by logging into HPOS.
Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI) to address shortage of abatacept (Orencia)
In January 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was notified about shortages of multiple presentations of abatacept (rch) 125 mg (Orencia) product due to manufacturing reasons.
New digital technology online learning modules
Brisbane South PHN’s Learning Management System, DiscoverPHN enables self-service upskilling within the health care sector and is relevant for all staff working within general practice, including nurses and General Practitioners, community pharmacy, specialist clinics and allied health.
These learning modules are crucial in facilitating upskilling within the health care sector, and also allow for patient support during the COVID-19 pandemic when face-to-face care may be impacted.
Workforce development and training
Brisbane South PHN
Improve the identification and recording of children and young people in care within your practice
Children in statutory care are known to have poorer physical, developmental and mental health outcomes compared with their peers. Young people in care are at higher risk of being victimised, abused, marginalised, excluded, and/or experiencing unsafe situations that leave them vulnerable to potentially traumatic experiences.
To request practice support, contact the quality improvement team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SpotOnHealth HealthPathways – depression in adults
Did you know that e-mental health services can be as effective as face-to-face services, and are a useful tool given that there is currently high demand for psychological services? Find out more about depression in adults on SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.
MBS telehealth funding extended for healthdirect Video Calls
The Australian government has announced extended MBS funding for video-based telehealth consultations. healthdirect Video Call is the nationally preferred video consultation service, providing a secure, private platform that ensures all calls are fully encrypted. Over 2 million video consults have occurred in the past 2 years and 70% of consumers believe all GPs should offer video consultations.
healthdirect Australia offers free, unlimited video calling services and registration is easy. Register now and join the 282 primary care providers already taking advantage of the system across the Brisbane south region.
The benefits of healthdirect Video Call include:
Click the registration link to have one of the Brisbane South PHN team members set up your free account and provide training to get your practice started with healthdirect Video Call.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, and of the many different nations across the wider Brisbane south region. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging, as the holders of the memories, the traditions, the culture and the spiritual wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation. We acknowledge any Sorry Business that may be affecting the communities as a whole. In the spirit of reconciliation, partnership and mutual respect, we will continue to work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to shape a health system which responds to the needs and aspirations of the community.
While the Australian Government has contributed funding for this material, it has not reviewed the content and is not responsible for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided herein.