The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa has been recognized nationally as a leader in primary care physician training. At a time when Oklahoma faces a severe shortage of primary care physicians, carrying out our mission of training tomorrow’s primary care physicians to serve rural areas of our state is more important than ever. Through the implementation of a cutting-edge care model -- Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics, OSU-CHS plans to revolutionize the delivery of specialty services to these rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma, helping to fill some of the gaps in care that have formed because of the physician shortage.
Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an innovative care delivery model developed by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s ECHO Institute to expand access to specialty care to rural communities. Project ECHO trains and mentors primary care providers in the care of patients with complex conditions. The Project ECHO model is based on the principle of de-monopolizing medical knowledge, with specialists sharing their expertise and providing mentorship and guided practice to help primary care providers deliver high-quality specialized care to patients in their own communities through the creation of a network of Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics.
Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics are weekly videoconferences that take place between OSU-CHS’s clinical faculty and participating physicians in rural areas. The multidisciplinary care team at OSU-CHS will be comprised of specialists -- pharmacists, nurse practitioners, social workers and other healthcare professionals -- who are trained in treating a specific disease. During the videoconference, rural providers will present active, de-identified patient cases to the OSU-CHS care team. The OSU-CHS care team will review the cases and recommend treatment options. These discussions, along with educational presentations, will allow rural providers to manage complex patient care with the support of a team of multidisciplinary specialists at OSU-CHS.
Through Project ECHO, rural providers will begin to develop expertise in specialty care. Patients benefit, not only by avoiding long distance travel for treatment, but they can also be cared for by providers who they know and trust and in an environment that is familiar to them. Through Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics, OSU-CHS will help ensure that the right care is delivered by the right provider in the right place and at the right time.
Learn More: http://www.healthsciences.okstate.edu/echo/