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Monash Health GP Liaison update: November 2019 

Please forward this newsletter to GPs in your practice or email us at to subscribe to this newsletter. 

Reduce faxes received from Monash Health
We encourage all GP practices in the catchment to register with HealthLink.

HealthLink – What is It?
HealthLink is a secure messaging application that allows Monash Health to electronically send you patient reports that download into your clinical software.
With HealthLink, you can easily receive radiology and pathology lab reports, specialist reports, patient updates, cardiology reports, discharge and event summaries.

HealthLink – Why should I use it?
  • Receiving communications via HealthLink replaces faxed reports and results.
  • It is a secure method to receive your patient’s information.
  • It is efficient with less chance of transmission error or failure, for example; due to a busy fax line or running out of fax paper.
  • There is no further need to scan faxed results. 
How do I register?
Register for HealthLink here.

What will it cost?
It is completely free for GPs to receive our correspondence.

If you would like to register your practice with Monash Health, please complete a request form and return it to


Patient Transition Coordinator

(GP Shared care/ GP Liaison)

A mental health clinician has been appointed to support GPs in the Cranbourne and Pakenham areas. This clinician supports patients transitioning to primary care. The transition coordinator works with Monash Health Consultant Psychiatrist and Unit Head Dr Sareen, and Kelly Isle, Cranbourne and Pakenham Continuing Care Team Manager.

Our Community Mental Health GP Liaison team will help:
  • Improve communication with GPs.
  •  Assist GPs access mental health services.
  • Provide specialist support via telephone or attendance to the GP practice by appointment to facilitate the transition of care to the GP in discharge planning.
  • Build strong relationships that promote collaboration and partnership between services.
  • Promote continuity of care and improve the quality of health care.
  • Optimise resource use and the efficiency of care across providers.
For further information please contact Shane Szwaja
GP Liaison / Patient Transition Coordinator  - Cranbourne & Pakenham Continuing Care team
T: 0427 542 419

Monash Imaging   

Helping you get a better picture

Monash Imaging DEXA department at a glance:
  • The Monash Imaging DEXA service located at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton accepts referrals from GPs.
  • We offer expertise from paediatric through to geriatric patients.
  • We can accommodate patients who use wheelchairs.
  • Our waiting list is currently about one week.
  • With two bone density scanners onsite, we can do standard imaging for bone mineral density determination of spine, hips, forearm and total body and:
    • Atypical Femur Fracture (AFF)
    • Sarcopenia Analysis
    • Core Scan measures VAT (Visceral Adipose Tissue)
    • LVA (Lateral Vertebral Assessment) Morphometry
    • APVA (Anterior-Posterior Vertebral Analysis) and
    • Morphometry.
Imaging Requests
Monash Imaging accepts referrals from private practices and bulk bills eligible Medicare cardholders for all Medicare funded imaging.
Monash Imaging has made substantial improvements to appointment availability, including our MRI services. Our waitlist ranges from within two days to two weeks for non-GA scans depending on the site. GA scans often have a longer wait however, our experienced staff have great success at guiding patients successfully through a scan without the need for sedation.

All GPs can apply for access to our online imaging portal, Monash Imaging Vue Motion

Using our imaging portal will:
  • Give you access to images and reports performed for your patients by Monash Imaging
  • Save you time as you can log in and view reports and images any time – no need for phone calls and faxes
To apply for online imaging access, complete the application form here

Improving Monash Imaging communication with you electronically:
  • We prefer to deliver our reports electronically as it is generally quicker and is encrypted in a secure HL7 message.
  • We send imaging reports (EDI) via HealthLink and it is free for GPs to receive our reports.
In order to access this service, please register with HealthLink here

If you have any questions, require a supply of our referral pads or have feedback regarding our imaging services, please contact the Client Relationship Manager at Monash Imaging:
T: Kristy Grossmann M 0466 366 447 

Updated Referral Guidelines 

User-friendly, accurate and up-to-date 
To provide our referrers with user-friendly, accurate and up-to-date information, we have recently updated our Referral Guidelines. The updated guidelines are now available via the Monash Health and Monash Children’s Hospital referral websites.

The Department of Health and Human Services are also updating referral criteria for all Victorian public hospitals. The statewide guidelines are being developed in consultation with specialists to ensure consistency across the state. The new guidelines will replace existing Monash Health referral criteria as they become available. All new patient referrals received after the release dates listed below will be reviewed using the new statewide criteria.

Statewide referral criteria release dates:
  • 30 October 2019 - ENT / Gastroenterology / Gynaecology / Neurology / Urology / Vascular
  • 30 March 2020 - Endocrinology / Ophthalmology / Cardiology / Rheumatology / Obstetrics
There will be ongoing staged releases of statewide referral criteria for additional specialties over the coming years. Further information on the Statewide Referral Criteria is here.
Specialist Consulting Referral Management Service (Access)
Specialist Consulting referrals and enquiries
1300 3 iCARE or 1300 342 273
F:959 iCARE – 9594 2273
E: Outpatient enquiries

Helping those with intellectual disability
Centre for Developmental and Disability Health

Formed to address the health inequalities faced by Victorian adults with an intellectual disability, the Victorian Centre for Developmental and Disability Health (CDDH) offers a state-wide specialist clinic for adults with developmental disabilities, including:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy.
 We provide the following services: 
  • Comprehensive health assessments
  • Psychotropic medication review
  • Diagnostic clarification, including psychiatric
  • Dementia screening
  • Assessment of functional and behavioural changes.
We  also provide telephone advice to GPs anywhere in Victoria regarding their patients with intellectual disabilities.      

