Be part of a community of practice with the Palliative Care ECHO Project.

We’re dedicated to supporting a continuous learning journey for health care professionals to build local capacity to provide a palliative care approach to patients and their families.

As a capacity-building tele-mentoring program, the Palliative Care ECHO Project is designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together local healthcare providers (and community leaders) with regional, provincial/territorial, and national subject matter experts for continuous learning, deep-dive learning opportunities, brief lecture presentations, and quality improvement discussions, fostering an “all learn, all teach” approach.

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Why is this important

Many Canadian health care professionals do not have the required fundamental skills to provide a palliative care approach and the over-reliance on specialist palliative care teams is unsustainable.

There is a need to address equity issues in many parts of Canada related to accessing palliative care clinical support and education, especially in rural and remote regions and Indigenous communities.

We require sustainable infrastructure to rapidly capture and share palliative care knowledge, tools, resources, and protocol changes among health care teams across the country.

Health care professionals from all regions and across all professions have demonstrated personal leadership and a desire to acquire the necessary skills to provide better palliative care to patients.

Continuous professional development is a vital element in career growth for health care professionals.

How the project works

The power of ECHO is in its connectivity. ECHO uses a “hub and spoke” education model to connect health care providers in communities (“spokes”) with teams of specialists and experts at regional and national centers (the “hub”).

The creation of hubs is the anchor of the overarching model and exists to be more responsive to local, regional and provincial, or sector-specific needs.

The spokes represent the various communities (e.g., family health teams, paramedics) and settings of care (e.g., long-term care residences, home care) that are served by a hub. Health care professionals who work within these spokes are the beneficiaries of the various palliative care educational interventions created by the hub and by Pallium that will enhance their learning and practice.

Pallium’s role

Pallium Canada’s role is to coordinate and connect the system of hubs across Canada, curate and develop content to support hub partners (and their spokes) in meeting their local needs, deliver national palliative care programming, and lead the overall evaluation of the Project’s impacts and reporting.

Stay Connected

It only takes a minute to connect and become part of the Palliative Care ECHO Project community. Fill out the form and we’ll share our updates and progress, every step of the way.

Upcoming National ECHO Sessions

National ECHO programming is free for all health care professionals to participate in. Some ECHO sessions are targeted to specific professions or practice areas.

Long-Term Care Community of Practice Series

This community of practice is for health care professionals, administrators, and system leaders working in long-term care. Participants will have the opportunity to build on foundational palliative care knowledge and practice their skills through a 13-part series that will include knowledge exchange opportunities and interactive, case-based discussions.

Each session is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for 1 Mainpro+ credit.

  • Introductory Session – session was held on December 9, 2021
  • The Palliative Approach as Part of the Continuum of Care – session was held on January 13, 2022
  • The Palliative Approach as an Inter-Professional, Team-Based Approach – session was held on February 10, 2022
  • Individuals and their Loved Ones as Members of the Team – session was held on March 10, 2022
  • Advance Care Planning – session was held on April 14, 2022
  • Resources for Long-Term Care: Pre and Post Pandemic – session was held on May 12, 2022
  • Spiritual and Religious Care as Part of the Holistic Approach – session was held on June 9, 2022
  • Supporting New Team Members – July 14, 2022, @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Honouring Personhood in Dementia Care – August 11, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Diversity and Inclusion in the Long-Term Care Setting – September 8, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Meaningful Measurement to Support Health System Improvements in Long-Term Care – October 13, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Mental Health and Resilience During the COVID Pandemic: Part 1 – November 10, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Mental Health and Resilience During the COVID Pandemic: Part 2 – December 8, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

We encourage registrants to participate in as many sessions in the series as possible, although it is not required. A recording will be shared for all sessions missed.

Registration instructions:
Registration for this community of practice takes place in Pallium Central.

  1.  Click here to visit Pallium Central and login or create an account
  2. Select Long-Term Care Community of Practice
  3. Type in the enrollment key: LTC2122

Community-Based Primary Palliative Care Community of Practice Series

This community of practice (CoP) focuses on supporting primary care clinicians to integrate primary palliative care in their practices. This program is geared towards any primary health care provider (e.g., physician, nurse, allied health professional). Sessions within this CoP cover topics such as: managing complex pain and symptom management, building on essential communication skills, supporting patients being cared for in the home, access resources in the community and providing bereavement care in the context of complex grief.

 

Each session is accredited (this 1-credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 11 Mainpro+ credits).

  • Symptom Management – session was held on February 16, 2022
  • Managing Complex Pain – session was held on March 2, 2022
  • Managing the Last Hours of Life in the Home – session was held on March 16, 2022
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 1 – session was held on March 30, 2022
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 2 – session was held on April 13, 2022
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 3 – session was held on April 27, 2022
  • Grief and Bereavement and the Identification and Management of Complex Grief – session was held on May 11, 2022
  • Teamwork in Primary Palliative Care – session was held on May 25, 2022
  • Grief in Children – session was held on June 8, 2022
  • Community Palliative Resources – session was held on June 22, 2022
  • Organizing Practices to Provide Primary Palliative Care – July 6, 2022 @ 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

We encourage registrants to participate in as many sessions in the series as possible, although it is not required. A recording will be shared for all sessions missed.

Registration instructions:
Registration for this community of practice takes place in Pallium Central.

  1.  Click here to visit Pallium Central and login or create an account
  2. Select Community-Based Primary Palliative Care Community of Practice
  3. Type in the enrollment key: CBPP2122

Palliative Care Journal Watch

Journal Watch is an ongoing series led by subject matter experts from McMaster University and Queen’s University. Sessions explore key topics in the latest palliative care literature, with a focus on practice change and systems design.

Dr. José Pereira, Dr. Leonie Herx, and special guests provide context on the articles and key topics identified in the literature.

Each session is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 1 Mainpro+ credit.

  • September 26, 2022 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • October 24, 2022 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • November 28, 2022 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • January 23, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • February 27, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • March 27, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

Sessions within the Journal Watch series are standalone. You can attend as many as you would like. A recording will be shared for all sessions missed.

Registration instructions:
Register once for all Journal Watch sessions via Pallium Central and you’ll receive reminder emails before each one, including the links to access the session.

  1. Click here to visit Pallium Central and login or create an account
  2. Select Palliative Care Journal Watch
  3. Type in the enrollment key: PCJW

Visit our Journal Watch page to access the podcast or to view past session recordings, slides, featured articles, and more.

The Platinum Rule: All that Glitters Isn’t Gold

Thursday November 3, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Clinical decisions and patient care are often guided by The Golden Rule, which would have us treat patients as we would want to be treated in similar circumstances. But when patients’ lived experiences and outlooks deviate substantively from our own, we stop being a reliable barometer of their needs, values, and goals. The Platinum Rule—doing unto patients as they would want done unto themselves—may be a more appropriate standard for achieving optimal person-centered care.

Presenter:
Harvey Max Chochinov, OC OM MD PhD FRCPC FRSC
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba
Senior Scientist, CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute

Past National ECHO Sessions

Find the recordings, Q&As, and PowerPoint presentations of our past sessions here.

7 Keys to Delivering Palliative Care Upstream: What We Learned From 1,000 Patients and Families

Health care providers know that integrating an early palliative care approach is difficult, in part because palliative care is associated with death and dying. As a result, palliative care is more commonly delivered at end of life or the “11th hour.” The presenters have talked with thousands of patients and families to uncover 7 keys to enable an early approach to palliative care.

QI Collaborative: Identify Patients with Palliative Care Needs

Session One – May 21, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Session Two – June 18, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Session Three -September 17, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

This ECHO series is designed to help coach family health practices who would like to make improvements in identifying patients earlier who could benefit from a palliative care approach.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session One

The Role of Personal Support Workers in Palliative Care
This session explores the role of personal support workers and health care aides/assistants in palliative care and as part of the health care team caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Taking Vitals: The SCQ—The Evidence, Development, and Clinical Necessity of a Measure to Routinely Assess Patients Experiences of Compassion

This session discusses the importance of compassion in quality palliative care and viewers are introduced to the Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire (SCQ), a tool for health care providers to utilize to improve patients experiences of care.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session Two

LEAP Personal Support Worker – Question and Answer Session
This session explores personal support worker’s questions about the palliative care approach and the content of LEAP Personal Support Worker.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session Three

Personal Support Workers and Challenging Conversations
Challenging conversations related to end-of-life care can be difficult and uncomfortable. In this free ECHO session, the presenters will provide advice and suggestions on how to handle these exchanges in a professional, empathic, and compassionate way. Learn how our own personal feelings, emotions, and anxiety can influence and affect these conversations. Participants will practice new communication strategies and prepare a blueprint of action for future challenging conversations. 

Information Session – The CAPACITI program

This session provides an introduction to CAPACITI, a free education program for interprofessional primary care teams across Canada to learn how to integrate a palliative care approach in their practices. This session is for anyone who may be interested in participating in the CAPACITI program but would like to learn more.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Special Lecture

This lecture is honours international leaders in the field of hospice palliative care and to provide a platform to spread hospice and palliative care awareness and knowledge. Professor Irene J. Higginson will address hospice palliative care service provision in times of crisis and link to the theme of the World Day: Equity in Access to Palliative Care.

A Culture of Compassion in Canadian Workplaces

Canadians spend a large part of their adult life in the workplace, and a positive workplace culture is critical both for the success of the organization and the well-being of employees. The burden of caregiving, grief and serious illness affects all Canadians and can have serious impacts on employee wellness, engagement and productivity. A compassionate company and workplace culture can provide support to employees in their time of need and help build stronger workplaces and stronger communities. 

Personal Support Worker Community of Practice Series

This community of practice is for those interested in connecting with peers in sessions that are facilitated by practice coaches. Participants will have opportunities to bring knowledge to action in quality palliative care delivery, skill building through case-based discussions, shared experience, practice pearls, gold standard tools, breakout rooms, role play, etc.

This series is made up of 14 sessions taking place from November 2021 to June 2022. Recordings are made available to those who register for the sessions.

  • Introductory Session – PowerPoint
  • Essential Communication Skills Part 1PowerPoint
  • Essential Communication Skills Part 2PowerPoint
  • Tools Practicum Part 1 – PowerPoint
  • Tools Practicum Part 2 – PowerPoint
  • Pain and Shortness of Breath ManagementPowerPoint
  • The Personal Support Worker Role in the Last Days and HoursPowerPoint
  • End of Life Medications and Side Effects – PowerPoint
  • End of Life DeliriumPowerpoint 
  • Post-Mortem Care: Cultural Consideration and What Happens at the Funeral Home – Powerpoint 
  • Culturally Relevant Care – Powerpoint 
  • Trauma Informed Care and Cultural Safety – Powerpoint 
  • End-of-Life Care in Indigenous Contexts: Spotlight on the Six Nations Palliative Program – Powerpoint 
  • Understanding Tubes, Pumps, Bags, and Lines – Powerpoint 

Long-Term Care Community of Practice Series

This community of practice is for health care professionals, administrators, and system leaders working in long-term care. Participants will have the opportunity to build on foundational palliative care knowledge and practice their skills through a 13-part series that will include knowledge exchange opportunities and interactive, case-based discussions.

  • Introductory Session – PowerPoint
  • The Palliative Approach as Part of the Continuum of Care PowerPoint
  • The Palliative Approach as an Inter-Professional, Team-Based Approach PowerPoint
  • Individuals and their Loved Ones as Members of the Team – PowerPoint
  • Advance Care Planning – PowerPoint
  • Resources for Long-Term Care: Pre and Post Pandemic – PowerPoint
  • Spiritual and Religious Care as Part of the Holistic Approach – PowerPoint

Heart Disease Community of Practice Series

This CoP was for interprofessional, palliative care clinicians with an interest in heart disease and heart disease specialists with a passion for palliative care to learn how to integrate palliative care into the cardiac programs and services that they offer. This community of practice explored existing and emerging models of care for various settings, including home care, ambulatory care, and in-patient settings.

  • Overview of Models of Care in Different Care Settings – PowerPoint
  • Models of Care in the Home Care Setting – PowerPoint
  • Models of Care in the Ambulatory Setting – PowerPoint
  • Models of Care in the In-Patient Setting – PowerPoint

Community-Based Primary Palliative Care Community of Practice Series

This community of practice (CoP) focuses on supporting primary care clinicians to integrate primary palliative care in their practices. This program is geared towards any primary health care provider (e.g., physician, nurse, allied health professional). Sessions within this CoP cover topics such as: managing complex pain and symptom management, building on essential communication skills, supporting patients being cared for in the home, access resources in the community and providing bereavement care in the context of complex grief.

  • Symptom Management – PowerPoint
  • Managing Complex Pain – PowerPoint 
  • Managing the Last Hours of Life in the Home – PowerPoint
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 1 – PowerPoint
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 2 – PowerPoint
  • Beyond the Essential Communication Skills Part 3 – PowerPoint
  • Grief and Bereavement and the Identification and Management of Complex Grief – PowerPoint
  • Teamwork in Primary Palliative Care – PowerPoint
  • Grief in Children – PowerPoint
  • Community Palliative Resources – PowerPoint

Fin de vie de maladies neurologiques dégénératives (French only)

This session focuses on end of life of degenerative neurological diseases such as Dementia, Cerebrovascular Disease, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS. Participants will learn the common trajectory of degenerative neurological diseases, frequent complications of these diseases, symptoms at the end of life of degenerative neurological diseases, and early identification of the end of neurological life.

Practical Cannabis for Patients with Palliative Needs 

This session provides a practical overview of the potential benefits and harms of using cannabis for symptom management in patients with palliative care needs.

Pour une approche palliative intégrée: Optimiser la communication entre les intervenants de première ligne et les équipes hospitalières (French only)

This session focuses on how to identify patients who may benefit from palliative care and detect the warning signs of end of life, how to engage in a discussion of goals of care with patients, and how to communicate this information effectively.

Palliative Care Journal Watch

Journal Watch is an ongoing series led by subject matter experts from McMaster University and Queen’s University. Sessions explore key topics in the latest palliative care literature, with a focus on practice change and systems design.

Register for upcoming sessions.

To view past session recordings, slides, featured articles and more, please visit our Journal Watch Page.

Enabling Canadians to Support Caregivers by Strengthening Care Connections

Did you know 8.1 million Canadians are currently providing care to someone they care about? Caregivers provide about 80% of the care a patient receives in the last year of life. Pallium’s Care Connections Program strives to increase care connections that will support caregivers.

This session explores the Care Connections Program which consists of a suite of resources and activities every Canadian can engage in to support the caregiving journey. The primary tool used within this program is the Atlas CareMap, a simple visual diagram of the people involved in providing care to a caregiver or care recipient.

This session is for caregivers and anyone who wants to support a caregiver (including health care professionals).

The Sustainability Guide - Helping Compassionate Community Initiatives Achieve Impact

The Compassionate Communities Sustainability Guide strengthens Compassionate Community initiatives by equipping those supporting and leading the work with best practices for sustainable community-led initiatives, tools to initiate these best practices, and case studies. This guide builds off the startup phase and helps Compassionate Communities with the next phase of development—scale and spread.

This session is co-hosted by Public Health Palliative Care International and explores how to use the guide and provide an overview of best practices when it comes to creating social change. The latter half of this session will be participatory and an opportunity to bring forward specific barriers you are facing in sustaining a Compassionate Community initiative. 

Download a copy of the Compassionate Communities Sustainability Guide.

Essential Conversations - Creating a Better Illness Experience for Patients and Families in the Home

This session provides home care workers with insights, knowledge and practical tools to have better conversations with patients and their families about their serious illness, including what to expect as their illness progresses.

La gestion des cas complexes au centres d'hébergement de soins de longue durée (CHSLD) (French session)

This interactive ECHO session focuses on the management of complex palliative care cases in the long-term care setting. The presenters will discuss topics such as delirium, medication, food, nutrition, and hydration.

 

Opioid Use Disorder in Palliative Care

The prevalence of opioid use disorder remains high and represents a public health crisis. Knowledge about opioid use disorder in the context of serious illness is necessary for those providing palliative care.

