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Mark Lovgren: Project ECHO Is a Key Tool in Telemedicine

Mark Lovgren, director of Telehealth Services at Oregon Health and Science University, described how the telementoring program Project ECHO fits into the university’s toolbox of telemedicine programs despite an initial learning curve.


Mark Lovgren, director of Telehealth Services at Oregon Health and Science University, described how the telementoring program Project ECHO fits into the university’s toolbox of telemedicine programs despite an initial learning curve.

Transcript

What was the learning curve to get physicians on board with using Project ECHO?

Well, first there’s the fear of being in front of the camera. I think many of our providers were camera-shy initially, but University of New Mexico was great at sharing their tips and learnings to get people to come out of their shell. I think the other thing that’s difficult for some providers is to feel the vulnerability of sharing in a case where they might need help. And I think you’re putting yourself out there as a provider and asking your colleagues for help, I think is something that’s somewhat difficult for people when they first get involved in ECHO, but then over time everybody becomes more comfortable with each other and the trust develops.

How does Project ECHO play a role in Oregon Health and Science University’s established telemedicine network?

So Oregon Health and Science University provides telemedicine services in many different ways. We provide support to emergency departments for things like telestroke or teleneonatal or telepeds. We also provide ambulatory care via telemedicine, so connecting to patients in the home, or to a clinic. We do transitions of care, where we connect to nursing homes and long term acute care hospitals to ease the transition from an acute care setting to those facilities. All with the goal of reducing readmissions, improving the patient experience, and lowering costs. So we see ECHO as a key tool in our toolbox of telehealth tools in being able to connect with providers and provide education and learning so that we can achieve the Triple Aim.

 
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