Posts tagged ‘Project ECHO’

Project ECHO prepares doctors to manage addiction care closer to home

A large screen contains 12 mini screens showing physicians participating in Project ECHO. The participants are looking into their own web cams as they participate in the session; some are smiling and giving a thumbs up while others are serious. In the foreground, an out-of-focus screen reads “Pop Quiz: Which of these drugs is an opioid?”

Physicians from across Pennsylvania discuss best practices for treating opioid use disorder during the first Project ECHO session at Penn State College of Medicine.

By Katherine Brind’Amour

For patients suffering from opioid use disorder, and for the physicians in small towns across Pennsylvania who are their first level of care, Project ECHO offers hope. The effort aims to give primary care physicians the tools they need to treat the growing group of Pennsylvanians addicted to opioids—many of whom live in regions with no specialized addiction resources. It’s a win-win: patients get a doctor who can treat them close to home, and physicians get to expand their knowledge, their professional network and their relationship with their patients.

The concept comes from a physician at the University of New Mexico who wanted to shorten the wait list at his gastroenterology clinic. Now, more than 220 institutions around the world use Project ECHO for at least 90 disease topics. And Penn State Health researchers hope to influence them all.

“Research evaluating the project hasn’t kept pace with growth of the movement clinically,” says Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewski, director of Project ECHO at Penn State College of Medicine and a Penn State Health primary care clinician-investigator who studies community health interventions. “It is our goal to create an evidence base to support the model and its ability to mentor primary care providers outside of urban academic hubs. We also aim to learn how to best grow and use Project ECHO as an intervention.”

(more…)

February 20, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment


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