Interstitial Lung Disease ECHO

Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) are chronic and debilitating pulmonary disorders that cause progressive inflammation and scarring of the lungs. Because of their complexity, they require specialized care provided by an interdisciplinary team that includes pulmonologists, chest radiologists, and lung pathologists. Most general practitioners are not comfortable with the diagnosis and management of these diseases, so optimal treatment is often only achievable at a national ILD Center. For a significant number of patients, especially those in rural areas, access to appropriate care is quite difficult and engagement in research even more challenging; too often neither is possible. 

Project ECHO was originally developed as an educational model to treat complex diseases in rural areas, but since then grew into the larger mission of democratizing medical knowledge and scaling the wisdom of a multidisciplinary patient team to deliver best practice care to people everywhere.

An ECHO is organized around “hubs” or regional centers, in which partner sites or “spokes” connect through teleECHO clinics to share and gain specialty expertise and knowledge. teleECHOs use multipoint videoconferencing to connect a multidisciplinary team of experts located at the hub with learners at spoke sites. The sessions offer guided practice with experts through real-life cases, leading to deep learning, skills expansion, and self-efficacy at spokes sites. Data are tracked using HIPAA-compliant tools to measure clinics function over time for the purposes of ongoing quality improvement. 

The ILD ECHO seeks to provide greater access to the knowledge of pulmonary specialists in both rural and urban areas. Providers and their peers will have the opportunity to present real life cases and receive feedback from a multidisciplinary team of experts. Cases will be selected from submitted forms to provide optimal educational value. Each ECHO will start with a didactic presentation from a specialist to provide further insight into diagnosis and care management of ILD patients.