What is Project ECHO?
Project ECHO is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that facilitates widespread access to emerging medical knowledge. The goal is to exponentially increase workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities.
The heart of the ECHO model™ is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert interdisciplinary teams who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct virtual clinics and deliver brief lectures on best practices with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.
People need access to specialty care for their complex health conditions.
There aren't enough specialists to treat everyone who needs care, especially in rural and underserved communities.
ECHO trains primary care clinicians to provide specialty care services. This means more people can get the care they need.
Patients get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. This improves outcomes and reduces costs.
How does it work?
Project ECHO links expert specialist teams at an academic hub with primary care clinicians and other healthcare professionals in local communities. These healthcare providers, the spokes in the model, become part of a learning community, where they receive mentoring and feedback from the team of experts and specialists. Together, they discuss patient cases so that they can provide the best care for their patients.
Cincinnati ECHO, as with most other ECHOs worldwide, uses Zoom videoconferencing software to connect participants with a panel of experts, remotely from any location. Zoom is free to use to connect to any session. Learn more about connecting here.
ECHO sessions are scheduled once or twice per month. If you sign up, you will be sent a Zoom link to click and participate in the session. That’s it! Cincinnati ECHO currently hosts sessions for Chronic Pain, Epilepsy/Neurology, and Medication Assisted Treatment.
A typical ECHO session is scheduled for one hour as follows:
I. Pearl presentation on best practice(s) by a panel expert (10 minutes)
II. Case presentation by a health care provider participant with clarifying questions by the panel and other participants (10-15 minutes) III. Discussion of the case by all including best practice care approaches as applicable (25-30 minutes)
IV. Summary and next steps (5-10 minutes)
Why does ECHO matter?
Project ECHO gives you as a healthcare provider live access to a physician specialists and an interdisciplinary care team. At the touch of a button, it’s like having a panel on the literature of best practices and resources distilled and responding directly to you and your patient’s needs. The overall goal is overcoming disparities and geography to provide health care equity.
How does this affect you?
Without leaving your home or office, you can curbside your patient’s complex care with a team of experts designed specifically to provide best practice consultation. This saves you and your practice team countless hours of searching through resources and hitting dead ends. This also saves your patients stress, time, and money as they gain access to your increasingly informed care and what works best with their health care coverage.