Thank you to the 313 patients at Blackburn Clinic who took the time to complete a Patient survey recently. We will use your feedback to review and improve our general practice.
Did you realise that you are no more out of pocket for a Long Consultation than a Standard Consultation?
Many patients noted that, on occasion, their doctor runs late. Some patients also commented that they would like more time during their consultation. This got us thinking about why doctors run late. Sometimes this happens due to unforeseeable medical emergencies, but more commonly the reasons relate to earlier consultations running overtime—either because insufficient time was booked, or extra family members were squeezed into the appointment rather than having a separate time booked.
We aim to keep the Gap the same for both standard and long consultations. Medicare rebates are credited to patient accounts within 48 hours of the consultation (often same day), giving you another reason to book the time that you need.
Your doctor doesn’t mind—In fact, we encourage patients to book long consultations if they feel they need to spend longer with their doctor, and especially if they have several issues that they wish to have addressed by the doctor.
Our doctors don’t enjoy running late and they don’t want you to be inconvenienced, so if you need more time please book a longer appointment. Our online booking system does not yet allow for longer appointments but we are working with our software provider towards a solution for this. In the meantime, please telephone the clinic in order to book a longer appointment.
|This table shows scores by topic area, benchmarked against similar sized general practices in similar metropolitan locations.||BLACKBURN CLINIC (more than 6 full time GPs)||BLACKBURN SPECIALIST CENTRE
(2-4 full time GPs)
|Domain||Our mean score (%)||Benchmark score (%)||Our mean score (%)||Benchmark score (%)|
|1– Access and availability||73||70||77||76|
|2-Provision of information||76||75||81||81|
|3-Privacy and confidentiality||81||76||85||81|
|4-Continuity of care||75||74||79||81|
|5-Communication skills of staff||87||83||91||87|
|6-Interpersonal skills of clinical staff||89||84||92||88|
Things we’d like to score better on:
Seeing doctor of choice—we make no apology for having great doctors! They are so popular it is no wonder they are often booked up in advance. We recommend that every patient chooses a “back-up doctor” from the quality group of GPs available at Blackburn Clinic and Blackburn Specialist Centre. That way you can get to know a second doctor, so that when your first choice isn’t available you can still see someone familiar. In an ideal world we’d love to always have your favourite GP available, but until cloning becomes commonplace we just can’t achieve this. Our doctors are a team and they don’t mind sharing!
Telephone access to a doctor—If you phone the clinic requesting to speak to your doctor, you may be asked to leave a number on which you can be contacted. Most doctors return phone calls at the end of their session (either during their lunch break or at the end of the day). If the matter is urgent, either your doctor, another doctor or the practice nurse will be able to take your call immediately.
Please understand that in many instances, the doctor or nurse will be unable to provide advice over the telephone. Blackburn Clinic is very conscious of the risk of providing incorrect advice over the phone, and wherever possible, patients are encouraged to attend the clinic in person.
Home visits—We note that over half of the 313 patients who completed a survey at Blackburn Clinic left the question about ease of obtaining a home/other visit blank. This means they either didn’t know that our doctors can do home visits, or they had never needed to use the service. 128 out of the 146 who did respond rated this question as Good, Very Good or Excellent (that is 87% of respondents were happy). The situation was similar for Specialist Centre surveys. On weekdays we do home visits for our patients in the local area if necessary. For example, if you suspect you have a highly infectious disease (eg. measles) you could ask for a home visit. Where possible we ask that you ring before 10:00am to arrange home visits. Sometimes demand for this service will exceed our ability to respond and you may be asked whether you would like a locum visit arranged. Fees will be charged for all home visits.
Flu Clinics continue to be available. Optimal protection against influenza occurs within the first three to four months following vaccination. Timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during peak influenza season, usually from June to September in most parts of Australia. By starting Flu Clinics in May we aim to provide optimal care and hope to avoid the vaccine supply issues that occurred last year.
Make your booking now – please phone for a Flu Clinic appointment (don’t book online) so that we can notate your appointment in order to manage our vaccine stock supplies (different vaccines must be used for different age groups).
Who is eligible for the free influenza vaccine?
· All children aged six months to less than five years – Victorian government funded
· All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from six months
· All adults aged ≥65 years
· All people aged ≥six months who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications; for example, severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
· Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).
If you are eligible for a Free Government flu vaccine, and attend a Flu Clinic^^, there is no cost to you.
Private vaccines will cost $20.00 and if you attend a Flu Clinic, the Consultation will be bulk billed. ^^Flu Clinic appointments do not address anything other than your flu vaccine. If you have your flu vaccine as part of a normal consultation with your regular doctor, consultation fees will be at the doctor’s discretion.
Phone 9875 1123 to book a Flu appointment.
We are pleased to announce our new in-house Respiratory Clinic, offering one-on-one appointments with our qualified Respiratory Educators. Our new comprehensive Respiratory Clinic is an opportunity for asthma patients to receive targeted, high-quality healthcare to better prepare them in managing their own asthma throughout the year. Please view our Summer 2018-2019 Newsletter for the full article.
EMPHN funds pharmacists based in GP clinics to support better medications management
21 November, 2018
An initiative funded by Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) aims to support older people to manage their medications safely.
As people age and develop chronic health conditions, they are likely to use more medicines. However, using a greater number of medicines can lead to medication-related harm. People taking more than five medications are at greater risk of an adverse effect.
To reduce this risk and help older people use medicines well, EMPHN is funding Blackburn Clinic and Nillumbik Medical to each employ a clinical pharmacist in their practice.
Michael Sukkar MP, the Federal Member for Deakin, said having pharmacists based in clinics will help provide expert medicines advice and support.
“These pharmacists will provide quality medication management, including reviewing the number of medicines older people are taking and reducing possible side effects he said.
“This initiative will particularly help those with multiple prescriptions, such as the elderly and those with chronic illness.”
EMPHN CEO Robin Whyte said that that a team based care approach in general practice brings benefits to patients especially those with chronic conditions.
“Having a pharmacist working closely with the rest of the team at these practices will improve the way patient medications are managed by the nurses, doctors and the patient,” she said.
Blackburn Clinic Practice Manager Helen Yaacoub said, “Our GPs love having an expert to collaborate with regarding challenging situations where medications interact, cause side-effects, or don’t produce the desired results; and our patients love the one-to-one sessions with the pharmacist.”
Nillumbik Clinic Clinical Care Manager Felicity Emery said, “Our onsite pharmacist, Kamran, presents a familiar face when providing readily accessible knowledge into medication awareness and support for our patients. Kamran is also a valuable training resource for our nurses and doctors.”
The project aims to improve medication management in patients attending general practice, provide support to GPs and practice nurses in managing patients with complex medication plans, and increase the review of medications and patient support activities.
This initiative is funded by the Australian Government under the PHN program.
BLACKBURN CLINIC is raising money for CEREBRAL PALSY. Many of our doctors, nurses, administration and reception staff are attempting to walk 10,000 STEPS every day for the month of September. We have 35 staff members participating within 12 teams.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. Did you know, Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood?
Support this worthwhile cause by donating at www.steptember.com.au
Click on DONATE and search for BLACKBURN CLINIC. Donate to anyone on our list—we don’t mind who!