Project Echo – Telementoring for Complex Health Conditions

Project echo is a type of telementoring that links primary-care doctors with multi-disciplinary teams. This model is designed to enhance care for patients with complex health issues, particularly in communities with low access to healthcare.

The ECHO model was developed at the University of New Mexico in 2003 and was primarily focused on treating the hepatitis C patients from populations that are underserved and prisons. The ECHO model is now being replicated around the globe in various areas of clinical practice, including asthma, diabetes chronic pain, asthma and Rheumatology. The ECHO model has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as well as the Agency for Healthcare smart room data room Research and Quality (AHRQ), the GE Foundation and the Leona M. and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust.

During ECHO sessions participants present cases that have been identified and participate in group discussions with the experts in the field via videoconferencing technology. In this “all teach all learn” format, providers share their expertise and knowledge with other participants to answer questions, give feedback, and provide clinical recommendations.

The ECHO model allows remote monitoring of the patient’s outcomes. Specialists from the University of New Mexico monitor the plans of each community-based provider’s treatment to ensure their patients receive high-quality care. The doctors may make adjustments at mid-course if the patient is not adhering to the prescribed treatment. This can stop treatment failure and increases the chance of a positive outcome. Additionally, specialists can utilize the ECHO system to track their data and find gaps in care. This information is later fed back to local doctors so that they can better serve their patients.

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