Technology closes the distance gap for Emerald cancer patients
28 August 2018
Technology is allowing an Emerald cancer patient to have her regular treatments in her home town in a new tele-oncology service.
Leoney Murdoch was diagnosed with breast cancer this year. In April she had surgery at Rockhampton Hospital, followed by three months of chemotherapy, with weekly trips from Emerald for her treatment.
She has nine months of Herceptin infusions to complete her 12-month treatment, and thanks to telehealth she can have these sessions at Emerald Hospital, where Clinical Nurse Annette Luck receives advice and supervision from the specialist cancer care team in Rockhampton via videolink.
Herceptin is a targeted immunotherapy treatment. It has precisely calculated doses that are timed to perfection.
While Mrs Murdoch loves the team in Rockhampton and is grateful for the top-class care she received, she doesn’t miss the three-hour drive each way, and is happy to be hooked up for her half-hour Herceptin infusion in Emerald every three weeks.
“Annette has been doing my bloods for a while now and she’s really good at it – I trust her,” Mrs Murdoch said.
Central Highlands General Manager Eddie Gacitua is delighted to offer another service closer to home for Emerald patients.
“It is our aim to provide as many services as possible in Emerald and this is a classic case of using the available technology, and the skills of our local team to access specialist advice to overcome distance for our patients,” he said.
“It’s a matter of finding the right patient, at the right stage of their treatment who is well enough to benefit from these types of treatments.
“Thanks to Annette and our dedicated team of health professionals for being willing to learn new skills and be flexible enough to enable our patients to feel the benefits, and for the Cancer Care team in Rockhampton to work with us.”