Lung Cancer |

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

Dawn Demchenko, RN; Sam Stewart, PhD; Mark Fenton, MD; Nazmi Sari, PhD; Darcy Marciniuk, MD; Donald Cockcroft, MD; Christopher Hergott, MD
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University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Chest. 2015;148(4_MeetingAbstracts):591A. doi:10.1378/chest.2277611
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SESSION TITLE: Lung Cancer Treatment Posters

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 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 operating remotely 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 the telehealth suite and length of time to initial assessment.

RESULTS: Interim analysis indicates that one hundred percent of patients would both use telehealth again and recommend it to another patient (46/46). Overall satisfaction was excellent in 63% and good in 35% of respondents. Patients rated the following specific parameters positively (good to excellent); visual quality (100%); personal comfort (98%); time with nurse (98%); treatment explanation (98%); thoughtfulness of nurse (98%); courtesy of nurse (98%); answered equipment questions (96%); time for the appointment (93%); voice quality (91%); ease of getting to appointment (87%). No patients rated these parameters poorly. Telehealth coordinators rated patients comfort level as being comfortable or very comfortable 74% and 72% for initial and follow up visits respectively. The total distance of travel saved by attending a telehealth visit per patient was 344 km (median 324 +/- 209 km). The mean wait time for assessment in the telehealth clinic was 6.8 days (+/- 3 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 is a highly successful means of improving access to care for these patients. Funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Dawn Demchenko, Sam Stewart, Mark Fenton, Nazmi Sari, Darcy Marciniuk, Donald Cockcroft, Christopher Hergott

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