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COVID-19: GP Alert (29 April 2020)

April 29, 2020

AMENDED – Public Health Alert no.12

Queensland Health have amended Public Health Alert no.12. Click here to view the amended alert.

Connect with your patients through GoShare Plus

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is partnering with Healthily to enable GPs to effectively communicate and share resources with patients they identify as being at risk of COVID-19 using the GoShare Plus platform.

We are seeking 20 general practices who are interested in participating in the PHN’s GoShare Plus COVID-19 Pilot which will give you access to the GoShare Plus platform at no cost.

To express your interest, click here.

GOSHARE PLUS INFORMATION WEBINAR - 13 MAY 2020

The PHN would like to invite you to a GoShare demonstration webinar which will show you firsthand how you can utilise GoShare to support your patients and encourage their proactive engagement in preventative health activities.

Click here to access the webinar

Information for GPs administering flu vaccines to RACF residents and staff

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommended that visitors and staff (including visiting workers) who have not been vaccinated against influenza should not be permitted to enter residential aged care facilities (RACFs) after 1 May 2020.

To assist in completing RACF influenza immunisations as soon as possible, Queensland Health have provided the below information for GPs who administer flu vaccinations to residential aged care facility (RACF) staff and residents.

  • Queensland Health’s Immunisation Program supplies National Immunisation Program (NIP) funded influenza vaccine to immunisation providers for persons eligible under the NIP, including persons aged 65 years and older.
  • The Immunisation Program has sufficient supply of the NIP vaccine recommended for persons aged 65 years and older: Fluad Quad®.
  • General Practitoners (GPs) who provide immunisation services to Aged Care Facilities and who are registered to receive NIP vaccine can order Fluad Quad® from the Immunisation Program.
  • Orders for Fluad Quad® can be placed using the online order form which can be found on the Queensland Health website (see attached). Please add a note stating that the vaccine is for residents of Aged Care Facilities.
  • GPs who provide immunisation services to Aged Care Facilities are encouraged to use their on-hand stock of Fluad Quad®, if available, before placing orders for additional Fluad Quad®.
  • NIP influenza vaccine is also available for residents aged 65 years and younger who have medical conditions which increase their risk of influenza disease complications. This includes people with cardiac disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions, immunocompromising conditions, diabetes and other metabolic conditions, renal disease, haematological disorders.
  • Vaccines provided by the Immunisation Program should only be administered to persons eligible under the NIP.

GP assessment and management of patients with suspected COVID-19

The GP assessment and management of patients with suspected COVID-19 was updated on 25 April 2020. Visit the Queensland Health Resources and information for clinicians webpage and see ‘Resources for Queensland GPs’.

Supporting your patients to access telehealth

Some consumers in our area have provided feedback that they can find the idea of video calls daunting and/or anxiety inducing, requesting clear communication from general practices about what to expect during their telehealth consultation.

The following messaging has been developed to be used as a guide for your reception staff to assist in providing patients with information to put them at ease about their telehealth consultation.

WHAT IS A VIDEO CALL CONSULTATION?
It’s a consultation between you and your health care practitioner (GP, specialist, allied health provider) via a video call over the internet.
This means you can log on to your device (phone, tablet, computer) and have your consultation in the comfort of your own home, or preferred location.

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR A VIDEO CALL CONSULTATION?

> A good connection to the internet, if you can watch a video online (e.g. YouTube) you can make a video call.
> A private, well-lit area where you will not be disturbed during the consultation
> One of these:
  • Google Chrome web browser (recommended) or Firefox web browser on a desktop or laptop (Windows or MacOS), or on an Android tablet or smartphone.
  • Safari web browser on an Apple desktop or laptop (MacOS), or iPad or iPhone.Web-camera, speakers and microphone (already built into laptops or mobile devices)
> Web-camera, speakers and microphone (already built into laptops or mobile devices).

HOW DO I ARRANGE A VIDEO CALL CONSULTATION?
You can request a video call consultation by enquiring when you are calling to make your appointment. Our team of health professionals will determine whether a video call consultation is right for your appointment. If a video call consultation is right for you, we will send you a link to your email address or your mobile so you can access the video call at the specific date and time of your appointment.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A VIDEO CALL CONSULTATION?
A video call is the same as if you were in a face to face consultation. There will be a quick question and answer period to start the consult to verify that you are the correct person.

WILL A VIDEO COST ME MORE?
For people with a Medicare card and are vulnerable to COVID-19, video calls are bulk billed, otherwise usual consultation fees will apply. The only additional cost of a video call is the cost of the data download (internet usage).

RACGP launches nationwide campaign to help prevent people neglecting their health due to COVID-19

On Sunday, 26 April the RACGP launched a nationwide campaign, Expert Advice Matters, to encourage people to continue to look after their general health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign will run for 30 days with advertisements on TV and social media, showing people why now, more than ever, they need to take care of their health and see their GP for any health issues. A website has also been set up with straightforward, practical advice for patients on how they can get a consultation with their GP on the telephone or online using videoconferencing platforms, as well as face-to-face. For more information, read the RACGP media release.

Resources

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Department of Health put together an electronic newsletter update to provide key information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, communities and stakeholders. Click here for more information.

COVID-19 information for specific Queensland community groups -
The Queensland Health website now has dedicated sections to provide tailored COVID-19 information to a number of groups within the community, including:

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: