Lisa Sokoloff is the Manager, Training & Simulation at Baycrest’s Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging. She is also a speech-language pathologist. Lisa has worked with older adults for most of her career and has published and presented internationally in the areas of speech pathology, swallowing disorders, education and simulation. Lisa has Lecturer status in the Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
Promoting staff vaccine acceptance in long-term care by sharing knowledge and strategies
Lisa Sokoloff, Baycrest, Canada
Matthew Goulbourne, Baycrest, Canada
Sid Feldman, Baycrest, Canada
Raquel Meyer, Baycrest, Canada
Noah Ivers, University of Toronto, Canada
Ben Robert, The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, Canada
Collette Cameron, The Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place, Canada
Carrie Heer, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Canada
Elke Ruthig, Baycrest, Canada
In early 2021, as COVID-19 vaccines became available in Ontario, long-term care (LTC) was prioritized as an area of need for vaccinations for both residents and staff. Although uptake by LTC residents was high (over 90%), staff vaccination numbers ranged greatly across LTC homes. In our needs assessment survey the average LTC Home staff vaccination rate was approximately 61%. Reasons for vaccine hesitancy varied and included system issues, historical context and personal concerns. We queried why some LTC homes had high vaccination acceptance rates and what strategies were being used to encourage staff to get vaccinated. More importantly, we wondered how those strategies could be shared with less successful homes.
Project ECHO (Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a virtual, capacity-building education program for healthcare providers. In 2018, Baycrest, and North East Specialized Geriatric Centre, implemented “ECHO Care of the Elderly”. In partnership with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care at Baycrest (CLRI) we ran two just-in-time ECHO sessions for leaders in long-term care focused on strategies to increase vaccine acceptance. Following the ECHO format, a short didactic presentation focusing on vaccine acceptance was completed followed by a question and answer period. The bulk of the session was spent discussing cases brought forward by participants in addition to sharing success stories on how vaccine confidence was built in participants’ respective homes. Eighty-six participants attended over the two sessions with 37 (43%) responding to a post-activity survey.
- Provider confidence in their knowledge of COVID-19 vaccines increased from “neutral” to “confident” after the session
- Provider confidence in discussing vaccine acceptance with LTC staff increased from “neutral” to “confident” after the session
- Respondents reported that this session on vaccine acceptance was “valuable” and that they were “satisfied” with the session
- 95% reported they will use information from the session
- 95% would recommend the session to other providers
Participant quote: “The ECHO session was very helpful in providing practical support for vaccine hesitancy. The framework provided allowed for a collaborative approach and resulted in an increased confidence with the vaccines. The open and honest discussion with colleagues was instrumental in creating a safe environment to review challenges”
Discussions during the sessions led to modification of the existing Centre for Effective Practice framework (PrOTCT) for the COVID-19 vaccine discussion to include “e” for empathy (PrOTeCT) to encourage relational centered care specifically in the long-term care setting.