Led by Feng Chang, Tejal Patel, Rosemary Killeen and Agnes Kluz, the Opioid Education Partnership will develop and implement a collaborative, web-based education program for evidence-based opioid management that targets physicians, pharmacists, students and trainees.
Research coordinator: Heba Tallah Mohammed
Program evaluator and scientific writer: Jilan Yang
Communications coordinator: Joe Petrik
Pharmacy student: Heidi Fernandes
Clinical pharmacy co-op student: Brittany Cook
Funded by a $720,330 grant from Health Canada’s Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund
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The Opioid Education Partnership aims to develop a web-based education program for physicians, pharmacists, students and trainees. Its goal is to increase their understanding of opioid misuse, improve knowledge dissemination, and encourage healthcare practitioners to uptake evidence-based opioid management guidelines.
The partnership will focus on role recognition among physicians and pharmacists, particularly those in primary care. Using an interactive case-based format and a complementary online peer-mentoring forum, the partnership will encourage discussion and collaboration between healthcare professionals, provide practical solutions to manage opioid misuse, and identify key strategies for continuance of care to support appropriate opioid prescribing.
Educational content will address unique patient needs from different perspectives, including their sex and gender, age, socioeconomic class, geography, and language and cultural background. Special attention will be given to support rural, isolated and young practitioners. Students and trainees from both medicine and pharmacy will have the opportunity to participate.
Key project activities
The project has seven key activities, which are summarized below.
- Formation of a project advisory committee
A team with expertise in continuing education, family medicine, clinical pharmacy, pain management, and patient experiences will be formed. The committee will advise on the overall direction of education interventions, content development and design, and facilitate information dissemination and advocacy.
- Co-develop a multifaceted education program including supporting tools
Program development will take place over three phases: best practice and evidence-based guidelines review, content development, and conversion to a multimedia format. The main intervention will be a web-based, interactive education program. All content will be developed and reviewed by physicians and pharmacists with expertise and practice experience.
- Co-develop an online peer-mentoring forum
An online peer-mentoring forum, open to all program participants, will be designed, developed and maintained.
- Accreditation of the program
The education program will be applied for accreditation as a continuing professional development activity to the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy.
- Implement the program for students and trainees as part of their interprofessional education
This activity will build upon partnerships in place between the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, and McMaster University’s Michael DeGroote School of Medicine satellite program in Kitchener. Senior students and family medicine residents will have the opportunity to participate through embedding essential elements of the education program into joint interprofessional activities.
- Implement the program for practitioners in Southwestern Ontario
The program will be rolled out via the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health and the SouthWestern Academic Health Network. With their support, the University of Waterloo will disseminate the education program to physicians and pharmacists at select healthcare settings in Southwestern Ontario, including to rural clinicians in smaller communities.
- Dissemination and advocacy with regulatory bodies
After the program has been tested and refined through the previously noted implementation phases, the University of Waterloo will assist with provincial and national dissemination of the program.