20 July 2016

Weight management in 2–5 year olds

New weight management resource to support "Raising healthy kids" health target

The Raising Healthy Kids health target came into effect on 1 June, 2016. By December 2017, it is expected that 95% of children identified as obese will receive support to achieve a healthy weight.

The Ministry of Health has produced a practical resource: "Weight Management in 2–5 Year Olds" to support health providers to monitor, assess and manage weight in young children, helping them grow into a healthy weight.

While Food, Activity and Behaviour Change (FAB) remain the main areas to manage weight in children, there is now good evidence on the role that sufficient sleep can play in weight maintenance. The practical resource includes recommended hours of sleep for children up to the age of 5 years.

The 2013/14 New Zealand Health Survey found only 84% of 3 and 4 year olds met the recommended hours of sleep (10 to 13 hours).

The resource presents a step-by-step diagram which is designed to facilitate clinical decision-making and is intended for use in conjunction with the "Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Children and Young People" (MOH, 2009).

View the resource on the Ministry's website: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/weight-management-2-5-year-olds

26 May 2016

It's not to late to be a crocodile lover!

If you live in the river, You should make friends with the crocodile. Indian Proverb

Ever felt bitten by the Ethics Crocodile whilst working in the swamps of General Practice and Primary Care? Would like to learn how to avoid bites in the future and become friends with Mr Crocodile?

The solution? Enrol NOW in GENA824 Ethics in General Practice at the University of Otago for the second semester! Course starts July 2, 2016.

Distance taught and available to most health professionals working in General Practice and Primary Care.

Please contact Dr Katherine Hall katherine.hall@otago.ac.nz ASAP for further information.


21 December 2015

Where is my BPJ?!

Dear Readers

Many of you will have noticed that you have not received a printed copy of Best Practice Journal Issue 71 and 72. These editions have been published online and you will have received an email notification about them.

Earlier this year we let you know that as a result of a change in funding arrangements there would be some differences to the printed copies of BPJ. Since then, bpacnz has personally met the cost of providing printed copies of BPJ to our over 8000 subscribers. Unfortunately this is not sustainable in the long-term and we have had to limit the number of editions we print. We are planning to post out printed copies of combined editions of BPJ in first quarter of 2016. These will contain abridged versions of articles from the Issues that were published online.

We know that the majority of our readers prefer to receive printed copies of BPJ, and there are many advantages of this format. However, publishing online allows us to offer a more dynamic and interactive experience for readers, and this is the direction that almost all international medical education providers have moved in.

BPJ is an important resource for primary care clinicians in New Zealand and we are currently investigating several options for retaining a print version in the future, to complement our online publications and features. As an organisation, bpacnz is committed to providing evidence-based medical education, and we look forward to continuing to offer you an innovative, practical and effective approach to this.

Thank you for your ongoing support of BPJ and bpacnz. We wish you a restful summer break, and you will see us back in your mail box next year.

Merry Christmas from the Best Practice Journal Publications Team, bpacnz

“Christmas is not a date, it’s a state of mind” - Anon

All editions of Best Practice Journal, and additional content, are available online

If you have not yet signed up to My bpac to receive e-notifications of new publications, you can do so here

bpacnz offices will be closed from midday, December 24th and will reopen on January 5th.


30 October 2015

Reading Best Practice Journal just got better!

Reading Best Practice Journal is now a RNZCGP endorsed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity. Every hour spent reading articles earns one Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit. General Practitioners can enter a record of their activity using a Learning Reflection Form, available from the RNZCGP website. All readers, not just general practitioners, are encouraged to reflect on what they have learnt from reading an article in Best Practice Journal; an easy way to do this is to leave a comment on our website, on the article page. Don’t forget to check back to see if others have contributed to the discussion.

CPD Endorsed Logo

Time spent reading Best Practice Journal (1 credit per hour) has been approved for CME for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) General Practice Educational Programme Stage 2 (GPEP2) and the Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) purposes, provided that a Learning Reflection Form is completed. Please visit www.rnzcgp.org.nz to download your CPD MOPS Learning Reflection Form. One form per Journal read is required.


6 October 2015

Postgraduate study in 2016

Department of General Practice & Rural Health
Te Tari Hauora o te Marea me te Hauora o te Huka Ahuwhenua

GENA820 Nature of Medical Practice – Full Year

This paper is a systematic review of the foundational concepts of medical practice and is a prerequisite for the Diploma. Students will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a doctor. Residential weekends are in March and October.

GENA824 Ethics in General Practice – Semester 2

The course covers codes of practice, medico-legal obligations and practical ethical conundrums. A residential workshop in July allows immersion in the topic. Web-based resources and regular group communication encourages collegial in-depth learning.

For information contact gp.postgrad@otago.ac.nz or visit http://www.otago.ac.nz/dsm-gprh/postgraduate/index.html


30 July 2015

A farewell to Best Tests, for now

The July 2015 edition of Best Tests concludes our contract to provide laboratory test utilisation education to general practitioners in New Zealand.

