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About Project ECHO

Project ECHO stands for the Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes

The heart of the ECHO model™ is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use videoconferencing to conduct virtual meetings with multiple healthcare providers.

The ECHO model™ brings together clinical specialist teams (the hub) and primary care clinicians (the spokes). Through teaching sessions and case presentations, the spokes have the opportunity to discuss any cases which they have found challenging and determine the best course of action together. The networks foster a spirit of learning from each other in a safe environment.

Project ECHO is a not-for-profit movement to improve care by gathering a community of practice together for learning and support with the goal of improving decision-making by collaborative problem solving.

The ultimate aim of Project ECHO is to change service delivery models so that improved decision making leads to better and more timely patient care.


How does it work?

The ECHO Model’s Four Key Principles 

The proven approach and methodology of Project ECHO has enabled organisations across the world to reach more patients, to improve clinical decision making and to better support isolated health care professionals.

  1. Using technology to leverage scarce resources

Video conferencing technology, such as Zoom enables busy clinicians to attend teleECHO sessions from wherever they are working. Professionals are able to share learning and best practice across rural, hard to reach areas without the need to travel.

  1. Sharing best practice to reduce disparity

Discussions held within ECHO meetings are well-informed and adhere to standards of practice to ensure that a joined up, standardised approach is taken across all settings.

  1. Case based learning to master complexity

ECHO acknowledges that no one case is the same; by using real-life cases, discussion facilitates learning which goes beyond textbook examples. 

  1. Web-based database to monitor outcomes

Data is stored and analysed using the unique database, iECHO which allows for hubs to complete a thorough evaluation of how their project is transforming service delivery.


Main features of an ECHO Network Session

  • Spoke and hub members have initial meeting to collectively agree a curriculum, times, dates, evaluation and responsibility for presenting teaching and cases at each meeting;
  • Knowledge network meetings are usually 75-120 minutes long;
  • 20-30 minutes teaching from topic expert; 1-2 case presentations based on template followed by network discussion;
  • Start and finish on time
  • Facilitated by a trained, dedicated facilitator;
  • Supported by dedicated IT person and admin person;
  • All sessions can be filmed and along with additional materials forms a private online library that grows with the sessions.

About Project ECHO

Project ECHO stands for the Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes.

8 minute video explaining Project ECHO delivered by:

Professor Max Watson, Project ECHO Programme Director, Hospice UK

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