BACKGROUND: A pilot program using the Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model was conducted for multiple sclerosis (MS) clinicians in the Pacific Northwest. The pilot was a collaboration between the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and faculty at the University of Washington. The goal was to determine the feasibility of using this telehealth model to increase the capacity and capability of clinicians in rural areas to treat people with MS.
METHODS: Thirteen practice sites with 24 clinicians were recruited to participate. Videoconferencing was used to conduct weekly sessions consisting of brief didactics followed by case consultations.
RESULTS: Most participants completing the outcome survey (10 of 15) indicated that they were more confident in treating patients with MS. They were satisfied with the training, felt better able to care for their patients, and had made changes in their treatment based on the case consultations and didactic content. They valued the case studies and case-based didactics and learned from each other as well as from the team.
CONCLUSIONS: The pilot MS Project ECHO warrants further investigation regarding its potential effect on access to MS care delivery for underserved populations.
Johnson KL, Hertz D, Stobbe G, Alschuler K, Kalb R, Alexander KS, Kraft GH, Scott JD. Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) in Multiple Sclerosis: Increasing Clinician Capacity. Int J MS Care. 2017 Nov-Dec;19(6):283-289. doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2016-099. PMID: 29270085; PMCID: PMC5734711.