Physicians' Update

Latest issues: 

2016: January | February | March | April | May | June | July/August | September

2015: May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

September 2016

Upcoming Surveillance for School Immunization Requirements

  • Upcoming surveillance for requirements of the Immunization of School Pupils Act
  • Impact of surveillance on physician’s practice can include increased requests for: immunization records, immunization service, and vaccine orders.
  • Physician’s play an important role in assisting OPH to remind parents to report immunizations to the health unit.

Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) – New Reporting Fact Sheet

  • New fact sheet is available online from Public Health Ontario to assist physicians in mandatory reporting of adverse events following immunization

July/August 2016

Lyme Disease Update – 2016

  • Although levels of infected ticks in Ottawa are not yet sufficiently high enough to warrant a recommendation for post-exposure prophylaxis, we are seeing an increase of Lyme disease in Ottawa
  • Symptoms and exposure history are key to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease. Early localized Lyme disease  is a clinical diagnosis; laboratory testing is neither required nor recommended
  • Report all suspected, clinically diagnosed, and laboratory confirmed cases of Lyme disease to Ottawa Public Health

June 2016

New! Changes to the Ottawa Public Health HPV Immunization Program

  • New! Starting in the fall of 2016, two changes will be implemented to the publicly funded human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program

TB Prevention Workshops 2016-2017

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017

May 2016

CHEO and The Royal Implement New Approach to Outpatient Mental Health Care

  • CHEO’s Mental Health Program and The Royal’s Youth Mental Health Program (the Young Minds Partnership), and The Royal’s Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program are implementing the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) for outpatient mental health services.
  • CAPA is a collaborative service model focused less on formal assessment and more on problem solving and offering choices to patients based on their individual strengths and goals.
  • Referral processes are not changing, wait times are expected to go down, and patients will be working towards specific, shorter term goals through a variety of treatment paths either with the hospitals or community service providers

The combined MMRV vaccine – only for 4-12 year olds

  • MMRV vaccine is only indicated for children 4 to 12 years of age, and cannot be used to ‘catch up’ students over age 12.
  • Patients older than 12 years of age should receive separate MMR and varicella vaccines given on same day at separate sites. 
  • In cases where both vaccines cannot be given on the same day, the MMR and varicella vaccines must be separated by at least 4 weeks.

April 2016

Statement by the Medical Officer of Health: A Next Step in Addressing Substance Misuse in our Community

  • Right now, there’s an evolving conversation taking place at the federal, provincial and local level about how we approach substance misuse in our communities. This conversation has the potential to broaden the way in which our community delivers services to address drug addiction – for the better.

Are your adolescent patients using cannabis? Here is the latest evidence.

  • The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) found that in 2013, 32% of Ottawa high school students reported using cannabis in the past year
  • This article includes a summary of and a link to the recent report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, “The Effects of Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence” summarizes the current scientific evidence related to youth cannabis use, as well as screening resources for primary care practitioners and their adolescent patients.

Provincial Post Concussion Return to School Evaluations

  • Ministry of Education policy requires physician assessment before re-entry to school for students post-concussion.

March 2016

Ottawa Public Health Focus Group Message for Physicians

  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has retained Nanos Research to conduct focus groups with health professionals.

STI Medication Ordering for Physicians

  • Free STI medications are available through the OPH Sexual Health Centre to treat Sexually Transmitted Infections in your practice.
  • These medications can be ordered to stock in your clinic or order on a case by case basis to treat patients.
  • This service includes the support of a public health nurse to assist with any questions.

Newpatient resources to help prevent falls in older adults

  • “You CAN prevent falls!” is a new resource to help patients make adjustments to home and lifestyle to reduce fall risk.
  • A great resource for patients who come for follow-up after completing the self- screening tool, “Staying Independent Checklist”.

Academy of Medicine Ottawa – serving Ottawa physicians since 1946

  • Message from Academy of Medicine Ottawa to Ottawa Physicians

February 2016

Salad Recall due to Listeria monocytogenes

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall of certain salads and leafy greens across Canada due to Listeria monocytogenes.
  • Listeriosis is a rare but serious infection caused by consumption of food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.
  • Further information on testing and clinical management including indications for empirical treatment) is provided by Public Health Ontario

Urine Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Young People under 25

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea are common in sexually active women and men under age 25
  • Testing rates have decreased in young women since change in Ontario pap testing guidelines
  • Urine nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is a sensitive, specific and non-invasive way to test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea in young patients seeing you for other reasons.

