ENHANCING THE CONNECTIVITY AND CONFIDENCE OF HEALTHCARE OFFICERS IN JAMAICA THROUGH PROJECT ECHO
Project ECHO is a hub and spoke knowledge sharing programme that connects non-specialists with expert clinicians to enhance the quality of healthcare provided in low-resource settings. Using a “tele-mentoring” approach, Project ECHO distinguishes itself from telemedicine programmes which involve the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients, prioritizing instead building the capacity of the healthcare participants in attendance. It caters to populations like those in Jamaica’s rural parishes, by employing affordable technologies that are accessible remotely such as the Zoom platform. This model originated from the University of New Mexico, with the goal of creating a sustainable quality improvement medium for sharing best practices through case-based learning and master presentations from expert clinicians. To best prepare other institutions interested in running their own ECHO programmes, the ECHO Institute has designated organizations, like the AAP, as superhubs, which have the capacity to train and support budding ECHO programmes like the NDS ECHO in Jamaica. Each ECHO session is scheduled to last one hour, beginning with introductions and housekeeping, followed by a didactic lecture. A short Q & A then gives participants the opportunity to probe the expert lecturers for further clarification on matters arising from their presentations, after which is a de-identified patient case discussion. In the days leading up to the ECHO session, the case presenter would have been in dialogue with ECHO administrators to compile the Case Presentation Form that is used to guide the discussion.
This document captures the reasons for presenting the case and the case’s main points, as well as the demographic information, birth, medical, developmental and social history of the patient. After the designated participant shares these details, the session’s facilitator summarizes the case and opens up the floor to clarifying questions. ECHO participants proceed to further discuss the case, providing recommendations to the case presenter on how to best proceed with caring for the patient in question. ECHO sessions conclude with the facilitators summarizing the case recommendations and wrapping up the call.