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This ECHO will leave echos for a long time – Extension for Community Health Outcomes in India, Bhutan and Bangladesh

Author: Pallium India
15 February 2017

In what we see as a major step forward, Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) started its fortnightly ECHO program on 20 January, 2017.

Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) is the brainchild of Dr Sanjeev Arora of Albuquerque, USA. Its slogan is: Move Knowledge; Not Patients. This first ECHO program undertaken by TIPS was aimed at clinicians who already have undergone palliative care education and are practising it.

Typically, any ECHO program has a ‘hub-and-spoke’ design. In this case, the hub was TIPS and the spokes came from three countries: 18 centres from India, Bhutan and Bangladesh were connected virtually in real time to discuss patient concerns and evolve recommendations for best practices in care.

The fortnightly two-and-a-half hour educational program would have a short didactic session of 15 minutes, followed by case-based presentations and learning. The technological support from the Delhi ECHO Project team right through the preparatory phase and the actual event was crucial in getting the venture off the floor so smoothly.

The feedback from the participants was encouraging.

“It was indeed a rewarding and educative experience,” said one participant. “Amazing to see people all over India and overseas well connected and interacting with each other. It is an eye opener to see how palliative care has spread.”

Another participant said: “It was a wonderful experience for me and I believe it is a breakthrough in online learning.”

Thank you, Dr Sanjeev Arora, and thank you Dr Sunil Anand in Delhi, for introducing ECHO to us, and welcoming us to your fold. We see this as a development with a huge long-term implication.

We were so proud and privileged to have Dr Klara Tisocki, our WHO CC’s responsible officer at WHO SEARO to inaugurate the event and to sit through it.

This article was originally published in the Pallium India newsletter.

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