Project ECHO Gets Grant to Expand Telehealth Initiative | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Project ECHO Gets Grant to Expand Telehealth Initiative

July 20, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The GE Foundation has announced a three-year, $14 million grant to support Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), an initiative with the aim to expand access to specialty care for underserved patients.

Unlike some forms of telemedicine, which facilitates one-to-one connections in order to provide patient care, Project ECHO creates one-to-many connections among providers to exponentially increase treatment capacity. Project ECHO launched in 2003 at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, with a focus on treating hepatitis C and has since grown significantly across the globe and across numerous other health conditions. In the U.S., dozens of academic medical centers operate teleECHO clinics that address more than 40 health conditions. Globally, teleECHO clinics are running in 10 countries. The Department of Veterans Affairs has its own version of Project ECHO, and the Department of Defense has a global ECHO chronic pain management program.

Project ECHO links community providers with specialist care teams at academic medical centers to manage patients who require complex specialty care. Using basic videoconferencing technology, they participate in weekly teleECHO clinics, where primary care providers from multiple sites present patient cases and work with a multi- disciplinary team of experts to determine treatment. The team mentors community providers to treat conditions that previously were outside their expertise.

The Foundation’s new funding will help increase the number of U.S. federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) participating in Project ECHO nationwide. Through ECHO, community-based primary care providers train in a select specialty area, such as HIV/AIDS or behavioral health, so that patients can get the specialty care they need in their own communities, officials say.

In addition, Project ECHO will partner with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to design and implement a quality improvement ECHO program to support FQHCs in improving effectiveness and efficiency. “Everyone should be able to get the healthcare they need, when they need it, where they live,” said Dr. Sanjeev Arora, the liver disease specialist and social innovator who created Project ECHO. “This support from the GE Foundation will help make access to high-quality specialty care a reality for people in rural and underserved communities. In the process, it will save and improve many, many lives.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.