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Project ECHO Delivers MS Care in Underserved Areas

Int J MS Care; ePub 2018 Oct 4; Alschuler, et al

Participant responses in a recent study support Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) as a program that may both directly and indirectly impact the way providers deliver multiple sclerosis (MS) care in underserved areas. Project ECHO, a novel approach to addressing disparities in MS care, was pilot tested as a weekly 60-minute videoconference delivered to 24 clinicians across 13 practice sites over 41 weeks. Participants completed a number of measures related to their experience in the program and answered qualitative questions via exit interview. Researchers reported on the responses to exit interview questions related to the case consultation component of Project ECHO. They found that participant responses regarding case consultations generated 4 themes:

  1. improved confidence amongst participants in the existing treatment decision;
  2. direct change in the care of the patient provided by the participant;
  3. changed practice habits for all of the participant's MS patients; and
  4. increased perception that patients had confidence in the participant as an MS care provider.

Alschuler KN, Stobbe GA, Hertz DP, et al. Impact of multiple sclerosis Project ECHO on provider confidence and clinical practice. [Published online ahead of print October 4, 2018]. Int J MS Care. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2018-014.