Technology, best practices, case-based learning, and outcomes monitoring
Project ECHO is a disease management approach that aims to increase knowledge among providers and standardize best practices for the screening, care, and treatment of a disease. ECHO is built on a core principle of case-based learning, wherein clinicians and healthcare providers from various sites attend a teleconference meeting hosted by a central “hub” team to present individual cases, consult with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, and learn from the cases presented by other providers. Case discussions are highly interactive, capitalizing on the insights of an interdisciplinary team of attendees in the hub and spokes. ECHO sessions offer the opportunity to build a dynamic community of guided practice.
The ECHO model differs from traditional telemedicine in that a team of specialists mentor providers rather than directly treating patients. This allows providers to retain relationships with their patients and build new skillsets through participation in a dynamic community of learning. This model of telementoring builds the capacity of clinics in rural and underserved areas to provide access to expert specialty care.