Best Practice announces national partnership with AAPM

Best Practice Software is delighted to announce its new national partnership with the Australian Association of Practice Management.

The National Partnership is a first for the two organisations, which will see Best Practice Software support AAPM’s membership of more than 2,700 Practice Managers around Australia.

Best Practice Software’s Chief Operating Officer Craig Hodges said the company had been searching for new industry partnerships and believed the AAPM alliance was a great fit for both parties.

“When we looked closely at what Bp stands for, and our founding principles of quality, care, customer-mindedness, and trustworthiness, we found what we believe is the perfect partner in the AAPM. The AAPM team – and their wide network of hard-working members – mirror our own beliefs in providing quality support for Australasian healthcare, so there’s a level of connectedness between our two organisations that we think makes for a long and healthy relationship”, Mr Hodges said.

“We think our new partnership provides enormous benefits for our users, many of whom are represented in AAPM membership. We’re thrilled with the prospect of further collaboration, and we think AAPM members are going to be very excited to hear some ideas we’ve got in store to maximise member value and benefit” added Mr Hodges.

With AAPM celebrating its 40th year in 2019, AAPM’s Chief Executive Officer Nicholas J Voudouris said it will be a big year for the peak body for Practice Managers in Australia and the ideal time to support and promote leading healthcare tools.

“As AAPM heads into celebrating its 40th year next year, we are delighted that Best Practice Software has chosen to join our partnership family” Mr Voudouris said. “AAPM partnerships are based on genuine relationships which enhance the association and most importantly its members”.

Be amongst the first to take Bp Premier Indigo SP1 through its paces

You may have heard around the grapevine or seen in our last Evolution e-Newsletter that our next version of Bp Premier, entitled, Indigo SP1, is almost ready for public release.

Before we make Indigo SP1 publicly available, we would like a group of our valued customers to be Release Candidates – to install our pre-release version and provide critical feedback on its use and the upgrade process.

We have opportunities for 12 Release Candidates (RC) available and, to thank those who elect to participate and are successful, we’ll be providing them with 5,000 free SMS credits. That’s a bonus value of $600 (ex GST).

Please note that the list is capped at 12 and applicants will go through a selection process to ensure the release candidate group is diverse in their practice size, infrastructure and way that they use Bp Premier.

UPDATE: this has now closed. Thanks to the many Bp Premier users who nominated. We’ll be in touch with successful candidates soon.

Movember – A Reminder For Us to Change The Face of Men’s Health. View from a Doctor’s Desk – Dr Lisa Surman

The annual charity that was started in 2003 targets the most common health issues for men – prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide and it’s a cause that we can all create awareness of in our Practices.

Men – whether they be patients, staff, family or friends – can grow a moustache or , in a newer initiative, commit to walking or running 60 kilometres over the month to raise funds and awareness for men’s health projects.

Men die on average six years earlier than women.

Suicide is a leading cause of death for Australian men. More than 500 000 men take their own lives each year around the world – one man per minute. 75% of suicides are men.

The causes of suicide are complex. There is no single reason why men take their own lives, but improving overall mental health will reduce the risk of suicide.

Helping men and boys to stay mentally healthy, build strong social connections and take action early when times are tough is important and the Movember Foundation has many projects being funded in this area.

Prostate cancer incidence is expected to double in the next 15 years and the rate of testicular cancer is also rising.

Mental Health issues are common, 1 in 2 Australian men has had a mental health problem at some point in their lives. The Movember Foundation has encouraged men to speak up, to talk, ask, listen, encourage actions and check in with a friend or seeking professional help and has run campaigns such as Man UP ( a documentary series hosted by Triple M’s Gus Worland) and Real Aussie Blokes ( a photos series that aims to break down stereotypes about what it is to be a man in Australia)

New Access is a trial programme designed to encourage men to take action early when it comes to their mental health by accessing NewAccess coaches in their local communities.

Beyondblue has produced a guide on How to Have the Conversation, funded by the hairy efforts of the Movember Foundation. The guide explains how, having a conversation can help people feel less alone and more supported in getting help for anxiety and depression and what to do if your attempt to have the conversation is met with a bad reaction. (See https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/have-the-conversation).

As GPs, we should be encouraging our male patients to “check-in” with us. To find out their numbers, numbers of cholesterol and blood sugar and after 50 years talk about prostate cancer and whether it is right for them to have a PSA test .

By helping with the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions and being aware of the local support services we can have conversations about the big things in life and also the concept that there is no one-size fits all for what to do next.

And for those needing help immediately, always remember to refer them to Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA

Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee

“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.

Opportunity for 20 Practices to lead the way

After announcing their joint venture partnership at the recent AAPM Conference in Canberra, leading Brisbane-based Data Analytics specialists ‘Aginic’ and award-winning general practice provider ‘Inala Primary Care’ this week launched their latest product offering ‘Cubiko’ and Best Practice is pleased to be teaming up with them on this exciting new venture that will create real efficiencies in general practice.

Cubiko is set to revolutionise the way General Practices across Australia are managed, creating operational and cost saving efficiencies across all facets of practice management.  By centralising data from practice management, accounting and rostering systems, Cubiko establishes itself as an instant market-leader, filling a need in the practice management market by consolidating data into a series of user-friendly, real-time interactive dashboards accessible to all members of the General Practice.

Cubiko Director Rob Mackay and his team said that they were excited to play a role in a solution that addresses a critical requirement to streamline practice management operations across the country.  “Providing a user-friendly series of visually interactive dashboards that instantly creates operational and cost savings efficiencies to general practices of all sizes is a huge milestone product delivery for Cubiko,” said Mackay.  “We’re proud to consider ourselves early innovators in this space, addressing a critical need in the practice environment and providing a cost-effective management solution that allows general practices to focus on the most important priority of all – delivering excellent patient care.”

Having already offered pilot access to the Cubiko functionality to two lead practices, Cubiko is quickly establishing itself as a market-leader in practice management solutions, providing unprecedented efficiencies to solo GP environments, right through to practices with twenty-plus General Practitioners.

Partner investors and co-owners of Cubiko, Inala Primary Care are one of those practices to have piloted Cubiko. IPC have been using a data driven approach to managing their practice for over 5 years.

Inala Primary Care CEO Tracey Johnson admitted that the ever-tightening Medicare environment means the data dashboards have become even more critical to the efficiency of day to day practice operations.

“They help save costs from overstaffing, generate revenue from identification of patients eligible for additional care, and better manage diaries to boost utilisation of the team,” Johnson says.  “Without the data from the dashboards (which now form the basis of the Cubiko product), the leadership team of the practice would never have been able to evolve fast enough to have achieved AGPAL Australian Practice of the Year in May 2016.”

At Best Practice we’ve thrown our support behind Cubiko via a formal partnership arrangement due to be announced shortly. Best Practice and Cubiko will be working together to design a seamless access point from our Bp Premier GP software. This further extends Cubiko’s ability to save practices time and bring information to the people needing information to act. Such built in functionality means staff will not have to switch screens or remember to login to see what needs to be actioned to keep patients and practice owners happy. This positions Best Practice, another Queensland software success story, to further cement its status as the dominant player in medical practice software.

Best Practice Software’s General Manager, Innovation and Development John Rayfield said the beauty of partnering with Cubiko was dealing with someone who already understands the challenges of running a Practice.

“This initiative supports efficiency in Practices that enable better healthcare and we fully support that” said Rayfield. “This arrangement is unique as it has the capability to bring together and analyse data from different sources other than just Bp Premier and present it in a way that is easily understood and interpreted to make good business decisions”.

Cubiko is currently offering pilot access to the platform for 20 lead practices. Early adopters of the pilot program will join a community of practices actively engaged in refining Cubiko to improve Practice operations and profitability across the broader general practice community of Australia. Practices wishing to be part of the Cubiko pilot can apply here.

How to help your patients manage Hayfever in 2018. View from a Doctor’s Desk – Dr Lisa Surman

Hayfever is the most common allergic disorder in Australia. It is estimated to affect 15% of the population. The symptoms can cause significant disruption to sleep, concentration, learning and daily function for children and adults. The cause is a reaction to wind pollinated tress, grasses and weeds, house dust mites, animal dander and mould spores.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has new guidelines for managing seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) and offers the following advice for hayfever sufferers:

  • Intranasal corticosteroid sprays are the mainstay of management and have a potent action on inflammation and symptoms when used regularly and need careful attention to the way in which they are used. The different brands vary in strength and effectiveness, A diagram of the effective way to use the inhalers is available at http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergic-rhinitis-haay-fever-and-sinusitis/allergic-rhinitis-treatment-plan.pdf The American Allergy Guidelines published last year recommend intranasal corticosteroids alone should be used to treat hayfever in people 12 years and over as trials have demonstrated no additional benefit from taking oral antihistamines. The earlier the spray is started after symptoms start, the quicker control is gained
  • Combination medications containing antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid offer combined advantages and usually reduce symptoms faster
  • Antihistamine oral medications help to reduce symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and irritated eyes, but are less effective in controlling nasal blockage and dribble. The advantage of antihistamines is their flexibility
  • Intranasal saline washouts can be useful, removing the allergens, clearing the inflammatory mucus, are safe and effective and inexpensive
  • Oral leukotriene antagonists (eg Singulair) can be used for children who also have asthma, there is no government subsidy for nasal symptoms alone. Studies have also demonstrated no additional benefit in symptoms control when used with oral antihistamines in controlling symptoms than using intranasal steroids alone.
  • Effective management of allergic rhinitis is an important part of asthma management
  • Allergen immunotherapy (desensitisation) is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of the symptoms and requires a referral to a Specialist. The desensitisation involves the regular administration of commercially available allergen extracts to promote tolerance. This can be done by subcutaneous injection or liquid drops or sprays. Treatment usually occurs over 3-5 years to produce long term benefit. Individuals will experience different degrees of benefit. On average there may be a 50% reduction in symptoms and/or medication use.
  • A brief course of oral steroids (3 to 7 days) is rarely required, but may be considered with severe nasal obstruction or short term rescue from severe symptoms.
  • Depo corticosteroids are not recommended due to their short duration of effect and potential for local and systemic side-effects (eg depo-Medrol injection). These were used commonly some years ago in Australia and are still given in some countries.
  • Oral or intranasal decongestant can be used short term to control symptoms, but after 3 days can cause a rebound nasal obstruction