2016 Ottawa Public Health TB Prevention Workshop

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016
  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016

January 2016

New Bilingual Mental Health Support Services for Parents/Caregivers in the Champlain Region offered by Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO)

  • Providing peer support, system navigation, and face to face individual family support
  • For parents and caregivers of children, youth and young adults up to age 24 years

Situational awareness about local misuse of non-opioid prescription medication

  • Ottawa Public Health has recently become aware of a recent change in local drug use behaviours

December 2015

Quitting Smoking: New Year’s Resolution to Reality

  • Taking 30 seconds to ask your patients if they smoke can turn a thought into an attempt to quit or reduce.
  • Guide your patients to the resources and services available at no cost through My Quit and Ottawa Public Health Cessation Services

Clarification of catch-up immunization schedule for school-age children:  Tdap-IPV vs DTaP-IPV

Children who begin their immunization late,  between the ages of 1 and 7 years are not adequately immunized if only receive Tdap-IPV Adacel–Polio® or Boostrix-Polio®)

  • Pediacel® vaccine must be used for primary immunization of children aged up to and including 4
  • Quadracel® or Infanrix-IPV® vaccines must be used for primary immunization of children aged 5 and including age 6 (as they contain higher pertussis and diphtheria antigen content)
  • Quadracel® or Infanrix-IPV® must be ordered from OPH on a case by case basis

November 2015

November is “Take Action on Radon” Month

  • During the month of November, Ottawa Public Health and external partners will be publicizing the dangers of radon gas. Your patients may approach you with questions
  • Radon is the # 2 leading cause of lung cancer after smoking
  • Test kits for radon are available for purchase from major hardware stores or from Ottawa Public Health
  • Online free CME is available on the topic

Worried about a pregnant patient?

  • Refer to the Ottawa Public Health Healthy Babies, Healthy children program!
  • Early Intervention Works

October 2015

Check out several free, accredited, online CME courses

  • Refugee Mental Health
  • Spotlight on Cancer Screening
  • Aboriginal Relationship and Cultural Competency

NEW Mental Health Resources for Point-of-Care

  • New point-of-care website designed to help primary care providers support patients and their families withmental health needs (referrals, handouts, screening tools).
  • Free mental health walk-in counselling services available to all ages in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Somali languages across the Champlain LHIN to assist individuals, couples, and families by providing immediate counselling support.

No time for nutritional assessments?

  • NutriSTEP® is a fast and easy nutrition risk tool for toddlers and preschoolers
  • It can be completed by the parent prior to the child’s visit
  • Aids in assessment of the eating habits, physical activity and development of your young patients. 

Where parents go, to get in the know and access great parenting resources!

  • Make it easier for your youngest patients to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • Access to great parenting resources are now available.
  • Learn more about Parenting in Ottawa

September 2015

Immunization: Requirements for School Children 

  • Children attending primary or secondary school in Ontario must have proof of immunization against designated diseases
  • Families are required to provide this documentation to their local Public Health unit, where immunization status is assessed.
  • As we enter a new school year, parents may contact you to request additional information regarding their child’s immunization record, or to request missing vaccinations for their child.

August 2015

How much is too much?

Alcohol screening reduces alcohol consumption

Do you ask patients about alcohol? Physicians are uniquely positioned to directly influence patient wellness on alcohol misuse; a leading cause of death and disability. Alcohol screening in the health care setting results in greater awareness for your patients and reduced alcohol consumption.

July 2015

Better Strength, Better Balance!

Better Strength, Better Balance! is a free fall prevention exercise and education program for people aged 65+ that was developed using evidenced based criteria.

Important information on Heat for Health Practitioners and Patients

  • Extreme heat events are posing a growing public health risk in Canada, as a result of a changing climate
  • Health Canada is implementing new alert criteria

Is it is safe to swim at Ottawa’s beaches?

Ottawa Public Health inspects water quality daily for bacterial levels at all Ottawa beaches (Britannia, Mooney’s Bay, Westboro, Petrie Island East Bay , Petrie Island River Beaches ) and the out of town beaches twice monthly. Water samples are sent to the Ontario Public Health lab for analysis which involves a 24-hour turnaround, meaning the posted lab results are from the previous day’s sampling.

June, 2015

Lyme Disease Update

  • Prevention is key – advise people to take measures to avoid being bitten by ticks and to do a ‘full body tick check’ after being in natural areas
  • Advise all patients to seek medical attention if symptoms of Lyme disease develop in the 30 days following a tick bite (whether or not the tick was acquired in a high risk area)
  • Report all suspect and confirmed cases of Lyme disease to Ottawa Public Health

Immunization: A shot of prevention

  • OPH is increasing surveillance activities by reviewing immunization records as part of a multi-phased immunization strategy.

To continue receiving both emergency communications and Physicians’ Update newsletters from OPH, please register with OPH. Note: OPH will not share this information with any other agencies.


We gave Physicians’ Update a makeover!

We will now be sending out a monthly e-bulletin with article links. We hope you enjoy this new and improved way to read about our programs and services that can benefit your patients and your practice (e.g. free dental care for children and youth, early prenatal classes and supports for new parents in their homes, access to support to quit smoking, and many more services).  Browse through the list of articles each month and read at your convenience. All articles will be archived and easily searched in our new blog.

The objective of this new format is to make it more user friendly so Browse, Click, Read, and Enjoy.

Physicians’ Update May 2015 - This month’s articles:

To continue receiving both emergency communications and Physicians’ Update newsletters from OPH, please register with OPH. Note: OPH will not share this information with any other agencies.