Spreading addictions care across Oregon’s rural and community hospitals: mixed-methods evaluation of an interprofessional telementoring ECHO program

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Despite evidence of effectiveness, most US hospitals do not deliver hospital-based addictions care. ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a telementoring model for providers across diverse geographic areas. We developed and implemented a substance use disorder (SUD) in hospital care ECHO to support statewide dissemination of best practices in hospital-based addictions care.


Assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of ECHO and explore lessons learned and implications for the spread of hospital-based addictions care.


Mixed-methods study with a pre-/post-intervention design.


Interprofessional hospital providers and administrators across Oregon.


A 10–12-week ECHO that included participant case presentations and brief didactics delivered by an interprofessional faculty, including peers with lived experience in recovery.


To assess feasibility and acceptability, we collected enrollment, attendance, and participant feedback data. To evaluate ECHO effects, we used pre-/post-ECHO assessments and performed a thematic analysis of open-ended survey responses and participant focus groups.

Key Results

We recruited 143 registrants to three cohorts between January and September 2019, drawing from 32 of Oregon’s 62 hospitals and one southwest Washington hospital. Ninety-six (67.1%) attended at least half of ECHO sessions. Participants were highly satisfied with ECHO. After ECHO, participants were more prepared to treat SUD; however, prescribing did not change. Participants identified substantial gains in knowledge and skills, particularly regarding the use of medications for opioid use disorder; patient-centered communication with people who use drugs; and understanding harm reduction as a valid treatment approach. ECHO built a community of practice and reduced provider isolation. Participants recognized the need for supportive hospital leadership, policies, and SUD resources to fully implement and adopt hospital-based SUD care.


A statewide, interprofessional SUD hospital care ECHO was feasible and acceptable. Findings may be useful to health systems, states, and regions looking to expand hospital-based addictions care.