Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) offers an innovative and low-cost approach to enhancing the management of complex conditions among primary care providers. The NYC Health + Hospitals Buprenorphine ECHO (H + H ECHO) program offers primary care providers (PCPs) training and support in managing opioid use disorder (OUD). This exploratory study assessed the feasibility of a 16-session video conferencing platform led by Addiction Medicine experts in improving addiction knowledge, perceived self-efficacy, and buprenorphine prescribing among PCPs located in 17 publicly-funded ambulatory care clinics. A pre- and post-training survey assessed changes in knowledge and self-efficacy. Buprenorphine prescribing patterns were also captured pre-post training. Training sessions consisted of a review of the agenda by the H + H ECHO hub team, 15-30 min didactic lectures led by specialists, followed by a patient case presentation. Participants attended an average of 9 lectures (range, 1-15 sessions) and 53% of trainees attended at least 10 of the 16 sessions. Perceived self-efficacy improved post-H + H ECHO (73.2%) versus pre-training survey results (58.1%). There were minimal increases in knowledge post-training (58.4%) versus pre-training (51.4%). Only three additional providers reported prescribing Buprenorphine post-training (n = 10) versus pre-training (n = 7). Suggestions for improving H + H ECHO included trainings addressing stigma, administrative support, improved referrals to office-based opioid treatment (OBOT), integration of non-physician staff (i.e., case management, social work), and combining multimodal learning strategies (i.e., podcasts, web-based modules) with videoconferencing. This study demonstrates the feasibility of H + H ECHO among PCPs in publicly-funded clinics and improvements in self-efficacy. Studies are needed to identify alternative strategies to improve knowledge and prescribing of buprenorphine post-H + H ECHO.
Tofighi B, Isaacs N, Byrnes-Enoch H, Lakew R, Lee JD, Berry C, Schatz D. Expanding treatment for opioid use disorder in publicly funded primary care clinics: Exploratory evaluation of the NYC health + hospitals buprenorphine ECHO program. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2019 Nov;106:1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2019.08.003. Epub 2019 Aug 9. PMID: 31540604; PMCID: PMC6756166.