Central Hub:
A dynamic approach to sharing knowledge

SKIP’s Central Canada Hub has a dynamic approach to sharing knowledge with their audiences, from free learning modules for health professionals to starting a brand-new YouTube channel for children and families. Last summer, SKIP’s Central Canada Hub brought together emergency department leaders from children’s hospitals across Ontario to pool evidence and address gaps in children’s pain management in emergency room settings. This resulted in the development of a free online training module to reduce variability and improve quality in pediatric pain care in emergency room settings across the province. In parallel, patient partners suggested that having a YouTube channel would be the most practical and effective way to answer key pain questions for children and families.

Whether in Saskatoon or St. John’s, SKIP believes every child who enters an emergency room should have access to evidence-based, high-quality pain care. Our recent collaboration with pediatric emergency medicine leaders in Ontario took the first steps to reduce variability in pain management options in emergency departments.

In June, 2021, SKIP’s Central Canada Hub, based at Toronto’s SickKids, held a province-wide meeting that brought together 4 emergency department heads (McMaster Children’s, CHEO, SickKids, London Health Sciences) and 4 emergency physicians from Ontario’s children’s hospitals. The goal was to offer any pain related support to their institution or region, and to learn what worked well in their departments so that SKIP could help amplify and spread best pain related practices. This stemmed from a needs assessment of 6 community hospitals (Markham Stouffville, Soldier’s Memorial, Pembroke Regional, Humber River, Michael Garron & Southlake Regional) the Central Hub did with the Kids Health Alliance which identified more training was needed for emergency staff in distraction techniques, topical anesthetics, and pediatric IV skills.

The one-day meeting, facilitated in partnership with Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, put in motion a new online training module for acute pain in the emergency room. The module is led by Dr. Sasha Litwin, an emergency department physician at SickKids, and Dr. Naveen Poonai, an emergency department physician at the Children’s Hospital, part of London Health Sciences Centre.

“Most children seek care in a regional centre that is staffed by physicians who treat adults, and those physicians aren’t really trained in managing children’s pain. We know that children’s pain is vastly undertreated when compared to adults, and we have over 30 years of evidence to show that,” said Dr. Poonai. “With this new acute pain module, we want to synthesize the current evidence and get it onto a platform that is freely accessible and very easy to understand, but also actionable for community providers.”

This new module is comprehensive, offering training and resources from triage assessment through to discharge. It will be joining 12 others on SickKids’ Online Paediatric Pain Curriculum, a free platform for health professionals to learn about pain with clinical, basic science and ethical themes through 20-minute, interactive training modules that offer a certificate of completion. While the focus of these modules is a clinical setting, anyone who wants to know more about children’s pain management can register online, including parents and caregivers.

As we worked on developing this new module, another gap became clear; learning resources for children, parents, and caregivers, delivered in a familiar and user-friendly way. “Misinformation on the internet is a large issue for families seeking information and guidance as they begin to navigate their journey with pain. Websites with dense, hard-to-process text can be overwhelming for children, teens, and caregivers as they try to learn the language of pain and pain management,” shares Vina Mohabir, Patient Partner and active member of SKIP’s Patient and Caregiver Advisory Council. The perspectives of patient partners led to the Central Hub’s latest project; developing evidence-based informational videos on children’s pain management for a YouTube channel, with patient partners actively guiding the entire process.

“Engaging videos are another way we can translate information about pain from a source folks can trust. This idea came from children, teens, and caregivers - and it's exciting to see the impact of listening, learning, and creating with people with lived experience. We hope these videos will engage and empower Canadian kids, teens, and families on their pain management journey,” Vina explains. Throughout the development of this YouTube channel she worked with Chad to support an extensive needs assessment that asked children and families to identify what questions need to be answered through these YouTube videos. We are now well on our way to launching the channel!

Although developed within Ontario, all these new materials will be valuable to people across Canada. “Access to SKIP’s network has helped get these projects off the ground,” said Chad. “Now, leveraging that same network, we have the opportunity to amplify these tools nationally to create systematic change for kids in pain.”

To stay up to date on these exciting projects, make sure you follow @SKPainCentre on Twitter!