INFORMATION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Pap test Registry now sending second reminder letter

The Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry sends a reminder letter to Victorian women three months after their next Pap test is due – so for women with a previous negative Pap test result the letter is sent 27 months after their previous test. A second reminder letter will be introduced as part of a pilot program from June 2011, with the letter sent 9 months after the first (so most women will receive letters 27 months and 36 months after their previous Pap test).

Research around the use of reminder letters suggests that the introduction of a second reminder letter in the Cervical Screening Program may increase the number of underscreened women in Victoria participating in the program. The results of this intervention will then be evaluated to determine whether the second reminder letter will become a permanent strategy to increase cervical screening participation.

It's estimated that around 8000 second reminder letters will be sent per month, across Victoria, and as such clinics should experience minimal increased demand for Pap test appointments. 

If you receive queries from women receiving a second reminder letter and are unsure how to answer them, please refer them to the Registry – (03) 9250 0399.

Please continue with any reminder letter systems established by your clinic as normal.

Practice Based Reminders

In accordance with the national policy of two yearly testing, the Registry posts reminder letters at 27 months to women whose last Pap smear was reported as negative. If you wish, the Registry will provide a list of your patients who are between 21 and 27 months since their last Pap smear.

If you would like to receive these lists, which are posted, or sent via the eClinic secure client application, every four months, and have not already asked us, please contact the Registry by phone on (03) 9250 0399, by fax on (03) 9349 1818 or by sending an e-mail to registry@vccr.org.

The Cervical Screening PIP 

From 1 November 2001, increased remuneration has been available to general practitioners who collect cervical smears from women who are 4 or more years since their last Pap smear. These women are considered to be 'high risk' and a Service Incentive Payment (SIP) will be paid for each 'high risk' woman screened. To assist general practitioners who have signed on with the Cervical Screening Incentive Program, the Registry will identify, and provide to practices, lists of women who, according to our records, are currently aged between the ages of 20 and 69 years and have not had a cervical Pap smear in the last 4 years. You do not need to request these lists, as they are automatically posted, or sent via the eClinic secure client application, every 3 months to the practice that took the last Pap smear.

If you would like further information about these lists contact the Registry on (03) 9250 0399. However, for general information about the PIP please phone the PIP enquiry line on 1800 222 032.