ACR’S Small Group Provider Sessions on Lupus: Southwestern Colorado AHEC’s perspective
Southwestern Colorado partnered with ECHO Colorado (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) to hold a learning series on lupus. ECHO sessions are virtual and interactive, which made it easier for providers in rural Colorado to participate and gave them the opportunity to bring their own cases to the discussion.
Kathleen McInnis, SWCAHEC’s Executive Director, shares her thoughts on this innovative format:
“As a member of the board for ECHO Colorado, I have learned a lot about “how to ECHO.” Over the past six months, I’ve had the opportunity to watch and learn how an ECHO is built from the ground up through collaboration with many ECHO experts. The program coordinator, curriculum developer, and medical director all worked with me to design a “Lupus ECHO” to address the needs of primary care providers in rural Southwest Colorado. The bi-directional, video-based program was designed to consider rural primary care providers’ busy schedules and bring them together to learn from one another, regardless of physical location.
The full lupus curriculum provided by the American College of Rheumatology was divided into four, 1-hour sessions, which were held over lunch. Providers could participate from their office, from home, with their phones or tablets, anywhere they had an internet connection. One provider was a mom with a new baby and she participated from her living room while the baby was napping!
Each weekly agenda brought together specialists and PCPs to learn from one another through an expert panel presentation, a patient experience shared by a guest speaker who is living with lupus, and 30 minutes of facilitated discussion and Q&A to engage participants and enhance learning. Participants were encouraged to bring and present about de-identified cases to learn from one another.
There are several advantages to using the ECHO model:
- Participants can join from anywhere, making it easy to participate despite very busy schedules
- Participants become educators by sharing their own cases and personal experiences
- Participants learn new clinical practice strategies which can be utilized right away
- Participants leave with more than increased knowledge. They have increased confidence to apply what they learned to the care they provide to their patients.
We received very positive feedback from the providers, all of whom appreciated being able to participate in quality sessions without leaving town. Through the adaption of ACR’s Small Group Provider Sessions on Lupus to the Project ECHO model, we were able to more effectively recruit providers. The virtual format made it easier for providers to participate, and therefore more providers in our area were willing and able to dedicate their time to learn about lupus, which in turn, led to a more engaging and successful session.”
Hide Details ►