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Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an innovative telementoring program designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together healthcare providers and subject matter experts using videoconference technology, brief lecture presentations, and case-based learning, fostering an “all learn, all teach” approach.  Participants are engaged in the bi-directional virtual knowledge network by sharing clinical challenges and learning from experts and peers.  

Project ECHO has been recognized globally as a successful tool to improve patient care outcomes. Unlike telemedicine, this tele-mentoring model does not foster a health care provider and patient relationship. ECHO follows these four key principles: 

  • Subscribes to the disease management model of care that aims to improve quality, reduce variety, and standardize best practices. 

  • Fosters multidisciplinary partnerships that increase access to care and reduce health care costs. 

  • Engages health care providers to participate in case‐based learning under guided practice to provide specialized care to their own patients. 

  • Utilizes technology to promote face-to-face mentorship and sharing of knowledge and experience by experts and peers without the need for cost-intensive supervision, in-person trainings, and travel. 

Published data demonstrates that patients who received care from providers mentored using the ECHO methodology had outcomes as good or better than those treated at specialized referral hospitals, which has largely been credited to leveraging the patient‐centered medical home model. 

How is the AAP involved?

The AAP serves as an ECHO Superhub, which is a pediatric training arm of the ECHO Institute. In this role, the AAP trains and supports partner organizations to serve as hubs. The mission of the AAP ECHO Superhub is to utilize the ECHO model to achieve optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being of all children by sharing best practices and building capacity among all pediatric providers. In this capacity, the AAP ECHO team:

  • Conducts ECHO immersion trainings for individuals and organizations interested in implementing pediatric-focused ECHOs

  • Builds a community of learners by fostering interprofessional collaboration and sharing best practices in pediatric care

  • Serve as a resource center, whereby AAP staff

    • Provide technical assistance

    • Assist with curriculum development for various chronic health conditions

    • Create and expand partnerships

Furthermore, the AAP has leveraged the ECHO model to implement a variety of pediatric-specific conditions such as, school-based mental health, trauma informed care, epilepsy, HPV vaccination to enhance workforce capacity and standardize best practices. The AAP ECHO Superhub offers Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 and 4.

The AAP has:

  • Trained over 100 organizations and supported the launch of their programs, including 32 Chapters
  • Supported dozens of pediatric ECHO programs
  • Launched 100 AAP ECHO programs in 30+ topics (read about the milestone)
  • Assisted organizations with the centralization of ECHO efforts within academic institutions, country health systems, and state programs.

If you are interested in getting involved, click here

To learn about the various AAP ECHO topics, click here.

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American Academy of Pediatrics