Objectives: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly challenged the capacity of long-term care (LTC) homes in Canada, resulting in new, pressing priorities for leaders and health care providers (HCPs) in the care and safety of LTC residents. This study aimed to determine whether Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Care of the Elderly Long-Term Care (COE-LTC): COVID-19, a virtual education program, was effective at delivering just-in-time learning and best practices to support LTC teams and residents during the pandemic. Design: Mixed methods evaluation. Setting and Participants: Interprofessional HCPs working in LTC homes or deployed to work in LTC homes primarily in Ontario, Canada, who participated in 12 weekly, 60-minute sessions. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative surveys assessing reach, satisfaction, self-efficacy, practice change, impact on resident care, and knowledge sharing. Results: Of the 252 registrants for ECHO COE-LTC: COVID-19, 160 (63.4%) attended at least 1 weekly session. Nurses and nurse practitioners represented the largest proportion of HCPs (43.8%). Overall, both confidence and comfort level working with residents who were at risk, confirmed, or suspected of having COVID-19 increased after participating in the ECHO sessions (effect sizes 0.7, Wilcoxon signed rank P <.001). Participants also reported impact on intent to change behavior, resident care, and knowledge sharing. Conclusions and Implications: The results demonstrate that ECHO COE-LTC: COVID 19 effectively delivered time-sensitive information and best practices to support LTC teams and residents. It may be a critical platform during this pandemic and in future crises to deliver just-in-time learning during periods of constantly changing information.
Lingum NR, Sokoloff LG, Meyer RM, et al. Building Long-Term Care Staff Capacity During COVID-19 Through Just-in-Time Learning: Evaluation of a Modified ECHO Model. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021;22(2):238-244.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2020.10.039