COVID-19: GP Alert (27 April 2020)
April 27, 2020
Reminder: Anyone in Queensland with respiratory symptoms should be tested for COVID-19
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young announced a further expansion to the testing criteria on Friday morning (24 April 2020). Anyone in Queensland with respiratory symptoms should be tested for COVID-19. To view Public Health Alert no.12, click here.
CDNA National Guidelines update
The Department of Health CDNA National Guidelines were updated on 24 April 2020. Updates were made to case definitions (p5-6) and case management, including release from isolation (p9-12). For more information, click here.
Further clarification with regards to digital prescriptions in Queensland
- This arrangement can only be given effect in Queensland if changes are made to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR). The Commonwealth Department of Health recently issued factsheets on interim arrangements for prescriptions for supply of medicines stating that a prescriber can send a clear copy of a prescription (a digital image such as a photo or pdf including the barcode where applicable) to a patient’s pharmacy of choice via email, text message or fax.
- Currently, a valid prescription must be presented in its original form, by fax or by telephone (and in the latter two cases, the prescriber must give or post the original prescription to the pharmacist within seven days).
- A digital image of a prescription is not a valid prescription in Queensland [at this time].
- Queensland Health is exploring regulatory options to enable a digital image of a prescription to be sent in accordance with the Commonwealth arrangement.
- In the meantime, prescribers are reminded that prescriptions can only be presented to pharmacists in their original form, by fax or by telephone (again, followed by the paper prescription in the latter two cases).
PIP and WIP response to COVID-19 to support general practice update
In recognition that general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across the nation have been impacted by COVID-19, the Department of Health and Services Australia have undertaken work to implement a number of temporary measures under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) to help ensure business continuity.
These measures are designed to make it easier for practices to continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 and to continue providing quality care to their communities.
A summary document has been prepared which summarises the current changes. Click here to view the overview of the changes.
In response to the expansion of testing for COVID-19 announced on 24 April, QML has now opened more drive through centres to facilitate easier collection of COVID-19 swabs. Drive through clinics are currently operating in Acacia Ridge, Banyo, Cleveland, Murarrie, Toowoomba, Movie World and Cairns.Further drive through clinics will be opened in the coming weeks. This is in addition to the dedicated respiratory collection clinics which will collect swabs for respiratory viruses including for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. The list of the drive through and respiratory clinic may change from day to day - an up-to-date list can be found by visiting our website www.qml.com.au
The COVID-19 HealthPathways (HP) have been updated and remains the clinical source of truth for Queensland Primary Care. Visit Darling Downs HealthPathways and West Moreton HealthPathways to view these updates.
AHPRA Telehealth guidance for practitioners - AHPRA recently released telehealth guidance for health practitioners. The guidance outlines expectations as to how registered health practitioners will use telehealth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses how the Code of Conduct is applied to consultations carried out via phone or video conferencing. Click here to view the guidance.