Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
After a diagnosis of cancer, timely access to oncology care is a priority. For patients living in a rural community, there are many challenges such as proximity to cancer care, reduced access to state-of-the art therapies, lack of coordinated care, and limited access to clinical trials. A multidisciplinary consultation (MDC) via telehealth can improve access to care for rural oncology patients. The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of telehealth MDC on the time in days from diagnosis to the first treatment with the goal of persuading the project site to implement a telehealth MDC. The data involved a comparison of 2 rural locations, 1 with telehealth MDC and 1 without. Data from 36 oncology patients were compared using time in days from the initial diagnosis to the first oncology treatment. The patients who received the initial consultation with telehealth MDC had an average timeframe of 19 days from diagnoses to first treatment, whereas those without telehealth MDC had an average of 51 days, meaning there was a statistically significant difference (z = -5.811, p < .0001). The data will be presented to leadership at the project site to provide the rationale to implement telehealth MDC. This project can lead to a positive social change for rural oncology patients by encouraging telehealth MDC, which may address the several identified barriers that affect access for oncology patients by improving access to clinical trials, coordination of care, and nursing education to rural community patients at the project site.