Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
clinical resources for primary care.
Page last updated: 12:50pm, 10 July 2020
Advice for clinicians and frontline primary health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nominate someone in your practice or service to check the COVID-19 hub on the DHHS website each day to make sure you have the latest copies of the:
- Quick reference guide and checklist
- Guidelines for health services and general practitioners
- Case definition and testing criteria
- Health care worker PPE guidance
- Infection control guidelines
HealthPathways Melbourne is the best place to find up-to-date clinical advice plus local referral information during the coronavirus pandemic.
Health professionals can access the following COVID-19 pathways available on HealthPathways Melbourne:
These form the suite of COVID-19 pathways, which are being regularly updated with the latest risk criteria and local referral information.
Health professionals should be aware of increased mental distress, alcohol and other drug use and risk of family violence during the pandemic. There are many mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and family violence pathways that are being regularly updated to reflect service options for your patients.
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In the first week of April, the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce launched new “living guidelines” that provide continually updated evidence-based guidance to clinicians caring for people with COVID-19. The Taskforce was established by a large coalition of peak Australian health professional groups and has received funding from the Australian government to ensure regular evidence based updates are being given to clinicians.
Access the guidelines at covid19evidence.net.au
Please note: the COVID-19 suite on HealthPathways Melbourne is being regularly updated with clinical information informed by best practice guidelines including those published by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. HealthPathways Melbourne also includes local referral information.
The COVID-19 Health care worker PPE guidance provides regularly updated personal protective equipment guidance as new evidence becomes available. This document is available on the DHHS website (under the Guidelines for health services and general practitioners).
- How to fit a surgical mask
- How to fit a P2/N95 respirator mask
- How to put on your PPE
- How to take off your PPE
- Video: infection control using PPE
Guidance from the Federal Department of Health on the supply of masks from the National Medical Stockpile through Primary Health Networks
Tranche 1 (8 March 2020)
Tranche 2 (17 March 2020)
Tranche 3 (2 April 2020)
Please refer to the Commonwealth Department of Health's Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19 fact sheet.
The RACGP has developed a fact sheet to support general practices in the event of a COVID-19 case in the practice team. It covers managing possible exposure to other staff and patients, self-isolation, consulting by telehealth during self-isolation, practice cleaning and communicating with patients.
Advice for health professionals and your asthma patients is available on the National Asthma Council website.
The Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthmas has released a clinical recommendation document to assist clinicians in the management of severe asthma in the context of COVID-19.
Pen CS has compiled CAT4 recipes for identifying COVID-19 high-risk patients.
Please note that due to the high risk of spreading COVID-19, it would be impractical to recall patients at risk. The following recipes are designed to give medical professionals an idea of how many high-risk patients in the various categories are included in your current patient demography.
COVID-19 'high-risk' patient lists are relevant for:
- resource and workforce planning
- population health
- sharing COVID-19 patient information via SMS text/voicemail (Recall CAT)
- informing Doctor/Practice Staff with advice and guidance
CAT4 COVID-19 recipes for general practice:
The Thalassaemia International Federation has published treatment advice for thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia patients.
For COVID-19 information relevant to pharmacy, these sites are being updated regularly:
A message from Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to support the work of health care practitioners. The income we receive directly and solely from subscribers allows us to publish truly independent healthcare advice on our website, eTG complete. However, these are unprecedented times. An effective response to the novel coronavirus pandemic requires co-ordinated effort across society, with the healthcare sector in particular facing huge challenges. Widespread and monumental change has already happened in general practices, community pharmacies, and public and private hospitals. With healthcare professionals working at capacity and taking on new responsibilities, the need for eTG complete has never been greater.
Therapeutic Guidelines is therefore providing complimentary access to eTG complete online and the eTG complete mobile app until 31 July 2020 for healthcare workers who do not have a current subscription. Further, to assist healthcare workers practicing from home, access to the mobile app has been extended to all current subscribers who have a username and password.
For more information or to register for complimentary access, click here.
We wish all health care providers the best in this difficult time.
As part of the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network (VCCN), the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Expert Group have developed a Clinical Guidance for Management of Cutaneous Melanoma during Covid-19 Pandemic.
This short-term guidance is helpful for primary care professionals and aims to ensure optimal care pathways are maintained but are flexible and standardised across Victorian centres and community-based practices during this period.
Medical and nursing staff can access this document, as well as the online cancer community, by signing up on the VCCC or MPCCC websites or by accessing this direct link: viccompcancerctr.org/victorian-covid-19-cancer-network/clinical-guidance
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has advised there is new guidance on medicines management during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance covers the following areas and has been developed to assist health services and clinicians involved in the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines.
- Managing fever associated with COVID-19
- Managing a sore throat associated with COVID-19
- ACE inhibitors and ARBs in COVID-19
- Clozapine in COVID-19
- Management of patients on oral anticoagulants during COVID-19
- Ascorbic acid: Intravenous high dose in COVID-19
- Treatment in acute care, including oxygen therapy and medicines to support intubation
- Nebulisation and COVID-19
- Ongoing medicines management in high-risk patients
- Medicines shortages
Visit the Commission's website for more information.