Introduction: Primary care practices manage common endocrine disorders with population health and quality of care initiatives that often include algorithmic and protocol-driven workflows. Endo ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a division of Project ECHO, a program that engages primary care physicians (PCPs) in didactic presentations and case discussions to augment conceptual (experiential, nuanced) rather than algorithmic (rote) learning.
Methods: MaineHealth Endo ECHO was designed using the Project ECHO model, which facilitates interactive learning opportunities by connecting specialty providers and PCPs to share best practices for delivering care via video-conferencing. Using a hub-and-spoke model, providers connect for an hour each month in sessions comprising a short didactic component and a 45-minute case presentation and discussion. For MaineHealth Endo ECHO, Maine Medical Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Center served as a subspecialty hub that engaged eight spoke sites at eight hospitals in Maine and New Hampshire. In video-networked clinics, participants engaged in a didactic presentation providing state-of-the-art information on managing endocrine disorders followed by a discussion of complex patients presented by PCPs from spoke sites. Participants were evaluated for changes in their knowledge and confidence after the sessions.
Results: Feedback from surveys of PCPs at spoke sites revealed an improvement in knowledge of the topic and when to consult with a specialist, and increased confidence managing the care of the case.
Conclusions: Endo ECHO was successfully introduced as a feasible and sustainable program in Maine that improved physician knowledge and confidence. This program may be replicated for other specialties.
Brodsky, Irwin; Ingram, Joan; O'Brien, Stacy; Ngo, Tho; and Winchell, Charles T. (2019) "Rationale and design of an endocrinology education program for primary care in Maine: initiation of MaineHealth Endo ECHO Maine," Journal of Maine Medical Center: Vol. 1 : Iss. 1 , Article 9. Available at: https://doi.org/10.46804/2641-2225.1013