A force multiplier: Spreading medical knowledge, expanding health care capacity
Project ECHO creates communities of practice where primary care providers and specialists work together with the goals of gaining and spreading new medical knowledge and applying it to patient care. In the process, it is revolutionizing care delivery.
The ECHO model organizes medical education, practice, and research around weekly virtual clinics, or grand rounds, that focus on case-based learning. These sessions share specialized knowledge and best practices that exist primarily in academic medical centers with community-based primary care clinicians, who develop new expertise for providing care in their own communities.
Although no patients are seen during an ECHO clinic, together, university-based specialists and primary care clinicians in the field actually manage patients with highly complex chronic diseases such as hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis.
In this way, Project ECHO exponentially expands the capacity of the health care workforce to provide high-quality, specialized care to patients in their own communities. This is what Dr. Arora calls the “force multiplier effect.”