While the 'Principles of MDC' remain the same irrespective of location, delivery of MDC in a rural area may require implementation of innovative strategies. Patients living in regional and rural locations should have access to a full MDC team relevant to their cancer type.
Telehealth is a strategy for delivering coordinated MDC in regional cancer centres. Telehealth facilities can be used to link health professionals across distances to ensure multidisciplinary input to the care of patients in regional and rural areas. Telehealth can also link patients with medial specialist not available in their area.
Telehealth services provide opportunities for regional cancer centres to expand the reach of their services, link health professionals across distances and facilitate networking and professional learning and development.
Factors to consider when delivering cancer care via telehealth include the need for clear communication between the health professionals involved, assurance that treatment prescribed via telehealth aligns with beast practice treatment, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities of those involved in a telehealth consultation.
Multidisciplinary care teams in regional cancer centres
Considerations for assembling a MDC team in regional cancer centres:
- engage local health providers who work outside the regional cancer centres:
- involve local GPs, or ensure outcomes are reported back to GPs
- involve health professionals from both public and private services in the area
- involve Aboriginal Health Workers or health professionals with appropriate cultural competency when relevant
- document agreement of role responsibilities of MDC team members.