Description of the ECHO Learning Communities model:

The ECHO model ~ Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes ~ is inspired by Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico. It is an innovative approach to building capacity in rural and underserved areas by supporting and expanding the participant’s scope of practice. Faculty, staff and partners using the ECHO model have dedicated themselves to de-monopolizing knowledge in order to expand access to best-practice care and programming.

The ECHO model is designed as a multi-organizational collaborative system to take advantage of the many topic experts and organizational networks that exist across Colorado, the region and nation. Programs using the ECHO model will focus on both increasing capacity for clinical patient care and on increasing capacity for disease prevention.

How ECHO Learning Communities for Patient Navigators works:

The ECHO for patient navigators will focus on increasing patient navigator’s knowledge and skills in topics of interest. During ECHO sessions, topic experts present brief trainings on current best practice strategies and patient navigators present cases on the application of those strategies in their practice using bi-directional video. Topic experts and other participants discuss cases and recommendations are made regarding next steps.  Patient navigators may bring the same cases back for ongoing decision making support.

Reducing patient navigators’ isolation, reducing high cost of off-site trainings and utilizing the ECHO model exponentially increase access to expert knowledge and support by strategically moving knowledge instead of moving practitioners.

Learning Community topic area:

  • Resources (including the following as possible session highlights)
    • PNs Linking to Resources
    • MAPS-Drug and Prescription Assistance
    • PN Portal Powered by 2-1-1
    • Financial and Co-Pay Assistance
    • Health Benefits Exchange and Public/Private Insurance Enrollment
    • Social Support and Benefits Packages (Social Security, Disability, etc…)