Remote chemotherapy supervision model for rural cancer care: perspectives of health professionals

Jhaveri, D., Larkins, S., Kelly, J., and Sabesan, S. (2016) Remote chemotherapy supervision model for rural cancer care: perspectives of health professionals. European Journal of Cancer Care, 25 (1). pp. 1-6.

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Townsville Cancer Centre (TCC), a tertiary cancer centre in North Queensland, Australia, provides chemotherapy services to surrounding small rural towns using the Queensland Remote Chemotherapy Supervision model (QReCS). Under this model, selected chemotherapy regimens are administered in rural hospitals by rural based generalist doctors and nurses, under the supervision of TCC-based medical oncologists and chemotherapy competent nurses through videoconferencing. We sought to explore the perspectives of health professionals participating in QReCS. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with 19 participants, including nine nurses, eight doctors, one rural pharmacist and one administration officer. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were examined using iterative thematic analysis. Four major themes were identified from the data: (1) benefits of the model, (2) enablers of implementation, (3) operational requirements for optimal functioning and (4) disadvantages of the model. The reported benefits of the model were patient convenience, inter-professional communication across health district borders, expanded scope of practice, continuity of care and maintenance of patient safety and compliance with guidelines while delivering chemotherapy. Further improvements in the quality of training for rural nurses, coordination between urban and rural sites and between health professionals and documentation of clinical encounters would optimise the operation of the model. QReCS appears to provide many benefits to patients and health professionals and a framework for safe administration of chemotherapy in rural areas. Coordination of care, the quality of training for rural nurses as well as clinical documentation needs to improve to optimise the operation of the model.

Item ID: 36794
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2354
Keywords: telemedicine; rural; remote; oncology; chemotherapy
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 03:13
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321105 Chemotherapy @ 80%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 10%
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