Mark Lovgren Explains Project ECHO's Telementoring Program
Project ECHO works as a telementoring program with a team of specialists consulting with primary care physicians and sharing their knowledge, explained Mark Lovgren, director of Telehealth Services at Oregon Health and Science University.
Transcript (modified) What is Project ECHO and how did it come to Oregon?
So Project ECHO started at the University of New Mexico and has now spread worldwide. There are 50 replication sites around the country—University of New Mexico was grant-funded and supports the dissemination of ECHO as a tool. So Oregon Health and Science University, partnering with Health Share of Oregon, became a replication site in Oregon in 2014.
Project ECHO is a telementoring program. How does it work?
So every week we get together, we have a specialist team. We’re focusing on psychiatric medication management and we can act with primary care homes throughout the northwest region of Oregon. We have about 20 providers that connect every week, everybody gets an hour of CME, we do a 15-minute didactic discussion on a particular topic like depression or any other behavioral or mental health issue, and then the providers actually spend 15 minutes each presenting cases.
So we might have 2 cases in a particular week, and it’s cases from their practices and everybody kind of learns together, and gives advice to the primary care provider on how to manage that particular case.
Who is part of the specialist psychiatry team?
We’re doing psychiatry so on our team we have a psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, and a pharmacist, and then again the participants are usually physicians, nurse practitioners, or PAs. And we cover 40 weeks’ worth of content during the year and then we switch to a new cohort. And the idea behind ECHO is that we want the providers who are part of this to share their knowledge and learnings with the providers that they are working with in their medical home.