Older adults are entering long-term care (LTC) homes with more complex care needs than in previous decades, resulting in demands on point-of-care staff to provide additional and specialty services. This study evaluated whether Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Care of the Elderly Long-Term Care (COE-LTC)—a case-based online education program—is an effective capacity-building program among interprofessional health-care teams caring for LTC residents.
A mixed-method, pre-and-post study comprised of satisfaction, knowledge, and self-efficacy surveys and exploration of experience via semi-structured interviews. Participants were interprofessional health-care providers from LTC homes across Ontario.
From January–March 2019, 69 providers, nurses/nurse practitioners (42.0%), administrators (26.1%), physicians (24.6%), and allied health professionals (7.3%) participated in 10 weekly, 60-minute online sessions. Overall, weekly session and post-ECHO satisfaction were high across all domains. Both knowledge scores and self-efficacy ratings increased post-ECHO, 3.9% (p = .02) and 9.7 points (p < .001), respectively. Interview findings highlighted participants’ appreciation of access to specialists, recognition of educational needs specific to LTC, and reduction of professional isolation.
We demonstrated that ECHO COE-LTC can be a successful capacity-building educational model for interprofessional health-care providers in LTC, and may alleviate pressures on the health system in delivering care for residents.
Lingum NR, Sokoloff LG, Chau J, Feldman S, Gingrich S, Grief CJ, Meyer RM, Moser AL, Shaikh S, Santiago AT, Sham R, Sodums DJ, Conn DK. ECHO Care of the Elderly: Innovative Learning to Build Capacity in Long-term Care. Can Geriatr J. 2021 Mar 2;24(1):36-43. doi: 10.5770/cgj.24.458. PMID: 33680262; PMCID: PMC7904330.