Reducing radiotherapy waiting times for palliative patients: The role of the Advanced Practice Radiation Therapist

Job, Mary, Holt, Tanya and Bernard, Anne (2017) Reducing radiotherapy waiting times for palliative patients: The role of the Advanced Practice Radiation Therapist. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 64 4: 274-280. doi:10.1002/jmrs.243


Author Job, Mary
Holt, Tanya
Bernard, Anne
Title Reducing radiotherapy waiting times for palliative patients: The role of the Advanced Practice Radiation Therapist
Journal name Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-3909
2051-3895
Publication date 2017-12-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/jmrs.243
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 64
Issue 4
Start page 274
End page 280
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Subject 3614 Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
2741 Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
Abstract Introduction Palliative radiotherapy is effective in reducing symptom burden and improving quality of life in patients with symptomatic metastatic cancer and should be delivered in a timely manner. The aim of this study was to determine whether referring patients directly to a Palliative Advanced Practice Radiation Therapist (APRT) improves access to palliative radiotherapy and reduces time from referral to treatment. Methods At Radiation Oncology Mater Center (ROMC) in Brisbane, Australia a new referral pathway was developed which involved patients requiring palliative radiotherapy, being referred directly to the APRT from a single external hospital medical oncology and palliative care departments. Over a 5 months period, patient demographics and time in working days from referral to treatment were compared for consecutive palliative patients seen within our department. Patients were stratified by method of referral i.e. via the new referral pathway (NP) or via standard referral pathway (SP). Results Between October 2014 and March 2015, a total of 150 patients were referred for palliative radiotherapy. Of these patients, 48 were referred and processed via the NP. There was a significant reduction in the number of days from referral to treatment for patients referred through the NP. Patients referred through the NP via the APRT had a mean and median wait time of 3.5 and 3 days respectively compared with 8.1 and 5 days for patients referred through the SP (P = <0.001). Patients were also more likely to have the treatment completed with less visits to the hospital (P < 0.001). Conclusions The new referral pathway utilising a dedicated palliative APRT decreased waiting times for patients receiving palliative radiotherapy and improved timely access to the radiotherapy service for both referrers and patients.
Keyword Rapid Response Radiotherapy
Program
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Faculty of Medicine
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 16 Dec 2017, 23:16:52 EST