Unproven tests and inappropriate methods include IgG testing, cytotoxic food testing kinesiology, Vega testing, electrodermal testing, pulse testing and costly avoidance strategies. There is no Medicare rebate for these tests, these methods are not recommended by ASCIA or the WHO.

Dietary manipulation has no evidence of benefit for hayfever, food elimination eg cow’s milk or wheat is not recommended and can result in serious nutritional deficiencies in young children. Restricting dairy products is popular, but no study has demonstrated any reduction in mucus production with dairy elimination. Some cases of rhinitis associated with preservatives have been described, no diagnostic testing are available to confirm this.

Alternative medicines are not regulated in Australia. There is no Medicare or Pharmacological rebate available and no evidence to support the accuracy in diagnosing allergic disorders. The therapeutic effectiveness of acupuncture, vitamin supplements, homeopathy and physical treatments such as chiropractic manipulation has not been demonstrated.

For more detailed information about specific areas relating to allergies, see allergy.org.au

Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA

Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee

“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.

Get your Practice Ready for Storm Season

Storm season is back with a boom and it’s more important than ever to ensure your Practice is prepared by taking all precautions to protect both your data and hardware.

 The best way to protect both your data and hardware from the effects of a storm is to have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in place and to perform your Bp backups regularly.

 If you do not have these available, the next best precaution is to shut down your systems and disconnect power/ethernet cables to prevent damage.

 If you usually leave the server on, we recommended disconnecting this when finishing for the day if no UPS/Surge protection is setup and storms are predicted! Be safe and be prepared!

 

Do You Know What Mental Health Is? View from a Doctor’s Desk – Dr Lisa Surman

World Mental Health Day is today (October 10th) – a chance to look at how we can support our patients’ mental health.

The Do You See What I See? campaign aims to challenge perceptions about mental illness, encouraging everyone to look at mental illness with a more positive light to reduce stigma and make it easier to seek support and help for the one in five Australians affected by mental illness every year.

The campaign has enrolled over 700 organisations asking everyone to make a #MentalHealthPromise and to take a more positive view . The promises that have been made by individuals are at 1010.org.au The website has some suggestions for promises you may like to make and a page to post your own promise and associated image.

Stigma around mental illness remains an issue for Australians, delaying or preventing people from seeking help. The misconceptions and misrepresentations about those who experience mental illness can be damaging, including references about those suffering from mental illness as being incompetent, weak or scary and appear in the media, the arts and conversations at school, work and in the home.

The majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead contributing and independent lives in the community with treatment and support. The website encourages a different light to look at mental illness, colour and life, resilience, bravery, recovery, hopefulness, courage, contribution and more.

To learn more about mental illness, and provide valuable resources for your patients, there are several organisations with easily accessible online information:

SANE Australia at https://www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness

Beyondblue at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/what-is-mental-health

Headspace at https://www.headspace.org.au/young-people/what-is-mental-health/

World health Organisation at http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/

To find help: see Mental Health Australia https://1010.org.au/need-help

or mindhealthconnect Guided Search Tool: https://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/

 

Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA

Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee

“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.

Mental Health remains the most common reason for a GP Visit. View from a Doctor’s Desk – Dr Lisa Surman

With this month being Mental Health Month, the focus is on the importance of the mental health of our patients and the resources we can provide, which was highlighted in the Australian Health of the Nation Report.

The recently released annual Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Health of the Nation Report identified the current health trends and issues for General Practice .

Patients see GPs more than any other health professional and 84% visit their GP multiple times a year. Three in every four patents report that their GP always listens carefully, shows respect and spends enough time with them.

Mental health issues such as depression, mood disorders and anxiety remain the most common health issue managed by GPs and was also identified as the health issue causing GPs the most concern for the future, followed by obesity. Mental health and obesity were the key areas the federal government should prioritise for action.

