A New ECHO Evaluation Report reveals huge successes in integration and learning across community health and social care providers in Northern Ireland.
Project ECHO, which launched in Northern Ireland in 2015, has played a crucial role in training professionals remotely using video conferencing to effectively address knowledge gaps that medical professionals face due to the rapid growth in medical knowledge, while helping them to adapt to the changing context and supporting staff wellbeing during the more recent difficult and disruptive of times for health professionals.
In the new Project ECHO Evaluation Report, it is revealed 89% of participants found their clinical knowledge, confidence and self-efficiency has improved through their participation and 82% reporting better relationships between different areas of the health system, improved collaboration between different providers and improved knowledge about services offered in their area.
The innovative system has proved useful in building virtual communities of practice around clinical specialisms, with users reporting it to be particularly valuable in helping them to build connections within the health system and reducing isolation for health and social care providers, especially those in rural, remote community roles.
Since its inception four years ago, the collaboration between Hospice UK and the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has delivered 34 Project ECHO Networks in Northern Ireland in areas including diabetes management, optometry, neurology, prisons healthcare and frailty support. Qualitative evidence reveals better outcomes for patients such as accessing news treatments and more efficient referrals.
As the world heads towards a post-pandemic era, where virtual and online training and communities are needed, Project ECHO can contribute crucial experience to inform future resourcing decisions, with 400 ECHO networks established across the UK.
This is republished from HospiceUK News – https://www.hospiceuk.org/latest-from-hospice-uk
Cover photo is of Belfast.