In Practice: New infection control resource

Morgan Liotta

24/11/2022 12:27:18 PM

The RACGP has released its fifth edition guidelines for infection prevention and control in general practices.

Personal protective equipment
The college’s new guidelines are designed to help health professionals in office-based practices in the implementation of infection prevention and control procedures.

This week’s round-up also includes updates to AskMBS Advisories, what GPs need to know about COVID-19 oral treatments Prescriber Bag supplies, and diabetes management with the current medicine shortages.
Infection prevention and control guidelines update
The fifth edition Infection prevention and control guidelines for general practices and other office-based and community-based practices (the IPC guidelines) are now available on the RACGP website.
The resource provides practices with updated guidance on planning and implementing high standards of infection prevention and control in their workplaces by addressing:

  • the basics of infection prevention and control – including principles, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, aseptic technique, levels of precaution
  • risks to staff
  • the practice environment
  • equipment managing outbreaks
  • practice setup.
The IPC guidelines are intended to assist health professionals in office-based practices in the implementation of infection prevention and control procedures. Practices are not accredited against the IPC guidelines, but may refer to them in meeting relevant criteria in the Standards for general practices (5th edition).
The IPC guidelines were developed in partnership with the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.
Updates to AskMBS Advisories
Two AskMBS Advisories published by the Department of Health and Aged Care have recently been updated. The second advisory on general practice services has been updated to clarify requirements for the billing of team care arrangements under MBS item 723 (see response to Question 8).
The following paragraph has been added:
A practitioner can claim item 723 whenever these requirements are fulfilled. This may require more than one face-to-face consultation with a patient. If 723 is co-claimed with another service, such as item 721, then all the requirements of that second service must also be fulfilled.
The second update concerns the advisory on the established clinical relationship requirement for GP telehealth services, and includes:
  • a change of terminology from ‘existing relationship’ to ‘established clinical relationship’ for consistency across the department’s information resources
  • the addition of a new exemption category for COVID-positive patients
  • the removal of references to close contacts.
COVID-19 oral treatments: Prescriber Bag supplies
Under new Prescriber Bag arrangements, which came into effect on 1 November, prescribers can order up to two bottles of Lagevrio and two cartons of Paxlovid from a community pharmacy, once per month, provided they do not already have the maximum quantity on hand.
Prescriber Bag supplies are intended for use in urgent circumstances for patients who are at a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 and who are unable to fill a PBS prescription from a community pharmacy in a timely manner.
GPs are encouraged to order Prescriber Bag supplies of both medicines.
The RACGP’s Prescribing workflow for GPs resource has been updated to reflect these changes.
Safely negotiating therapies and diabetes management with current drug shortages
Webinar: Tuesday 13 December, 7.00 – 8.00 pm (AEDT)
Presented by Dr Gary Deed, Chair of RACGP Specific Interests Diabetes, this webinar will address the current medications shortage for treatment of diabetes and assist GPs to implement safe transitional care.
Attendees will be able to takeaway several outcomes, including being able to outline the specifics of expected drug shortages and impacts on clinical care pathways.
Additionally, the webinar will cover how to create a clinical plan to identify and manage those affected and implement safe transitional care, and review and reinforce national and international clinical guidelines on alternative choices for affected patients.
Register online.
Improve understanding of DVA’s health arrangements
For general practice managers, those who work in general practice, or who want to improve understanding of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (DVA) health arrangements, an upcoming webinar and quick guide for general practices will help to support veteran patients.
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AskMBS In Practice infection prevention and control medicine shortages Prescriber Bag

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