Our year in general practice support


Our support in numbers
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We supported the 269 accredited general practices in our region to prepare for accreditation or re-accreditation.

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We made over 1,795 face-to-face or virtual visits to general practices in the region, including delivering 887 reports across a range of topics including eHealth, accreditation and data quality.

COVID-19 presented unique challenges for our Primary Care Liaison Officers who were able to adapt and support general practices virtually as they faced challenges around pandemic planning, new models of care, PPE shortages, and increasing infection control measures.


Working together to improve quality

The Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) for Quality Improvement (QI) commenced on 1 August 2019 and a total of 243 practices in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region enrolled to participate.

From 1 July 2019 Brisbane North PHN introduced Enhanced Quality in Practice (EQiP) to support practices in quality improvement. EQiP is a practice led program designed to provide support at all stages of the quality improvement journey. Brisbane North PHN Primary Care Liaison Officers guide practices in the design and implementation of meaningful quality improvement activities.

A smarter way to refer

GP Smart Referrals, rolled out by Metro North Hospital and Health Service and Brisbane North PHN, went live in April 2020 allowing practices across the region a more streamlined management of referrals, with the number of participating practices growing larger each week.

As of 30 June 2020, approximately 70 per cent of practices in the region had registered for the new initiative.

Dr James Martin of Pebble Beach Medical Center.

Our COVID-19 response

Working with local, state and federal health authorities, the PHN began responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020. With support from our IT team, over 100 staff members from offices in Lutwyche and North Lakes relocated seamlessly to a virtual office platform in March, allowing our work to continue uninterrupted by the pandemic.

A clinical pathway for GPs—providing clear and concise guidance for assessing and managing a patient who may have COVID-19—was developed and launched in March 2020.

We supported the establishment of the first Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service GP-led respiratory clinic, which opened in Caboolture in March, as well as the three other GP respiratory clinics in Nundah, Morayfield and Kenmore.

  • Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson, Federal Member for Longman Terry Young MP, Deadly Choices Ambassador Steve Renouf and Brisbane North PHN Deputy CEO Libby Dunstan at the new Indigenous COVID-19 GP respiratory clinic at Caboolture.

  • Pictured left-right: Kenmore Clinics Clinical Manager Fiona Edgecombe, Kerrie Murray, June Beazley, Dr Ravi Gornall and Practice Principal Dr Nick Bourke.

  • Staff at the GP respiratory clinic, Health Hub Doctors Morayfield, in April 2020.

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Since 13 January 2020, Brisbane North PHN has sent over 75 news updates to over 1,000 GPs and practices.

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We sent 159,700 surgical masks and 18,484 P2 masks out to practices, pharmacies and allied health professionals in the region. (Since June these numbers have almost doubled.)

The Australian Government Department of Health provided funding to the PHN to undertake a Health Needs Assessment in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in the region and coordinate influenza vaccination programs for those RACFs that have an identified need. Dubbed ‘Operation 13’ – a nod to the number of days Brisbane North PHN had to complete the activity – the deadline was met with the support of local GPs

Safe to see your GP


Our new ‘Safe to see your GP’ campaign launched across radio and online media, in response to reports from healthcare providers that many people were avoiding vital medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign encouraged people to reconnect with their GP, psychologist, podiatrist, physio or other healthcare professional and get the healthcare they need on a regular basis.

General Practice Liaison Officers drive GP engagement


Our team of nine General Practice Liaison Officers (GPLOs) are GPs who work closely with hospital outpatient departments, community health services and primary care to reduce waiting lists and improve the patient experience.

In 2020, we welcomed new GPLO Dr Matt Cadman; a Paddington-based GP who also works at the Mater Intellectual Disability and Autism Service.

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There are 825 GPs in the region registered with the Health Provider Portal (the Viewer).

Partnering to provide GP education


 

The GPLOs lead an education program to GPs across the region. Delivered in conjunction with specialists at Metro North facilities, the RACGP-accredited education ensures GPs are up-to-date with the latest clinical guidelines and hospital processes and have an understanding of local services and referral options.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we shifted to a virtual platform to deliver our GPLO education program. Hosted in partnership with Metro North HHS and Children’s Health Queensland Project ECHO®, and featuring local infectious disease and public health experts, our Responses to COVID-19 series of webinars were attended by over 380 GPs.

Over 50 GPs and practice managers attending the GP breakfast briefing as part of the Metro North Health Forum on 16 October 2019.

GP Alignment Program

During 2019/20, 76 GPs completed our award-winning maternity education program and approximately 36 GPs attended a gynaecology education workshop.

GPs earn continuing professional development points from their participation.

GPLO Dr James Collins and GPLO Dr Meg Cairns.

Lifting immunisation coverage rates


 

Immunisation catch up for practice nurses

We facilitated 4 immunisation catch up events for 100 local practice nurses in 2019/20.

Our intended catch up events for February and May 2020 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tackling vaccine myths online

Our annual Medical Mums campaign launched in April coinciding with World Immunisation Week and featuring a series of animations appearing across digital platforms, tackling some of the main myths known to be causing vaccine hesitancy among parents.

HealthPathways – a resource by GPs for GPs


 

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Our suite of localised pathways for metro north GPs continues to grow.

During 2019/20, we localised an additional 50 clinical pages covering a range of conditions, bringing the total number of HealthPathways (including service pathways) to 548.

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Since July 2019, more than 5,000 users have accessed the Brisbane North HealthPathways website 24,403 times to view 84,690 pages.

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In March 2020, the Brisbane North HealthPathways team led a statewide initiative to develop the COVID-19 assessment and management pathway.

The COVID-19 pathway has since become our most viewed clinical pathway of all time with 5,808 views from March 2020-June 2020.

Of the non-clinical pages, the Psychological Services page had the most views. This pathway, provides access to the My Mental Health Services eReferral form and the Health Provider Portal resource page, giving GPs real time access to hospital patient records.

Training provides students with strong skillset

The Medical Assisting program provided training to 30 students across Queensland. In August 2019, a further 13 students graduated as Medical Assistants following 18 months of formal training.

238 Medical Assistants have graduated the program since its inception in 2010.

Service Navigator

Team Care Coordination Service Navigator helpline received 393 calls for information about local services from Hospital and Health Service staff, service providers and community members.

My health for life

My health for life is a state government-funded initiative, delivered by an alliance of health organisations, and is designed to help Queenslanders stay well and lessen their risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

987 residents in the region were enrolled in the My Health for Life program during 2019/20, with 712 completing the program.

A committed care team


Health Care Homes working to improve integrated care

14 general practices are working with the PHN on the Health Care Homes trial.

There are 1,091 patients enrolled in the trial within the region receiving coordinated, patient-centred care for their chronic and complex health conditions.

Practice nurses, GPs, administrative staff from regional Health Care Homes practices attending the national forum in Melbourne in December 2019.

Next

Improving local mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug services