The ECHO Diabetes Model

Project ECHO at a glance

The goal of ECHO Diabetes is to increase the capacity of primary care providers (PCPs) and clinics to empower and safely and effectively manage underserved patients with insulin-requiring diabetes who do not receive routine specialty care. The program was developed in response to the success of the ECHO T1D program, which was the first of its kind to tackle complex diabetes in the primary care setting.

Project ECHO Diabetes is a tele-education and tele-mentoring collaborative that provides cutting edge knowledge and:

  • Mimics a low-dose, high-frequency workforce development model of education and guided practice, which leverages videoconferencing technology to connect specialists with learners across geographic distances.
  • Uses a hub-and-spoke approach, where a multidisciplinary diabetes specialty team at Stanford Medicine (the hub) transmits knowledge to cohorts of primary care providers (the spokes) via a tele-education and tele-mentoring network, referred to as teleECHO sessions.
  • Employs case-based learning, essentially applying the same learning methodologies used by medical student and residency training programs. The usual format of a teleECHO session involves weekly to every-other-week videoconferencing meetings where community health care professionals present de-identified patients to the ECHO learning network, consisting of ECHO specialists and community peers, and receive ongoing guidance in management. Over the course of regular participation, community health care professionals develop the expertise and confidence to manage higher-complexity patients with less need for referrals to a specialist. Additionally, best practices are disseminated across the learning network in a multidirectional fashion as new evidence emerges.
  • Focuses on Quality Improvement efforts related to A1c and HEDIS/NCQA Comprehensive Diabetes Care Measures to meet payer quality goals around patient outcomes, including improving A1c control and decreasing hospital admissions/re-admissions.