ECHO Care of the Elderly: Innovative Learning to Build Capacity in Long-term Care

  • Navena R. Lingum Baycrest
  • Lisa Guttman Sokoloff Baycrest
  • James Chau North East Specialized Geriatric Services—a program of Health Sciences North
  • Sid Feldman Baycrest
  • Shaen Gingrich North East Specialized Geriatric Services—a program of Health Sciences North
  • Cindy J. Grief Baycrest
  • Raquel M. Meyer Baycrest
  • Andrea L. Moser Baycrest
  • Salma Shaikh Baycrest
  • Anna Theresa Santiago Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation, Baycrest
  • Rosalind Sham Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation, Baycrest
  • Devin J. Sodums Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation, Baycrest
  • David K. Conn Baycrest
Keywords: long-term care, education, capacity building, geriatrics

Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Author Biographies

Navena R. Lingum, Baycrest

Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging

Lisa Guttman Sokoloff, Baycrest

Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging

Sid Feldman, Baycrest

Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Cindy J. Grief, Baycrest

Department of Psychiatry

Raquel M. Meyer, Baycrest

Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care

Andrea L. Moser, Baycrest

Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Salma Shaikh, Baycrest

Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging

David K. Conn, Baycrest

Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging, Department of Psychiatry

Published
2021-02-18
How to Cite
Lingum, N. R., Guttman Sokoloff, L., Chau, J., Feldman, S., Gingrich, S., Grief, C. J., Meyer, R. M., Moser, A. L., Shaikh, S., Santiago, A. T., Sham, R., Sodums, D. J., & Conn, D. K. (2021). ECHO Care of the Elderly: Innovative Learning to Build Capacity in Long-term Care. Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 24(1), 36-43. https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.24.458
Section
Original Research