BACKGROUND: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, primary care clinicians had almost no knowledge regarding best practices COVID-19 treatment. Project ECHO developed a COVID-19 Infectious Disease Office Hours (Office Hours) program to respond to the needs of clinicians seeking COVID-19 information.
METHODS: This mixed-methods evaluation analyzed weekly post-session data and focus group results from the weekly Office Hours ECHO sessions during June 1, 2020- May 31, 2021.
RESULTS: A total of 1,421 participants attended an average of 4.9 sessions during the 45 Office Hours sessions studied. The most common specialties included: nurses= 530 (37%), physicians= 284 (20%), and 493 (34%) having other degrees. The participants stated that they were definitely (68.2%) or probably (22.0%) going to use what they learned in their work, especially vaccination information. Focus group results identified these themes: 1) quality information, 2) community of practice, 3) interprofessional learning, and 4) increased knowledge, confidence, and practice change.
CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation demonstrates that the Office Hours program was successful in bringing a large group of health professionals together each week in a virtual community of practice. The participants acknowledged their plans to use the information gained with their patients. This diffusion of knowledge from clinician to patient amplifies the response of the program, changes practice behavior and may improve patient care.
Katzman JG, Thornton K, Sosa N, Tomedi L, Hayes L, Sievers M, Culbreath K, Norsworthy K, Martin C, Martinez A, Liu J, Arora S. Educating health professionals about COVID-19 with ECHO telementoring. Am J Infect Control. 2022 Mar;50(3):283-288. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.10.030. Epub 2021 Nov 3. PMID: 34740679; PMCID: PMC8563092.