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ECHO Explained

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. (echo.unm.edu, 2019)

If you wish to learn more about Project ECHO please visit the University of New Mexico’s website and if you would like to discuss ways in which Highland Hospice might help you develop your own ECHO communities of practice (in any healthcare field, not just palliative and end of life care) please contact either Kirsty Bateson, Project ECHO Development Officer at k.bateson@highlandhospice.org.uk or Jeremy Keen at j.keen@highlandhospice.org.uk.

Principles of the ECHO model