Mark Lovgren Explains OHSU's Potential Expansion of Project ECHO

Project ECHO aims to boost provider self-efficacy while lowering costs, explained Mark Lovgren, director of Telehealth Services at Oregon Health and Science University. He hopes the program will expand to cover additional chronic conditions in the future.
Published Online: November 13, 2016


Project ECHO aims to boost provider self-efficacy while lowering costs, explained Mark Lovgren, director of Telehealth Services at Oregon Health and Science University. He hopes the program will expand to cover additional chronic conditions in the future.

Transcript
How does Project ECHO help advance the Triple Aim?
Everything we do in telehealth, we’re always thinking about, what benefit are we going to provide to somebody? Is this going to be increased patient access for our patients? Is this going to help lower our costs? Things for ECHO that we look at is we measure provider self-efficacy – do they feel like after they go through ECHO, that they become more comfortable managing patients with psychiatric medication management as a component of their treatment. We also … hope to see a decrease in the emergency department visits, a decrease in pharmacological spend, and a decrease in hospitalizations. I think it’s too early right now with our first foray into ECHO to be able to say definitively we’ve been able to move those levers, but we hope within the next year or two we’ll be able to do that.

How would you like to see Project ECHO evolve? What is the next stage?
I think in our partnership with HealthShare, we’ve actually brought on a second CCO to help fund us for our second year of ECHO. And we hope that ECHO will be something that the state will support, the state of Oregon, whether it’s through CCOs participating and supporting financially ECHO. We also would like to run ECHO in other clinical areas. Other … Project ECHOs that happen across the country and the world deal with things like Hep C, diabetes, rheumatology, other chronic conditions. So that’s where we see both an expansion in chronic conditions that we cover in ECHO, as well as looking for new models to sustain it.

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