We can deliver face to face and online education to:
  • GP clinics
  • Disability support providers
  • Allied health professionals
For online training modules or information, check our website or contact us:
T:  9792 7888

Advance Care Planning (ACP)

GPs play an important role in assisting people plan for future medical care.  Advance Care Planning provides patients with the opportunity to make their care preferences known should they not be able to make decisions themselves. 

Advance Care Planning ensures those close to the person, and those caring for them, know:
  • What is important to them
  • What preferences they have regarding medical care and 
  • Who they appoint to make decisions for them if they are unable to do this for themselves. 

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 came into effect in Victoria on March 12, 2018. 

Under the Act, a person can now:
  • Appoint a Medical Treatment Decision Maker (MTDM), previously called a Medical Power of Attorney
  • Document preferences, values, consent or refusal of treatment
  • Prepare an Advance Care Directive (ACD)
  • Appoint a Support Person
Advance Care Planning documents need to be discussed with and witnessed by, the person’s medical practitioner (GP). 

The role of GPs in witnessing an Advance Care Directive is:
  • Not make judgements about the reasonableness of a person’s decision.
  • To ensure the person understands the nature and effect of the statements in their ACD and the possible implications of including these statements in their ACD.
  • To help ensure that the ACD is consistent and practically applicable.
Witnessing requirements:
An ACD must be witnessed in the presence of the person completing the document by two people, with one being a registered medical practitioner. Each witness* must certify that the person:
  • Appeared to have decision-making capacity at time of signing and
  • Appeared to freely and voluntarily sign the document.
*The witness is not an appointed Medical Treatment Decision Maker.
The Monash Health Advance Care Planning Program can assist with preparation of documents and will lodge copies of documents on the patient’s Monash Health medical file.

For further information or to refer a patient to Monash Health’s Advance Care Planning Program contact:
T: 9594 3475

Monash Neurovascular Service

Monash Health provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary, 24/7, surgical neurovascular and neurointervention service. This service is a collaboration between Neurosurgery and Monash Imaging. The service specialises in the multidisciplinary treatment of vascular diseases of the brain, spine and head and neck, in adults and children, including open surgical and endovascular treatment of aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations.

Meet the Monash Neurovascular clinic team.
What to refer:
  • Intracranial Aneurysms
  • Intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs)
  • Head and Neck and Spinal Vascular Malformations and Cavernomas
How to refer:
  • Referrals can be made by:
    • Downloading a referral form from our website
    • Faxing a referral form to Specialist Consulting Services on 03 9594 2273
    • Contacting our Clinical Nurse Consultant (see below)
For urgent referrals, please contact the Neurosurgical registrar on
0409 734 257.
For further information regarding referrals, clinic appointments or patient follow up following discharge please contact: Minarah Sabapathypillai, Clinical Nurse Consultant

SELECT – Clinical Trial

Semaglutide effects on cardiovascular outcomes in people with overweight or obesity 

MonashHeart is actively recruiting participants for this exciting phase III clinical trial.

Semaglutide is a Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) that regulates blood glucose by increasing insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner.

Research has shown that treatment with semaglutide may reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack in people with type 2 diabetes. 

In the SELECT study, we will check to see if semaglutide reduces the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in people who are overweight or obese.

Trial Design:
  • An event-driven cardiovascular outcomes trial expected to run over a 5 year duration. 
  • A randomised, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial.
  • The primary objective is to demonstrate that semaglutide subcutaneously 2.4mg once-weekly lowers the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events versus placebo (in addition to standard of care).
Key Inclusion Criteria:
  • Male or female, age ≥ 45 years
  • Body mass index ≥ 27 kg/m2
  • Have established cardiovascular disease
  • Prior myocardial infarction
  • Prior stroke (ischemic or haemorrhagic)
  • Symptomatic peripheral arterial disease. 

For more information and patient referral for this study contact:
Debbie O’Leary & Joanne Lillie – Clinical Trial Coordinators
Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre
P: (03) 9594 4575

Training and professional development
Head and Neck Cancer - GP Education Series

Monash Health, South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network and Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service have come together to provide an overview of the Head and Neck Cancer services for GPs and practice nurses, and to outline the direct referral pathway into the service.

Mr Adnan Safdar, Director Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at Monash Health and his team will
provide you with information covering; initial investigations, diagnosis, optimal time frames, referral pathways, chemotherapy and radiotherapy issues.

All sessions begin at 5.30 pm and include dinner.
Places are limited, and RSVPs are necessary.

For more information contact: 
Heather Davis, Senior Project Manager
Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service
T: 1300 331 981

Click below for more information or to register:

Other GP education and events
  • For all the latest GP education and events, please refer to the GP Liaison webpage.
  • For feedback and GP education request, please email us.
For further enquiries and assistance please contact the GP Liaison
P: (03) 9554 9374

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