How does Project ECHO work?

The heart of the ECHO model™ is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use videoconferencing to conduct virtual meetings with multiple healthcare providers.

The ECHO model™ brings together clinical specialist teams (the hub) and primary care clinicians (the spokes). Through teaching sessions and case presentations, the spokes have the opportunity to discuss any cases which they have found challenging and determine the best course of action together. The networks foster a spirit of learning from each other in a safe environment.

The ECHO Model's Four Key Principles  

ECHO ABCD Model

The proven approach and methodology of Project ECHO has enabled organisations across the world to reach more patients, to improve clinical decision making and to better support isolated health care professionals.

1. Using technology to leverage scarce resources

Video conferencing technology, such as Zoom enables busy clinicians to attend teleECHO sessions from wherever they are working. Professionals are able to share learning and best practice across rural, hard to reach areas without the need to travel.

2. Sharing best practice to reduce disparity

Discussions held within ECHO meetings are well-informed and adhere to standards of practice to ensure that a joined up, standardised approach is taken across all settings.

3. Case based learning to master complexity

ECHO acknowledges that no one case is the same; by using real-life cases, discussion facilitates learning which goes beyond textbook examples.

4. Web-based database to monitor outcomes

Data is stored and analysed using the unique database, iECHO which allows for hubs to complete a thorough evaluation of how their project is transforming service delivery.

Main features of an ECHO Network Session


Project ECHO Cycle
  • Spoke and hub members have initial meeting to collectively agree a curriculum, times, dates, evaluation and responsibility for presenting teaching and cases at each meeting;
  • Knowledge network meetings are usually 75-120 minutes long;
  • 20-30 minutes teaching from topic expert; 1-2 case presentations based on template followed by network discussion;
  • Start and finish on time
  • Facilitated by a trained, dedicated facilitator;
  • Supported by dedicated IT person and admin person;
  • All sessions can be filmed and along with additional materials forms a private online library that grows with the sessions.

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