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The ECHO (Extensions Community Healthcare Outcomes) model of healthcare delivery has grown rapidly since its establishment and increased in popularity in recent years. This expansion has developed alongside the growing incidence of chronic diseases and the need to better manage them. The increasing uptake in ECHO has presented a requirement to assess its true value as healthcare costs are increasing globally, resulting in a growing demand by governments and policy makers to ensure chronic disease management strategies provide true value. Therefore, the aim of this review is to examine the impact that ECHO has on clinical practice and how such impacts are measured or evaluated. A narrative literature review is carried out to examine the outcomes assessed in ECHO-related studies. Three key academic databases were utilised for the literature search: Web of Science, PubMed, and Medline. Keywords relating to the review were chosen and searched for. Papers were screened using specified inclusion and exclusion criteria relating to years of publication (2000–2020), type of publication (original research, review papers and meta-analyses) and language requirements (English language only). This review found that while the ECHO model is expanding, and improving the so-called “knowledge gap” between specialists and primary care physicians, there is also a gap in the ways value is examined within ECHO. Most studies on ECHO lack an examination of patient reported health outcomes and appropriate, comparative costing methods. Current ECHO-related studies lack vital components that demonstrate the value of the model. Such components include patient reported health outcomes and detailed costing comparisons between the ECHO model and the traditional care pathway it is replacing.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.