Project Echo – Telementoring for Complex Health Conditions

Project echo is a telementoring model that connects primary care clinicians with inter-disciplinary teams of specialists. This approach is intended to improve the care of patients with complex medical conditions especially in rural areas and those who are underserved.

The ECHO model, first developed in 2003 by the University of New Mexico, focuses on treating hepatitis C in prisons and underserved populations. The ECHO model has since been replicated around the globe in various areas of clinical practice including diabetes, asthma chronic pain, asthma, and Rheumatology. The ECHO model has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as Get More Information well as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as well as the GE Foundation and the Leona M. and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust.

In ECHO sessions, participants present de-identified case studies and participate in group discussion with experts on content via videoconferencing. In this “all-teach learning, all-learn” format, providers share experiences and knowledge to help answer questions, give feedback, and provide recommendations.

The ECHO model also allows remote monitoring of patient outcomes. Specialists from the University of New Mexico monitor the plans of each community-based provider’s treatment to ensure that their patients receive the best care possible. The specialists are able to make mid-course adjustments when the patient is not adhering to the prescribed therapy. This can prevent treatment failure and increases the chance of a positive outcome. Specialists can also use the ECHO system to track data and identifying any gaps in care. This information is then fed back to local doctors so that they can better assist their patients.

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