This “In-Brief” from the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence profiles the goals, features, and lessons learned from Project ECHO, acronym for the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, which addresses the disparity of discipline-specific knowledge and expertise across different regions of a state with limited access to medical resources.
ECHO connects people with experts and clinicians virtually to provide telemedicine and improved care to patients in regions of a state that lack the resources needed to treat a particular illness. The core values of the ECHO model are 1) service to the underserved; 2) teamwork; 3) democratization of knowledge; 4) innovation and learning; 5) trust and respect; 6) excellence and accountability; and the 7) joy of work. Virtual communication platforms enable physicians to learn from fellow medical professionals across the country and engage with patients via telehealth options. In addition to providing an overview of the ECHO model, this report describes ECHO’s current forensic applications to medicolegal death investigation; discusses the lessons learned from the ECHO: Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques series from varied perspectives; and explores potential opportunities for the expansion of the ECHO model to other forensic disciplines.