Project ECHO, Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, is a revolutionary guided-practice model that reduces health disparities in under-served and remote areas of the state, nation, and world.
Through innovative telementoring, the ECHO model uses a hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing approach where expert teams lead virtual clinics, amplifying the capacity for providers to deliver best-in-practice care to the underserved in their own communities.
This model enables clinicians who have limited access to pediatric sub-specialists; like endocrinologists, neurologists and psychologists, to be able to discuss their challenging cases and to garner group feedback on patient management.
Project ECHO has been recognized globally as a successful tool to improve patient care outcomes. Unlike telemedicine, this tele-mentoring model does not foster a health care provider and patient relationship. ECHO follows these four key principles:
- Subscribes to the disease management model of care that aims to improve quality, reduce variety, and standardize best practices.
- Fosters multidisciplinary partnerships that increase access to care and reduce health care costs.
- Engages health care providers to participate in case‐based learning under guided practice to provide specialized care to their own patients.
- Utilizes technology to promote face-to-face mentorship and sharing of knowledge and experience by experts and peers without the need for cost-intensive supervision, in-person trainings, and travel.
Project ECHO® is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide the application of best practices. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct learning sessions about evidence-based practices in education, health, and disability services. With this method, educators, healthcare providers, special service providers, case managers, administrators, and families have access to expert advice right in their homes, schools, and offices.
ECHO Networks provide ongoing support for educators, healthcare providers, and families in a rural state where specialized knowledge is not always locally available. By removing these barriers to specialized knowledge, outcomes for students, patients, and families are improved.
Project ECHO is a collaborative model of education and care management that empowers clinicians to implement best practices wherever they live. The ECHO model™ increases access to rural and underserved areas by providing knowledge and support.
This is often described as a HUB and SPOKE model of learning.