Project ECHO and Opioid Education: a Systematic Review
Purpose of Review
The widespread incidence of morbidity and mortality associated with opioid use disorder (OUD) has resulted in a national crisis. One component of this public health epidemic includes a lack of an adequately trained healthcare workforce to provide opioid case management, prescribing, and dispensing. The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) is a tele-mentoring, guided practice model, which provides knowledge exchange from specialists and subspecialists to enable primary care providers and clinicians to deliver best practice care for complex health conditions like OUD. Project ECHO is considered a promising strategy to address the trained healthcare workforce shortage, especially in remote and traditionally underserved areas.
We conducted a systemic review of the literature to evaluate the impact of Opioid /Addiction Treatment Project ECHO programs on participant (healthcare provider) and patient outcomes. Overall, studies show increases in provider self-efficacy and knowledge gains after participation in Project ECHO. Benefits and barriers to participation in Project ECHO clinics are discussed.
Project ECHO for OUD is an effective telehealth practitioner training and support model that promotes advances in provider knowledge and self-efficacy. Further research examining evidence on cost-effectiveness, practitioner, and patient outcomes is needed.
Holmes, C.M., Keyser-Marcus, L., Dave, B. et al. Project ECHO and Opioid Education: a Systematic Review. Curr Treat Options Psych 7, 9–22 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40501-020-00199-8