Implementing telehealth technology allows patients to easily address any nutritional concerns with the dietician, including symptom management, education, and/or diet adherence.
In 2014, Pennington Cancer Center at Baton Rouge General Medical Center expanded radiation oncology services to three locations – Bluebonnet, Mid City and in Zachary, Louisiana. This presented a challenge for the registered dietitian who currently travels between the Mid-City and Bluebonnet campuses, and the third location is 16 miles north. It was determined that travel between three locations would not be the best use of the patients or dietitian’s time, but they needed to access to each other.
Baton Rouge General Medical Center Pennington Cancer Center's registered dietician participates in a nutrition session.
In early 2016 we made the switch to doxy.me as we found it more user friendly, HIPAA compliant, and with a more secure data transmission. Telehealth nutrition counseling sessions take place while the patient is at the radiation oncology center for treatment. This technology eliminates patients having to schedule additional appointments to see the dietician. The flexibility of telehealth allows the dietician to work from any location and limits the need for additional travel for this busy staff member.
Satisfaction surveys were given to patients asking patients to evaluate the telehealth program at Baton Rouge General Medical Center. The survey found that their patients were very satisfied with the quality of the video and sound (94%). The majority of patients (95%) found the telehealth program beneficial and 84% of patients preferred the telehealth visits to an on-site visit.
Nicole Esco, MPA, RD, LDN, is a registered dietician at Baton Rouge General Medical Center Pennington Cancer Center. Read more of her article in the Association of Community Cancer Centers Newsletter here. Sign up for a free account here.