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Evaluation of Telehealth for the Assessment and Follow-up of Lung Cancer Patients From Rural Saskatchewan FREE TO VIEW

Chris Hergott, MD; Dawn Demchenko, RN; Mark Fenton, MD; Nazmi Sari, PhD; Darcy Marciniuk, MD; Don Cockcroft, MD
Author and Funding Information

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Chest. 2014;145(3_MeetingAbstracts):197A. doi:10.1378/chest.1794891
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SESSION TITLE: Telemedicine Posters

SESSION TYPE: Poster Presentations

PRESENTED ON: Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

PURPOSE: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada. In Saskatchewan many patients live outside of large medical centres and must travel long distances to be assessed by a lung cancer specialist. The purpose of this project is to study a telehealth clinic attended by a nurse-clinician and supervised by a respirologist designed to assess patients from rural Saskatchewan referred for suspected lung cancer.

METHODS: Adult patients with suspected lung cancer referred to the University of Saskatchewan Thoracic Oncology Program who live greater than 100 kilometers from Saskatoon were eligible for this study. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board. Patients were assessed at their nearest telehealth centre by a nurse-clinician in Saskatoon. The nurse clinician reviewed all cases with an interventional respirologist before a diagnostic plan was initiated. The primary endpoints included patient satisfaction; distance travelled to their telehealth suite and length of time to initial assessment.

RESULTS: Preliminary results indicate that one hundred percent of patients would both use telehealth again and recommend it to another patient (12/12). Overall patient satisfaction was excellent in 83% (10/12) and good in 17% (2/12) of patients. The average distance travelled by a patient to a telehealth suite was 20 km. For their initial assessment the use of telehealth saved each patient an average of 500 km in travel. The mean time from referral to being seen in telehealth clinic was 5 business days.

CONCLUSIONS: A nurse-clinician administered lung cancer telehealth clinic provides rural patients with a highly satisfying experience and quick access to lung cancer care in a large Canadian province.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The use of nurse-clinician administered telehealth clinic for the assessment of rural patients with lung cancer or other respiratory diseases may be a highly successful means of improving access to care for these patients.

DISCLOSURE: Chris Hergott: Grant monies (from sources other than industry): Recipient of Grant money - Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation to run this study Dawn Demchenko: Employee: Employee of University of Saskatchewan - paid via grant money as nurse-clinician administering telehealth clinic Mark Fenton: Grant monies (from sources other than industry): Research Grant for this Study Nazmi Sari: Grant monies (from sources other than industry): Grant Money to conduct this study Darcy Marciniuk: Grant monies (from sources other than industry): Grant Money for this study Don Cockcroft: Grant monies (from sources other than industry): Grant money for this study

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