Ask the Expert: Medline’s Skin Matters™ Learning Program

Effective wound care education in long-term care (LTC) homes is crucial for improving outcomes, preventing complications and enhancing overall quality of life for residents.

In this Ask the Expert, we speak with Medline Canada’s Patricia Howlett, Senior Director of Clinical Support Specialists in LTC, and Shelley Wright, Director of Corporate Accounts, LTC, to explore Medline’s newest offering, Skin Matters™, a learning program developed for front-line workers.

Q:How did the Skin Matters learning program come about? 

We realized an opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of front-line workers in LTC homes. Knowing that frontline workers’ time was limited, we developed the Skin Matters™ learning program with key target topics that are most relevant to skincare within LTC homes to enhance better outcomes for residents. 

Q:What are the Skin Matters learning program’s primary objectives?

The Skin Matters learning program has three primary objectives: increasing knowledge and awareness of skin health, increasing self-learning within LTC homes, and improving residents' skin health outcomes.

Q: What is the breakdown of the curriculum within the Skin Matters learning program? 

The Skin Matters learning program is structured into six modules, each featuring 10 to 20-minute videos. Each module ends with a short knowledge survey before moving on to the next one. 

We know staff’s time is limited, which is why the curriculum has been designed so staff can complete the modules at their own pace. This makes it more time efficient and delivers high-level knowledge at a very comprehensive level.

The other key thing that we wanted to do with the videos in the program was to make them interactive, so they were more visually stimulating to watch, not like reading a book or watching a presentation that you have to read.

Q: What specific skin concerns or conditions does the Skin Matters aim to address?

Skin Matters was designed to address wound protection and to prevent wounds from occurring. The program consists of six modules related to the main areas of focus for LTC caregiver education: 

  • Skin health
  • Skin tears
  • UTI’s, perineal care & catheter care
  • MASD
  • Let’s Take the Pressure Off!
  • Nutrition & Skin
Q: Who is the Skin Matters learning program best suited for?

This Skin Matters learning program was designed specifically for front-line workers and caregivers working in LTC. This includes personal support workers, health care aides, continuing care assistants and registered staff.

Q:How will the Skin Matters learning program be delivered? Is it online and on-demand?

The Skin Matters learning program is delivered as self-learning online. It can be completed through three different channels: Medline University, Surge and a workbook for those unable to access these learning platforms. We encourage LTC homes to form committees, known as Champions, with key staff dedicated to the program. They can complete the program as a group or individually. Either way, it is a great way to expand their knowledge and enhance skin health within a home. After completing the program, a certificate of completion is provided.

Q:How will the Skin Matters enhance practitioners' skills? What are the expected results/outcomes from participating in the program?

The educational videos featured in Skin Matters will increase LTC staff's knowledge, judgment, and skills in their daily practices. The program teaches how to assess someone's skin to see if it's broken down and what the first response should be. It will also teach how to identify skin issues and prevent skin issues from developing. The goal is prevention.

Q:What resources or supports are available to participants throughout the Skin Matters learning program?

We include additional reading resources as part of the Skin Matters learning program. Additional learning documents are also attached to the program, and Medline’s LTC Clinical Support team is always available for on-site education. If anyone would like to re-watch one of the module videos later, that is also available to them. 

Q: How can my staff sign up for the Skin Matters?

To sign up for Medline’s Skin Matters, please visit or speak to your Medline LTC Clinical Support Clinician.