Project ECHO Skin and Wound Care Tools

In addition to virtual sessions, these tools and resources are freely available for participants

1. Case Report Form

The Case Report Form standardizes case management and populates a wound care case ‘bank.’ This form incorporates the components of the Wound Bed Preparation paradigm.  Case Report Forms are reviewed in advance to ensure that no identifiable patient information is included.

2. TeleECHO Case Database

Deidentified patient cases presented at ECHO sessions are stored in a computerized data system that are accessible on the website.

3. Best Practice Enablers

Best Practice Enablers are summary tools used to condense practical knowledge efficiently.

4. Session Summaries

After each session, a summary of the discussion is prepared and sent to all participants via email. 

5. Evaluation Questionnaires

These questionnaires assess confidence in abilities, skills and knowledge, and are completed via a secure web-based survey.

6. Knowledge Tests

These evaluate the extent of iterative learning and the effect of knowledge networks. They are administered both before and after exposure to the ECHO model. CME credits or other types of educational credits (as determined) are documented for each participant.

Three questions about alignment with Ontario’s health priorities

How the project lines up the government’s plan for changing and improving Ontario’s health system

Innovations such as Project ECHO work in alignment with system priorities. The Project ECHO Skin and Wound Care team took a look at how we align with three major government health care initiatives.

Question 1

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care has been in place since 2012 and centres on the commitment to put people and patients at the centre of the system by focusing on putting patients’ needs first. How are you doing that?

Answer: Improved access to co-ordinated, interprofessional chronic wound care will heal Ontarians faster, lowering the number of related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and amputations. The project will increase capacity among regional primary care providers and newly established interprofessional teams and sub-HUBs to improve access to the most appropriate care in the most appropriate place while decreasing costs.

Additionally, the ECHO model will help build regional expertise. The Hub, along with the expertise of the International Interprofessional Wound Care Course (IIWCC) faculty, will facilitate the development of distributed expertise that may potentially lead to SPOKES that can become regional Hubs.

Question 2

Health Quality Ontario is the go-to for advice and data and has the mandate to define health quality and health system improvement. How are you working with them?

Answer: Health Quality Ontario (HQO) recently developed Quality Standards for diabetic foot ulcers, pressure injuries and venous leg ulcers, as part of an Ontario-wide expert panel I co-chaired. This project will help the province-wide implementation of these Quality Standards.

Question 3

What about the Ministry-LHIN Wound Care Quality Standards Implementation Project?

Answer: The activities of the Project will inform this group and vice-versa. In partnership with the LHINs, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is working to engage with stakeholders on wound care, in system capacity review and planning, and to identity and fund training and education resources and fund new wound care devices. There’s also work being done to develop a performance monitoring and data/analytic framework.

Best practice guidelines ensure patients get the care they need

Bringing best practices together with an interprofessional approach sparks innovation in wound care

Project ECHO started in New Mexico in 2003, and today there are more than 220 hubs for more than 100 diseases and conditions in 31 countries. In Ontario alone, there are more than 300 community sites represented, and the newest hub, Project ECHO Skin and Wound Care, is the 16th tele-ECHO Hub.

The Project team is in regular contact with Dr Andrea Furlan and Dr Ruth Dubin, co-leads of Project ECHO Ontario Chronic Pain. In addition, Queen’s University, the educational experts for ECHO Ontario Chronic Pain, are important partners to Project ECHO Skin and Wound Care.

The project team has also been attending ECHO Ontario collaborative meetings and has been meeting regularly with the Project ECHO Mental Health team at CAMH.

Wound care best practice guidelines include:

  • Assessment and Management of Foot Ulcers for Persons with Diabetes
  • Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team
  • Care Transitions
  • Developing and Sustaining Interprofessional Health Care
  • Facilitating Client-Centred Learning
  • Person- and Family-Centred Care
  • Strategies to Support Self-Management in Chronic Conditions: Collaboration with Clients

Each of these BPGs contributes to practice interventions and inform direct patient care as well as enable better interprofessional practice and integrated health care in relation to wound management, including diabetic foot ulcers, across the sectors.

Skin & Wound Care Boot Camps for Spokes

Bringing together regional skills and teams to increase system capacity

Project ECHO Ontario Skin and Wound Care two-day in-person “boot camp” sessions are available to registered members.

*Watch for updates: we will conduct several boot camps during 2022 and 2024 across the province.

Boot camp sessions are deeper dives into Project ECHO Ontario Skin and Wound Care topics. The boot camps are developed and delivered in collaboration with the regional Continuing Professional Development (CPD Offices), and relevant program partners to improve regional relevance and recruitment.

The benefits of boot camps are:

  • Expand the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills of participants through direct observation and hands-on on skills training
  • Promote professional networking and stimulate referral patterns across many disciplines
  • Connect interprofessional teams for coordinated, integrated patient assessment with feedback from patient volunteers and faculty on the patient care plans and team process
  • Identify system barriers to optimal wound care
  • Collect and reflect on outcomes information for quality improvement

Project ECHO Ontario Skin and Wound boot camps will be conducted in a similar fashion to the patient day at the current International Interprofessional Wound Care Course (IIWCC), that has been delivered at the Michener Institute since 1999. Even further value will be obtained by bringing together regional skills and teams in order to build regional referral patterns and increase system capacity.