Title

P-61 Project ECHO™: developing and evaluating a community of practice with care homes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

Abstract Introduction: Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) uses teleconferencing technology to support and train healthcare providers (HCPs) remotely, and has improved care across the USA. A 6-month pilot was trialled in a community palliative care nursing setting to determine if ECHO would be effective in the UK in providing education and support to community hospice nurses (CHN). Methods: The pilot involved weekly 2 hour sessions of teaching and case-based discussions facilitated by hospice staff linking with nine teams of CHN using video conferencing technology. A mixed-methods prospective longitudinal cohort study was used to evaluate the pilot. Each CHN provided demographic data, and completed a written knowledge assessment and a self-efficacy tool before and after the pilot. Two focus groups were also performed after the pilot. Results: 28 CHNs completed the evaluation. Mean knowledge score improved significantly from 71.3% to 82.7% (p=0.0005) as did overall self-efficacy scores following the ECHO pilot. Pre-ECHO (p=0.036) and Retro-Pretest ECHO (p=0.0005) self-efficacy were significantly lower than post-ECHO. There was no significant difference between Pretest and Retro-Pretest ECHO self-efficacy (p=0.063). 96% recorded gains in learning, and 90% felt that ECHO had improved the care they provided for patients. 83% would recommend ECHO to other HCPs. 70% stated the technology used in ECHO had given them access to education that would have been hard to access due to geography. Conclusions: This study supports the use of Project ECHO for CHNs in the UK by demonstrating how a 6-month pilot improved knowledge and self-efficacy. As a low-cost high-impact model, ECHO provides an affordable solution to addressing growing need. Keywords: Education and training; Home care; Project ECHO; evaluation-educational intervention; innovative educational interventions; teleconferencing. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

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