Best Tests has been published as a supplement to Best Practice Journal since 2007, and was preceded by a series of themed campaigns supporting best use of laboratory investigations. Over this time we have seen many positive and significant changes in the way that primary care clinicians use laboratory tests, such as requesting CRP instead of ESR in most situations, requesting ferritin, rather than “iron studies”, as an initial investigation of iron deficiency and using HbA1c, rather than blood glucose, to diagnose diabetes. Over the past ten years, Best Test readers have contributed to millions of dollars in health care savings and improved patient care through optimal utilisation of laboratory investigations.

Although in the short-term, Best Tests will no longer be published, we hope that in the future we will be able to continue to provide primary care clinicians with targeted educational resources on laboratory testing. Note that these changes do not affect Best Practice Journal, which continues to be published both online and in printed format.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Dr Rosemary Ikram, Clinical Microbiologist and Dr Cam Kyle, Clinical Biochemist, who have been part of Best Tests since its inception. Rosemary and Cam, between them, have provided expert review and input into almost every article published in the 27 editions of Best Tests to date. Rosemary and Cam will continue to be involved with bpacnz publications, as part of our team of external experts.

Finally, we would like to thank you, our readers, for engaging in our laboratory testing articles, contributing to activities, providing feedback and changing your practice for the better.

The bpacnz team


24 June 2015

Surprise ministerial announcement: The Integrated Performance and Incentive Framework (IPIF) new measures are on hold

Minister of Health, Dr Jonathan Coleman, made a surprise announcement at the Primary Care Symposium in Wellington earlier this month, when he said:1

I have decided to continue with the current IPIF (Integrated Performance and Incentives Framework) measures focused on health targets in 2015/16, and I will not be introducing new measures at this stage.(sic)

The Integrated Performance and Incentive Framework (IPIF) aims to improve the integration of the entire health sector in New Zealand. IPIF has been divided into five high-level life stages: Healthy Start, Healthy Child, Healthy Adolescent, Healthy Adult and Healthy Ageing. In addition to the life stage measures, it is also intended to add Capability and Capacity measures that will assess the ability of the healthcare system to deliver quality healthcare. It had been widely expected that the first of the IPIF measures were to be introduced on 1 July, 2015. It was anticipated that these would include one Healthy Ageing (polypharmacy) and two Healthy Start measures (registration with a lead maternity carer within 12 weeks and enrolment of the infant in a PHO practice within four weeks), as well as one Capability and Capacity measure (improvements to the proportion of patients with access to online healthcare). However, Dr Coleman’s announcement means that these new targets will now not be introduced. The existing targets which were carried over from the PHO Performance Programme, i.e. more heart and diabetes checks, better help for smokers to quit, increased immunisation and cervical screening rates, will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

In his speech Dr Coleman expressed his approval at the progress that was being made under the existing targets of more heart and diabetes checks and better help for smokers to quit. Dr Coleman said that:1

Only a small number of measures need to be reported nationally. I am often told by the sector that the burden of reporting is high, and I want to ensure the purpose of any reporting is very well thought through

Dr Coleman mentioned that there were a number of reviews underway in the Health sector including the New Health Strategy, a funding review and the capability and capacity review. The findings and recommendations of these reviews are expected to be released in the coming months and these may shed further light on the future performance targets for primary care in New Zealand.


27 Feb 2015

Important message to readers

As a result of a change in funding arrangements there will be some differences to Best Practice Journal over the coming months. The Best Practice Journal will continue to be freely available online, but there will be changes to the hard copy version between now and June, 2015.

During this period of time we will be assessing the demand for retaining a print edition of BPJ, and investigating options for funding this.

Some changes you may notice are:

  • Printed editions of Best Practice Journal may have fewer pages than usual and more concise versions of articles; full articles and additional content will be available online
  • Quizzes will no longer be printed in Best Practice Journal; all CME activities will be available online, which allows us to explore a wider variety of formats, e.g. interactive case studies
  • Reports will no longer be provided to the practice in hard copy; personalised reports will be available online for prescribers, accessed via “My bpac”

Full Journal content, including quizzes, case studies, clinical audits and reports, will be available on our website. We will send you an e-reminder when new online content is published, and we will be regularly updating our website with other information and features. The online environment provides us with an opportunity to offer a range of more innovative approaches for information delivery. We encourage you to visit our website and utilise the functions of “My bpac”, including engaging in peer discussion. You can sign up for a free account at: bpac.org.nz/signup if you have not yet done so.

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to continuing to provide you with the relevant, evidence-based, up-to-date information at your finger-tips that you need to support your patients in primary care. We welcome any comments, questions or feedback you have regarding the information provided to you through the Best Practice Journal.

The next edition of Best Practice Journal will be on its way to subscribers and available online shortly

Yours sincerely
The bpacnz Publications Team

Email: editor@bpac.org.nz