Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) originated at the University of New Mexico, USA is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities. The mission of Project ECHO is to develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas, and to monitor outcomes of this treatment. More information on Project ECHO is available at their homepage http://echo.unm.edu/about-echo/model/
Project NICPR ECHO: Empowering with Knowledge and Skills in Cancer Prevention
NICPR ECHO empowers health care providers to update knowledge and skills in the area of cancer prevention. This entails incorporating cancer screening programs using the ECHO model to improve capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations.
Mission of NICPR ECHO: The mission is to build capacity in the area of cancer screening services among health care providers. This will empower them to carry out screening independently thereby enabling their services to be accessible to every eligible citizen in India.
There is an estimated burden of over 1 million individuals who were diagnosed with cancer in India in 2012. The three most commonly occurring cancers in India are breast, uterine cervix and oral cancers, together accounting for one third of India’s cancer burden. All three are usually detectable at early stages, and malignancies of the oral cavity and cervix have precancerous stages that are amenable to secondary prevention. Therefore, screening and early detection of these three cancers will help to markedly reduce the cancer burden in India.
NICPR organizes the cancer screening training by following modes:
- Initial face-to-face 4-days of intensive training to the healthcare providers on cancer screening tests, allowing for hands-on training and practice of skills.
- Subsequently, fortnightly, ECHO clinics are being conducted to include reiteration of the training, discussing patient cases, resource sharing and expert presentations.