One in four Australians will face a major mental health problem in their life, mental health being the ability to think, feel and behave in a way that allows us to perform at our best – in our personal lives with family and friends, at university at work and in the community. The most common issues are anxiety and depression.

Learning to manage anxiety and/or depression can make a difference to how your patients react to stresses in life and feel calmer. There are many levels and different techniques and tips on how to achieve this :

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice relaxation exercises
  • Reduce alcohol and drug use
  • Spend time with friends
  • Ensure work/study/life balance
  • Use cognitive strategies to deal with stressful thoughts
  • Practice mindfulness to let go of worries
  • Engage in enjoyable and fun activities

Take the opportunity during Mental Health Month to encourage patients to reach out for further assessment, support and referral if required. There are also a host of great resources you can refer them to on the Australian Government’s Head To Health website.

Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA

Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee

“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.

Best Practice releases Bp Allied V6

Today we are proud to launch the Version 6 release for Bp Allied users, tailored specifically for allied health medical professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

A range of major enhancements have been implemented into the software including new and improved private health claiming through Bp’s partnership with Tyro HealthPoint.
Bp’s General Manager of Innovation & Development John Rayfield said he was pleased with the developments and progress leading up to the impending release date for Bp Allied users.

“The Bp Allied V6 release is packed full of enhancements which our development team have been working hard towards,”

“Our goal here at Best Practice is to make every user experience enjoyable and as seamless as possible through our continual evolution in producing cutting edge software.” Mr Rayfield said. “Allied health professionals will find the new release of Bp Allied will greatly improve efficiencies in their Practices”.

Other major functionalities include:
• Financial enhancements, including Medicare and DVA claiming
• Integration with popular financial software Xero
• SMS messaging functionality with Bp SMS

Current and new users of Bp Allied can receive free training on the new features through the Bp Allied V6 Masterclass – a free one hour webinar, with sessions at 9am and 3pm on Thursday 27h September.

For more information visit Best Practice Software’s website . All live Bp Masterclass content will be recorded and saved to Bp’s website. To view this content visit here.

Anyone working in the allied health field wanting more details on Bp Allied V6 can contact the Best Practice sales team by emailing sales@bpsoftware.net, phoning 1300 40 1111 in Australia or 0800 40 1111 in New Zealand (Option 3, then Option 2) or visiting the website.

How Successful is Australian IVF? View from a Doctor’s Desk – Dr Lisa Surman

As health professionals, it’s important to have the latest information and resources on IVF.

A recent report published by the University of New South Wales announced that 18% of IVF cycles in Australia and New Zealand result in a live birth Of the just over 81 000 initiated IVF cycles in 2016-2017, 82.2% resulted in either a successful embryo transfer or all oocytes/embryos being preserved at subzero temperatures for use in IVF ( cryopreservation) In 2016-2017 the highest annual number of births in Australia and New Zealand IVF’s history were recorded, 15,198 babies. The proportion of IVF cycles resulting in twins and triplets is now one of the lowest rates in the world, 3.8%. The average age of women being treated with IVF is 36 years.

The report was produced after the Victorian Government announced a review into the state’s IVF laws to ensure women were getting accurate information from IVF and fertility doctors about success rates and treatment options. Each cycle is expensive, with IVF Australia figures showing patients are out of pocket as average of $ 4,707 for their first IVF cycle and $4,151 for subsequent cycles.

The IVF success rates published for Australian Fertility Clinics can be misleading The rates are given as live birth per pregnancy or per embryo transfer and do not take into account all those whose cycles did not result in an embryo transfer or those pregnancies that do not go to term. Different countries have differing laws regarding public access to fertility treatment outcomes.

Australia’s IVF success rates are assumed to be similar to those of the UK. According to the UK’s National Health Service, between 2014 and 2016 the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was 29% for women under 35, 23% for women aged 35 to 37, 3% for women aged 43 to 44. The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority is the UK Government’s independent regulator overseeing fertility treatment and research. This site provides clear outlines about the different treatments available and the associated options, including risks and results.  The HFEA is a very useful reference for Australian women as the fine details are not easily available and not mandated by laws.

The IVF success rates published for US Clinics are higher than Australian rates possible because there was a much higher rate of multiple births from the US Clinics.

For your patients planning or currently trying to start a family, a valuable resource could be The Fertility Coalition, formed by four organisations in Australia – the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority, Andrology Australia, Jean Hailes Research Unit and The Robinson Research Institute; and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. The site provides facts about fertility for men, women, trans and gender diverse people to make the best possible decisions about having children for your circumstances, the most up to date scientific information to improve fertility. See yourfertility.org.au

For your patients choosing an IVF Clinic and about to attend the first appointment a useful guide is available here.

Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA

Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee

“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.