Reaching out to underserved populations in healthcare is a huge challenge for both developed and underdeveloped nations. Healthcare providers are unevenly distributed geographically, concentrating mostly in urban and metropolitan regions, leaving out vast gaps in semi-urban and rural areas. Providing specialist care is even more challenging than providing primary care, due to obvious reasons. This is despite the fact that the demand for specialist care is high even in underserved populations.Physicians providing care in rural and isolated areas frequently care for patient populations with high rates of illness, including complex, chronic illnesses that they may not be fully equipped to treat effectively. In fact, the lack of access to high-quality specialty care services is often a major problem, particularly for uninsured.
To overcome this challenge, ILBS-ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) has been created with goal to augment & further update the knowledge & skills of the clinicians in primary health care as well as those in teaching medical colleges across the country so that not only they themselves but also the doctors & others getting trained under them become self-sufficient in treating & managing the various liver & allied diseases efficiently &effectively and subsequently are able to monitor outcomes. Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi has
is initiated this educational program for maximizing delivery of healthcare education and improve patient care in India. Through the use of information technology, best practice protocols and co-management of case based learning; rural and semi urban physicians will be able to deliver Hepatitis care that is safe, effective and comparable to the best as is being given in a tertiary care health facility such as ILBS.
ILBS – ECHO is an innovative healthcare program to develop capacity in physicians to effectively identify, treat and manage cases of acute & chronic liver related diseases, resulting in, and improved access of patients to a level of care equivalent to that provided in tertiary care health facility.
Collaboration between specialists at tertiary care health facility and physicians in rural / semi urban areas enables patients to receive state of the art healthcare from the professionals they know and trust in their own communities.
For clinicians, co-management of the complicated cases through discussing the same in this learning platform helps them in modifying & improving their own treatment protocols & practices in line with the latest advanced &standardized protocols to the ultimate benefit of their patients in clinical practice. This teaching learning program brings added depth and technical competencies amongst the doctors and reduces their professional isolation. With continued involvement clinicians become highly skilled in the treatment of liver disease which have varied presentations and complicated treatment decisions, thus help themselves in creating a sort of Center of excellence in their own community of practitioners. The end result is better quality and greater access to health-care for all.
Connecting One to Many:
Project ILBS-ECHO is not a traditional tele-health model that facilitates a one-to-one connection between a doctor and a patient using technology. Rather, Project ILBS-ECHO builds altogether new and permanent capacities by developing specialist expertise where it previously did not exist. It is not one to one, but one to many. In addition to improving access to specialty care in remote locations, Project ILBS-ECHO connects isolated physicians with colleagues, including specialists at academic medical centers. It delivers continuing education and improves remote partner’s satisfaction and retention in areas where it is often hardest to keep them. What's more, participating physicians can earn continuing education credits at no cost, as well as certification in treating diseases such as hepatitis C. They also gain access to specialty consultation in a range of areas relevant to their practice that they did not have before.
The project incorporates Tele-ECHO clinics which are conducted currently once in a week or fortnightly of 60-120 minutes. Since the scope of this engagement is being enlarged through partnering with professional bodies & others the clinics schedule is likely to increase in its frequency in coming days. During Tele-ECHO clinics, healthcare physicians present their own difficult clinical cases using a standard case based format either by using smart mobile phone or video conference equipment. Project ILBS-ECHO faculty is comprised of the subject experts who are specialists treating cases of liver diseases at ILBS and the participants discuss patient cases in these learning session and appropriate guidance is provided by the subject Expert regarding the most appropriate treatment plan in a given case . Cases are mandated to be reviewed on a regular basis to discuss the progress of treatment, side effect management, or any other concerns or questions. This becomes the yardstick of measuring the ultimate impact of the e-learning program.
Why a Hepatic illness learning through Tele-ECHO Clinic?
Considering all above factors, it becomes important that educating the service providers on appropriate management of liver diseases is taken up on priority to overcome this challenge ILBS ECHO project was established.
How to participate in Tele ILBS - ECHO Clinic?
Benefits of Joining ILBS-ECHO Project to Different Stakeholders
TO THE PHYSICIANS:
TO THE PATIENTS: