Distance learning: the “Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes: ECHO” project: a case study

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This article reports a case conference that was part of the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO®) project, which is a model of monthly telemedicine conferences on chronic disease and behavioral health, important topics for primary care teams in rural areas and for university-based specialists. The ECHO® project has proved to be a successful learning model in health care. The main goal of the project is moving knowledge not the patients, so this tele-mentoring builds capacity and creates access to high-quality specialty care serving local communities. A secondary goal is shared learning between community providers and specialists about best practices that are practical, achievable, and sustainable for the community. We present the case of a critical care patient who was brought to the emergency department with left-side weakness and dysarthria. Computed tomography of the head and electrocardiograms established the diagnosis during the admission. Discussion points from a multidisciplinary team and specialty consultants via telemedicine are listed in this article.