Taking Telemedicine to the Next Level in Diabetes Population Management: a Review of the Endo ECHO Model.
Additional Document Info
Worldwide increases in diabetes prevalence in the face of limited medical resources have prompted international interest in innovative healthcare delivery models. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a "telementoring" program which has been shown to increase capacity for complex disease management in medically underserved regions. In contrast to a traditional telemedicine model which might connect a specialist with one patient, the ECHO model allows for multiple patients to benefit simultaneously by building new expertise. We recently applied the ECHO model to improve health outcomes of patients with complex diabetes (Endo ECHO) living in rural New Mexico. We describe the design of the Endo ECHO intervention and a 4-year, prospective program evaluation assessing health outcomes, utilization patterns, and cost-effectiveness. The Endo ECHO evaluation will demonstrate whether and to what extent this intervention improves outcomes for patients with complex diabetes living in rural New Mexico, and will serve as proof-of-concept for academic medical centers wishing to replicate the model in underserved regions around the world.