Project ECHO

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ‘ECHO’ stand for?
What is Project ECHO™
How do patients make an appointment at ECHO?
How does a clinician connect?
What benefits do clinicians experience?
Are there benefits to the community?
Are there any requirements to join a Tele-ECHO Clinic?
Are there other considerations to joining a Tele-ECHO clinic?
Is this how you monitor outcomes?
What costs are involved just joining a clinic?
Then, who supports your work?
What is Unique about Project ECHO™?

What does ‘ECHO’ stand for?
Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes.

What is Project ECHO™
Project ECHO™ is an innovative healthcare program developed to treat chronic and complex disease in rural and underserved areas through the use of telemedicine technology. Through the use of this technology, Project ECHO™ bridges the gap between specialty care and providers in community settings.

Project ECHO™ works by creating an effective and efficient way for community providers to interface with the University specialist to receive guidance, treatment strategy, and continuing medical education. Project ECHO™ also builds the capacity of community providers and empowers them by building their knowledge and skills in specialty areas.

How do patients make an appointment at ECHO?
Project ECHO™ does not see patients. Our Tele-ECHO clinics connect primary care partners (PCP) to specialists who help co-manage rural and underserved patients with common chronic conditions. You may wish to present a case to a specialist or simply join others in the spirit of learning, similar to grand rounds. Clinician partners include physicians, mid-levels, clinic nurses, medical assistants, community health workers.

How does a clinician connect?
Please contact Susanne Cusick at Susanne.cusick@hsc.utah.edu for more information.

What benefits do clinicians experience?

  • Evidence-based, best practice guidance from specialists
  • Case-based "learning-loop"
  • Didactic presentations from faculty
  • No cost CME, CEU, CE for participation
  • Opportunity for "One-on-One Training" with specialists at University of Utah Healthcare
  • Access to standardized credentialing in disease management
  • Live Q & A
  • Opportunity to translate new knowledge into practice to improve outcomes for chronic conditions common to primary providers

Are there benefits to the community?

  • Improved specialty care access to rural and underserved populations
  • Allows patients to be treated locally by their PCP who learns to treat common chronic diseases
  • Reduction of carbon emissions as a result of reduced travel time to specialist

Are there any requirements to join a Tele-ECHO Clinic?

  • Annual HIPAA training (from your institution)
  • Access to and working knowledge of the following:
    • E-Mail
    • Reliable phone/land line OR
    • Web Access with a Minimum Bandwidth of >300 KB

Are there other considerations to joining a Tele-ECHO clinic?
Yes, there are excellent opportunities to participate in research, surveys and opinion polls.

Is this how you monitor outcomes?
Yes. Outcomes research is optional and extremely valuable in order to demonstrate the success of our programs.

What costs are involved just joining a clinic?
Participation is free.

Then, who supports your work?
Project ECHO™ is supported by the University of Utah and University Healthcare

What is Unique about Project ECHO™™?

  • Builds new capacity in Primary Care- Project ECHO™ will simultaneously connect up to 50 providers in any one “clinic” sharing cases and experience. This method very rapidly expands the depth and breadth of knowledge of these providers to provide outstanding Hepatitis C care.
  • Specialist Mentoring- Project ECHO™ pairs case based learning with co-management of patients by Primary Care Providers and U of U Specialist. This type of learning and mentorship would not be possible in traditional telemedicine relationships.
  • Quality of Care- Patients receiving care from Project ECHO™ providers have been shown to have the same if not better outcomes as those being treated in specialty care. Treatment is safe, effective, timely, and much more cost effective
  • Provider Education and Satisfaction- Project ECHO™ not only improves care in the rural and remote locations; it has the added benefit of connecting isolated providers, continuing education and improving satisfaction and retention rate in areas where it is often hardest to keep good providers