This session explores how we respond to the needs of those with opioid use disorder and how we can mitigate their risks.

Atlas CareMap Workshop with Compassionate Communities Kingston

An Atlas CareMap is a simple, visual diagram of the people involved in providing care to a caregiver and care recipient. A care map increases the understanding of a caregiver’s journey, who is involved, and where additional care connections can provide additional support.

This workshop is co-hosted by Compassionate Communities Kingston and helps participants create their map, reflect on it, explore areas for additional help, and learn how to share their map to increase their support network. Participants will also learn about the many free resources they can use to help others create their care map within the community or a health care practice.

This session is for caregivers and anyone who supports caregivers or seniors, including health care professionals and organizations who run community programs for seniors.

Fin de vie de maladies neurologiques dégénératives 2 (French session)

As part of a collaboration with Palli-Science, this session focuses on end-of-life Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Participants will learn the key symptoms of degenerative neurological diseases at the end of life, how to best relieve these symptoms, and how to recognize the warning signs of impending end of life.

Atlas CareMap Workshop with The Dorothy Ley Hospice

An Atlas CareMap is a visual diagram highlighting the caregiver’s journey and those who care for the caregiver or care recipient. By creating a care map, a caregiver can see where additional care connections could provide added support.

This workshop is co-hosted by The Dorothy Ley Hospice and will help participants create their map, reflect on it, explore areas for additional help, and learn how to share their map to increase their support network. Participants will also learn about the many free resources they can use to help others create their care map within the community or a health care practice.

This session is for caregivers and anyone who wants to support a caregiver (including health care professionals).

Peaufiner l’art de l’accompagnement des personnes en soins palliatifs et de leurs proche (French session)

As part of a collaboration with Palli-Science, this session focused on various themes related to the art of accompanying people receiving palliative care. These include an exploration of the wishes of the person and their loved ones, the approach to care as an act of relationship, etc. In addition, participants will learn to identify and understand complex relational situations in palliative care that challenge care providers.

Fin de vie de maladie pulmonaire chronique (French session)

As part of a collaboration with Palli-Science, this session focuses on end-of-life chronic lung disease. Participants will learn the key symptoms of advanced lung disease, how to best relieve these symptoms, and how to recognize the warning signs of impending end-of-life.

Using Pain Pumps in the Home

Pain is a common clinical problem in palliative care. The use of pain pumps (small, computerized devices administered subcutaneously) has several advantages for pain control. Some of these advantages include ensuring a steady infusion of medication(s) with reliable absorption if inserted in unaffected tissue and allowing combinations of drugs to be administered parenterally in a manner that is more convenient than repeated and painful injections. This session provides helpful information on what a pain pump is, different types, when to use one, advantages vs. disadvantages of using them, typical opioids used with pumps, administering the pump, and much more.

Past ECHO Project newsletters

Interested in what the Palliative Care ECHO Project has been up to lately? Get up to date by viewing our past ECHO newsletters below:

Hub Partners

Hub partners are at the heart of the Palliative Care ECHO Project and are critical to adapting the Project programming to meet their stakeholders’ needs. Through the leadership of these amazing organizations, existing programs and resources can reach more health care providers and learners and new content and programming can be rapidly shared, developed, and deployed to fill gaps and enhance learning opportunities.

Semi-Annual Reports

Check out the Palliative Care ECHO Project’s latest Semi-Annual Report to learn more about key accomplishments, impact, and evaluation.

FAQ

For more details on the Palliative Care ECHO Project, please access our Frequently Asked Questions

About ECHO

Project ECHO (which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) was developed in 2003. It is a hub and spoke model that connects primary care providers to specialists to support learning for the care of their patients.

At its heart is videoconferencing that connects health care providers in communities (“spokes”) with teams of specialists and experts at regional and national centers (“hubs”) to to provide comprehensive recommendations for treatment, and in some cases includes patients in these discussions for direct consultations.

The hubs are at the heart of the ECHO model and are critical to adapting ECHO to meet local or regional needs by integrating ECHO sessions with existing educational, capacity building and support programs.

Funding acknowledgement

The Palliative Care ECHO Project is supported by a financial contribution from Health Canada.​ The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.