Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) is a telemedicine and distance-learning program designed to improve access to quality health care for New Mexicans with hepatitis C. Project ECHO links health-care providers from rural clinics, the Indian Health Service, and prisons with specialists at the University of New Mexico. At weekly clinics, partners present and discuss patients with hepatitis C with specialists. Partners can receive continuing education credits for participating. Since June 2003, 173 hepatitis C clinics have been conducted with 1,843 case presentations. Partners have received 390 hours of training and 2,997 hours of continuing education credits. And in 2006, the State Legislature approved $1.5 million in annual funding for the project. Project ECHO has increased access to state-of-the art hepatitis C virus care for patients living in rural areas or prisons. Because of its success with hepatitis C, this project is being expanded to other chronic medical conditions.
Arora S, Thornton K, Jenkusky SM, Parish B, Scaletti JV. Project ECHO: linking university specialists with rural and prison-based clinicians to improve care for people with chronic hepatitis C in New Mexico. Public Health Rep. 2007;122 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):74-7. doi: 10.1177/00333549071220S214. PMID: 17542458; PMCID: PMC1831800.