Expanding Health Care Access Through Education: Dissemination and Implementation of the ECHO Model

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Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an evidence-based model that provides high-quality medical education for common and complex diseases through telementoring and comanagement of patients with primary care clinicians. In a one to many knowledge network, the ECHO model helps to bridge the gap between primary care clinicians and specialists by enhancing the knowledge, skills, confidence, and practice of primary care clinicians in their local communities. As a result, patients in rural and urban underserved areas are able to receive best practice care without long waits or having to travel long distances. The ECHO model has been replicated in 43 university hubs in the United States and five other countries. A new replication tool was developed by the Project ECHO Pain team and U.S. Army Medical Command to ensure a high-fidelity replication of the model. The adoption of the tool led to successful replication of ECHO in the Army Pain initiative. This replication tool has the potential to improve the fidelity of ECHO replication efforts around the world.