About Project ECHO

ECHOProject ECHO is a learning framework designed to build capacity of professionals and community members to provide evidence-based services. ECHO participants engage in a virtual community with their peers where they share support, guidance and feedback. During an ECHO session, participants present real (anonymized) cases to the expert team—and each other—for discussion and recommendations.

The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks.  Hub and spoke knowledge-sharing networks create a learning loop:

  • Community providers learn from specialists.
  • Community providers learn from each other.
  • Specialists learn from community providers as best practices emerge

ECHO History and Philosophy

Project ECHO was launched in 2003 as a healthcare initiative before expanding into other domains. It grew out of one doctor’s vision. Sanjeev Arora, M.D., a liver disease specialist at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, was frustrated that he could serve only a fraction of the hepatitis C patients in the state. He wanted to serve as many patients with hepatitis C as possible, so he created a free, educational model and mentored community providers across New Mexico in how to treat the condition.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that hepatitis C care provided by Project ECHO trained community providers was as good as care provided by specialists at a university.

The ECHO model is not traditional “telemedicine” where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but is instead telementoring, a guided practice model where the participating clinician retains responsibility for managing the patient.

  • Amplification – use technology to leverage scarce resources
  • Best practices – to reduce disparity
  • Case-based learning – to master complexity
  • Data – monitor outcomes with our web-based database

 All Teach, All Learn

When all the principles are applied, a learning community in which “All Teach and All Learn” comes together. This includes:

  • Interactive Components
  • Guided Practice
  • Ongoing Mentorship
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning
  • Collaborative Problem Solving