Clinician education focus of Post-Concussion Care Standards roll-out

Education for front-line clinicians is the first step in the implementation plan for the roll-out of the evidence-based Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation Standards for Post-Concussion Care from Diagnosis to the Interdisciplinary Concussion Clinic. The ONF Concussion Advisory Committee came to this conclusion based on the feedback received from patients, families and physicians after the launch of the Standards in June.

“Clinicians are the ones to make decisions about how patients move through the healthcare system,” says Judy Gargaro, ONF Clinical and Systems Implementation Associate with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program. “By ensuring frontline physicians are the well educated about the Standards, ongoing implementation efforts will be on a solid foundation.”

The Concussion Advisory Committee is now exploring the variety of options for clinician education which is likely to include continuing medical education (CME) options targeted at family and emergency physicians who are often first in line to see patients with post-concussion symptoms.

The evidence-based guidance for the interdisciplinary model requires system changes to achieve the post-concussion care pathway – the right care, at the right time by the right health care provider. Although there are clinics and networks already functioning well using an evidence-based model, system-based issues including scope of practice, resourcing or staffing may be barriers for others.

“The health care system isn’t truly set up for the care pathway at this point,” says Corinne Kagan. “Helping frontline clinicians learn about and appreciate the benefits of the 15 Standards is the key to moving everything forward.” With its broad networks of stakeholders including researchers and care providers,

ONF is well placed to lead this implementation process. ONF has taken leadership across the spectrum of post-concussion care regardless of whether the brain injury has occurred as a result of a sports injury, fall or motor vehicle collision. This includes the collaborative development and publication of Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Managing of Pediatric Concussions as well as the Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms.  ONF, with its partner the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) was proud to release the INESSS Clinical Practice Guideline for the Rehabilitation of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI.