Technology-based patient consultations: Research findings from Haematology patients in regional, rural and remote Queensland
Background Many haematology patients living outside the metropolitan centres are stressed by the demands of travel for treatment and are seeking alternatives. Objective This article provides the findings on the use of technology-based patient consultations for haematology patients in Queensland, Australia, from the perspective of the patients receiving the service. Method The research was based on a descriptive qualitative approach involving open-ended interviews with a purposive sample of 45 haematology patients living in Queensland. Results The findings indicate that the use of technology for patient consultations is still in its infancy, involving few haematologists and limited to landline and mobile telephone, texting and Skype. These strategies are described as being used for follow-up and review rather than active treatment. Conclusion The strategies are not replacing face-to-face contact between the haematologist and patient, but rather extending the length of time between such contacts. Whilst patients have expressed enthusiasm for technology-assisted patient consultations, there are still obstacles to overcome as many who would like access to such a service delivery do not presently have these options available.
Health and Community Services