Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) started as a way to meet local healthcare needs. Sanjeev Arora, M.D., a liver disease doctor in Albuquerque, was frustrated that thousands of New Mexicans with hepatitis C could not get the treatment they needed because there were no specialists where they lived. He created Project ECHO so that primary care clinicians could treat hepatitis C in their own communities.
The heart of the ECHO model™ is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community 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 treatment.
The networks foster a spirit of learning from each other in a safe environment.