Project Echo – Telementoring for Complex Health Conditions

Project echo is a telementoring program that connects primary care physicians with multidisciplinary teams of specialists. This method is designed to improve the care for patients suffering from complicated health conditions, particularly in communities with low access to healthcare.

The ECHO model, which was developed in 2003 by the University of New Mexico, concentrates on treating hepatitis C in prisons and communities that are not served. The ECHO model is now being replicated around the world in numerous areas of clinical practice, including asthma, diabetes chronic pain, asthma, and rheumatology. The ECHO model is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the GE Foundation, and the Leona M. and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust.

During ECHO sessions, participants present de-identified cases and participate in group discussions with content experts via videoconferencing technology. In this “all teach, all learn” format, providers share their knowledge and experience with others to help answer questions, provide feedback and make clinical recommendations.

The ECHO model also allows remote monitoring of the patient’s outcomes. Specialists from the University of New Mexico monitor each community provider’s plans for treatment to ensure their patients receive high-quality care. If a patient does not adhere to the prescribed treatment The specialists may suggest mid-course corrections. This helps avoid treatment failure and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. Additionally, specialists can utilize the ECHO system to track data and find gaps in care. This information is then shared with local healthcare professionals to enable them to better serve their patients.

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