Touchstone Institute researches, designs and develops education programs for internationally trained health professionals, including international medical graduates (IMGs). Our programs are reviewed, designed and led by health professionals, with the input and guidance of academic professionals. All of our curriculum projects are anchored in current competency frameworks and practice standards.
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Collaborating on Curriculum
Long Term Care (LTC) facilities faced urgent needs for available health care professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ministry of Health approached Touchstone Institute to collaborate with Michener Institute @ UHN on an online learning platform for healthcare workers deployed to LTC.
Touchstone Institute worked collaboratively with subject matter experts to identify critical foundational domains and knowledge for staff in LTC homes. The resulting framework ensures that the online learning platform built by Michener Institute (COVID & Critical Care Learning) adequately addresses key skills required for working in a Long-Term Care setting.
Inputs into the Development of the framework included the National Interprofessional Competency Framework, LTC role descriptions from Ontario Long-Term Care Association, and environmental scans substantiated by nursing SME consultations
Below are the key competencies that emerged:
Gain infection control knowledge as it relates to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for residents, self, and others in the LTC setting
Integrate existing health care knowledge with new knowledge of own and others’ LTC Support Roles, including professional responsibilities and accountabilities in the LTC setting
Apply new knowledge in accordance with resident-centred principles to promote quality of life in the LTC setting
Act in accordance with collaborative principles for a team of health providers and residents in a participatory,
collaborative and coordinated care model
Apply communication strategies that promote collaboration as appropriate to the LTC setting
Communication through Simulation
The Communication through Simulation Project was a curriculum development project to create an experiential learning program targeting professional communication skills for the healthcare workplace. Using a design-thinking methodology, this curriculum development project built on research conducted on communication competencies for regulated health professions in Ontario and leverages the 360° View on Communicative Competence at Work.
Pre-Residency Program Curricula are rooted in the CanMEDS 2015 and CanMEDS-FM 2017 frameworks developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The curricula address competencies specified by the Transition to Discipline and Foundations of Discipline stages in the CBD Competence Continuum. They are designed and validated by health professionals, with the input and guidance of academic professionals. During the program’s clinical teaching sessions, physician facilitators are involved in the daily learning of examinees, while standardized clients act as resources, offering valuable feedback. Supplementary customized sessions on communication, ethics, and provincial regulations are offered by specialists in those areas.
Once a program has been launched, we continue to evaluate, grow and refresh its sessions. All classroom sessions, online modules and individual lecturers are evaluated and overall program evaluation is conducted at the conclusion of each cohort (a group of students).
Evaluation data provides important information on learners’ needs and progress. We use this data to revise and expand courses to ensure they convey relevant, highly contextualized information that supports the learners.
We continually receive feedback regarding the positive impact of our programming through ongoing consultations with Post Graduate Medical Education offices, in addition to Program Directors, Program Coordinators representing specialties where IMGs and visa trainees successfully attain training positions.
Our Pre-Residency Programs (PRP and PRP-FM) are now mandatory for all IMGs who have been accepted into residency positions in the province.