When COVID-19 forced educators around the world to embrace new technology and course delivery methods, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) team was ready to go. “We were already delivering online courses and connecting participants throughout New England,” says Megan Colgan, product manager, Population Health. “We just had to shift course content to the COVID-19 information people needed.”
Project ECHO is a worldwide telementoring model for delivering community health information to targeted audiences. As a Project ECHO hub, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) was able to connect with peer teams in countries that saw COVID-19 first.
Sally Kraft, MD, MPH, Vice President of Population Health at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) discusses an update on D-HH population health initiatives and Project ECHO in this video update HERE
ECHO course development typically takes three to four months. Teams of course delivery and content experts schedule sessions, recruit presenters, and plan session topics. However, in response to the need to rapidly share knowledge about coronavirus, the D-H ECHO team planned and delivered, four COVID-19 sessions within one to two weeks.
Four COVID-19 courses are currently educating targeted participant groups throughout New England:
- Learning Together About COVID-19
- Planning and Clinical Management of Perinatal COVID-19 Cases
- The Roles of Community Health Workers and Support Specialists During COVID-19
- Science and Practices to Keep Workers Safe and Business Productive as the COVID-19 Pandemic Changes
Weekly course sessions will continue through May and June. Session leaders adapt content to include the latest, evidence-based information and address questions and concerns raised by attendees. While courses are usually limited to 50 or 60 participants, COVID-19 courses are open to as many participants as Zoom, the video-conferencing platform, allows.
“We’re prepared to extend these courses if there’s still a need in June,” says Colgan. “We know that a lot of medical professionals and employers are feeling isolated as they try to stay current with COVID-19. Besides delivering needed information, ECHO courses are bringing people together to discuss the challenges faced and solutions that are working.”
About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across northern New England. D-HH provides access to more than 2400 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named in 2019 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 13 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock also includes the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; affiliated member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-HH system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.