Oregon ECHO Network launches Part 2 of the COVID-19 Response ECHO for Oregon Clinicians

Project ECHO - Oregon ECHO Network (logo)

The second series of virtual, interactive sessions on the COVID-19 virus and the Oregon clinician response begins Thursday, June 11.

Presented by the Oregon ECHO Network and Oregon Health Authority, with funding provided by donors to the OHSU Foundation COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund, the sessions will provide the latest information on best practices in clinical management, infection prevention and control, testing, and the community public health and delivery of care response.

A specialist panel, including public health experts, infectious disease specialists, primary care clinicians, and epidemiologists, will share up-to-date knowledge and answer questions. There will also be an opportunity for Oregon clinicians to present workflow and other practice situations relating to the pandemic for discussion and recommendations. 

Sessions will take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, June 11 through September 24, noon - 1:15 p.m. The sessions are free and no-cost CME is available. 

Part 1 of the COVID-19 Response ECHO was developed in response to a request from Governor Kate Brown's office to help disseminate up-to-the-minute, evidence-based information to clinicians throughout Oregon. Project ECHO, a telementoring program that connects clinicians with specialist faculty for interactive learning sessions, was seen as an ideal platform to disseminate information about COVID-19 in Oregon.

More then 700 clinicians and other healthcare professionals attended the first Zoom virtual session on March 19, and subsequent sessions have averaged more than 500 participants. Robust discussions from the chat box are captured and triaged to inform curriculum for future sessions.

If you are interested in joining Part 2 of the COVID-19 Response ECHO for Oregon Clinicians, please register at https://connect.oregonechonetwork.org/Series/Registration/278.

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Message from Nancy Elder, ORPRN Director

ORPRN in the time of COVID-19

Nancy Elder, M.D., ORPRN Director

With apologies to Gabriel García Márquez, I’d like to take this opportunity to update our ORPRN friends and partners about how ORPRN is doing during this pandemic. Like many of you, our staff are working from home, connected via computers, phone and internet. I am impressed by their creativity and innovation as they find ways to stay connected with communities, practices and partners. As an organization, we are responding to the pandemic in three main ways – providing information and education to our practice partners about COVID-19; adapting or delaying our ongoing projects and research for safety; and developing new research proposals to study how coronavirus is impacting primary care in Oregon. Let me give you some examples of each of these.

Education and information to practice partners: Hopefully, most of you already know about our COVID-19 ECHO program. If not, please visit the Oregon ECHO Network site to read more about this amazing program. Our Practice Enhancement Research Coordinators (PERCs) are also reaching out to practice teams about COVID-19 resources and assisting with connections.

Adapting ongoing projects and research: We are aware of the extra burdens placed on our practice partners (and their patients) around the state by this pandemic. Some of our projects, like Accountable Health Communities (AHC), are able to link patients with needed community resources (for food, transportation, etc.) and we are encouraging even more practices to join at this time. Other projects, such as CAPTURE (COPD assessment trial), have temporarily stopped recruitment, while others, like PINPOINT (chronic pain and opioid prescribing) and ANTECEDENT (SBIRT for unhealthy alcohol use), are still recruiting practices to join but are offering options to begin participation later in the year. Most of our ongoing studies are still moving forward, with “virtual” practice facilitation. Our PERCs are all still working and available by phone or internet chat for any practice! Give them a call if you have any questions about projects or participation.

Developing new research proposals: ORPRN is collaborating with others at OHSU and around the country to respond to planned funding opportunities from federal agencies and foundations. These include potential studies of changes in primary care workflow and finances with the increase in telehealth and the financial impact of COVID-19 to rural and underserved populations. Stay tuned for more information.

As always, ORPRN remains committed to our mission to improve health outcomes and equity for all Oregonians through community-partnered dialogue, research, coaching, and education.  Please reach out to me, or anyone at ORPRN, and let us know how we can collaborate with you during this difficult time. 

— Nancy Elder, M.D., M.S.P.H.