NSMHPCN is excited to be a hub partner for the Palliative Care ECHO Project!

The Palliative Care ECHO Project is a 5-year national initiative to cultivate communities of practice and establish continuous professional development among health care providers across Canada who care for patients with life-limiting illness. 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.

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.


Our role is to share palliative care knowledge, information, and resources with others across the nation, creating an even better equipped community of health care professionals. As a hub of the Palliative Care ECHO Project, we are part of a large national network created to build collaboration and knowledge-sharing in support of each hub’s efforts to respond to local, regional, or sector-specific needs.

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) has been recognized globally as a leading approach to improving patient care outcomes. Check out this video that further describes the power of ECHO—its connectivity.
What a difference we’ll make together for patients, families, and their caregivers.

Palliative Performance Scale (PPS)

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESASr)

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Aggressively managing the symptoms of patients with a critical life-limiting illness or terminal disease can improve the quality of life for patients and loved ones, regardless of how much time they have remaining. Palliative symptom management approaches disease in a holistic manner, addressing not only the physical aspect of symptoms but also the psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of suffering for total symptom relief. Pain is the most common reason for critical care palliative consultation.

Please join the NSMHPCN Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultants (PPSMC) and Education Facilitators in a five-part series as they present a comprehensive review of the types of pain, assessment of pain, pharmacological and non-pharmacological management and the concept of total pain in palliative care.

Target Audience:     All disciplines of service providers working with patients receiving a palliative approach to care.

Date(s):                   Various, see below.

Time:                       1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

Location:                 Zoom

Pharmacological Management

Non-pharmacological Management

September 28th, 2023

November 30th, 2023

Concept of Total Pain

January 25th, 2024

Evidence-Based Palliative Symptom Assessment and Management

Excellent Palliative symptom assessment and ongoing management are based on the acuity, complexity and variability of the person’s condition. The use of standardized and evidence based tools promote this excellence in practice.

Please join the NSMHPCN Nurse Consultants and Education Facilitators in a comprehensive review of 8 Cancer Care Ontario Symptom Management Algorithms. This review will assist you to identify and manage palliative symptoms, alleviate suffering and improve quality of life for your palliative patients/clients. These evidence-based guidelines are applicable to all palliative symptom assessment and management in patients/clients with or without a cancer diagnosis and can be used in all palliative care settings.

Nausea & Vomiting
Loss of Appetite
Constipation and Diarrhea
Tools in Your Toolbox
The Surprise Question

The SQ, or Surprise Question, was developed more than a decade ago and has been suggested as a simple test to identify patients who might benefit from a palliative approach to care.  It has traditionally involved a clinician reflecting on the question, “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?”  Please join Julie and Nancy as they help us unfold the results when considering if death in the coming year is possible.

Palliative Performance Scale

The Palliative Performance Scale was developed by Victoria Hospice and used to measure performance status in palliative care. It measures five key areas: ambulation, ability to do activities, self-care, food/fluid intake, and level of consciousness. The scale uses 10 % decrements from 100% ( healthy ) to 0% ( death). Please join Sue and Charlene as they discuss the importance and use of this tool in the care of palliative patients.

Edmonton Symptom Assessment System

The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (revised version) is designed to assist in the assessment of: pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, appetite, well being and shortness of breath. The ESAS scores provide clinicians with a patient profile of symptom severity over time. Please join Cathy and Inge for an informative session on why this tool is so important to have and use in your palliative care tool kit.

Clinical Frailty Scale

The Clinical Frailty Scale is a judgement based frailty tool that evaluates specific domains including comorbidity, function and cognition to generate a frailty score from 1 (very fit) to 9 (terminally ill). This tool was originally designed as a geriatric assessment tool and has significant relevance in palliative care.  Please join Charlene and Sue as they guide you through the use of this tool and why it is so relevant in the care of elderly palliative patients.

To view the full complement of upcoming National ECHO Sessions please click on the button below.

National ECHO

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 impact and reporting.

Palliative Care ECHO Project

For more information on the Palliative Care ECHO Project, and the other Hub partners, please visit www.echopalliative.com

Project ECHO

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) has been recognized globally as a leading approach to improving patient care outcomes. There are ECHO partners in 40 countries, operating more than 860 ECHO networks, which have trained more than 140,000 professionals to date. Project ECHO was developed in 2003 at the University of New Mexico and is designed to create virtual communities of learners who are then able to provide better care to patients in their communities.

For more information please visit: https://hsc.unm.edu/echo/

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