- What is ECHO?
- How is ECHO model different from traditional telemedicine?
- What is a teleECHO clinic?
- Why should I or my health center consider participating in teleECHO clinics? What are the benefits?
- Is there a fee to join?
- When do teleECHO clinics occur?
- How do I register?
- Is the ECHO clinic approved for Continuing Medical Education?
1. What is ECHO?
Project ECHO, developed by Dr. Sanjeev Aurora at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2003, provides a framework for sharing expertise across the state and as a result will help patients get access to care without leaving the providers they trust and the communities where they live and work.
ECHO uses technology to leverage medical expertise, reduces disparities in care by sharing knowledge, and provides case-based learning to enhance mastery of new information. Evaluation of the programs through UNM, and around the world, showed increased patient and provider satisfaction, retention of patients in their medical home, equal or better patient outcomes when treated in their community by their provider, enhanced retention of providers in underserved areas, reduced costs of treating late-stage disease and improved public health prevention efforts.
2. How is ECHO model different from traditional telemedicine?
The ECHO model is not 'traditional telemedicine' where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but instead is a guided practice model where the participating providers retain responsibility for managing their patients. In other words, specialists at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health ECHO Center at IUPUI provide telementorship to participating providers who are learning how to apply best practice strategies in their own practices.
3. What is a teleECHO clinic?
A teleECHO clinic is essentially virtual grand rounds. Primary care providers from multiple locations around the state of Indiana connect at regularly scheduled times with a team of specialists using low-cost, multi-point videoconferencing. During teleECHO clinics providers present patient cases to specialist expert teams who mentor the providers to manage patients with common, complex conditions. These case-based discussions are supplemented with short didactic presentations to improve content knowledge and share evidence based best practices.
4. Why should I or my health center consider participating in teleECHO clinics? What are the benefits?
Project ECHO is a unique tool that enables providers to improve their expertise while treating patients with common complex conditions rather than referring them on to specialists. Patients will receive care in their local communities with providers they trust – you. As a participant, you will have weekly access to a panel of experts as well as a community of colleagues from around the state who are committed to improving patient care. Participating in ECHO can increase patient retention in your practice and improve patient satisfaction.
- Provider development and retention
Through Project ECHO, primary care providers acquire new skills and competencies, expanding access to care. They become part of a community of learners, increasing professional satisfaction and decreasing feelings of professional isolation. For a health center, this means that providers are more productive and stay in their positions longer.
- Continued learning
Health centers and their providers also enjoy no-cost access to continued learning and specialist consultations during the teleECHO clinics. This enables health centers to be part of a knowledge network.
- Increased efficiency
ECHO has allowed health centers to see more patients and to better utilize their staff to serve more patients overall. The model allows health centers to be part of a professional network and referral network, making it easier to get patients in to be seen, a process which previously could take weeks. This standardization of ‘best practices’ also strengthens the health system as a whole.
5. Is there a fee to join?
Joining an ECHO project at the RMFSPH ECHO Center is free to all providers. ECHO clinics will meet online using freely available, web-based Zoom videoconferencing. Each session will consist of a brief didactic presentation of a topic related to medical care and presentations and discussions of case patients by participating providers. The group of 25-30 community providers will have the opportunity to work through each case in a collaborative fashion and receive guidance from the multidisciplinary expert ECHO team. To participate, you only need to have access to the Internet. Participation with a webcam is highly encouraged but not absolutely required.
6. When do teleECHO clinics occur?
The Hepatitis C (HCV) ECHO was the first-ever ECHO clinic hosted in the state of Indiana! HCV ECHO clinics are ongoing every other Thursday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET.
The LGBTQ+ ECHO 90-minute clinics will be from 2:30-4:00pm ET every second and fourth Wednesday of each month.
Each ECHO program will run for one year at minimum. ECHO participants are highly encouraged to regularly join the teleECHO community through these clinic sessions in order to become master care.
7. How do I register?
If you are interested in registering for a ECHO program through the RMFSPH ECHO Center, please fill out a brief form. Once registered, a packet of information will be sent to you via email. We hope you’ll consider joining us for an ECHO program in Indiana!
8. Is the ECHO clinic approved for Continuing Medical Education?
Yes, AMA PRA Category Credit(s)™ is available for most ECHO clinics and are awarded by Indiana University School of Medicine.
The Indiana University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
For the HCV ECHO clinics, the Indiana University School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of one AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.
Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support, educational programs sponsored by the Indiana University School of Medicine must demonstrate balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor.
For questions about CME, please contact:
Division of Continuing Medical Education