Need: Increase medical management knowledge for New Mexico primary care providers in order to provide care for the thousands of rural and underserved patients with hepatitis C, a chronic, complex condition that has high personal and public health costs when left untreated.
Intervention: Project leveraging an audiovisual platform to accomplish "moving knowledge, not patients" that used a "knowledge network learning loop" of disease-specific consultants and rural healthcare teams learning from each other and learning by providing direct patient care.
Results: In 18 months, the urban specialist appointment wait list decreased from 8 months to 2 weeks due to Hepatitis C patients receiving care from the project's participating primary care providers. Improved disease outcomes were demonstrated along with cost savings, including those associated with travel. The project model, now known as Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes — has evolved into a telementoring model used world-wide.
Need: The U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI) needed an efficient, effective, integrated method to improve primary care services that addressed the increased rates of non-communicable disease (NCD), the regional-specific phrase designating chronic disease.
Intervention: Through specialized training, multidisciplinary teams from five of the region's health systems implemented the Chronic Care Model (CCM), an approach that targets healthcare system improvements, uses information technology, incorporates evidence-based disease management, and includes self-management support strengthened by community resources.
Results: Aimed at diabetes management, teams developed a regional, culturally-relevant Non-Communicable Disease Collaborative Initiative that addresses chronic disease management challenges and strengthens healthcare quality and outcomes.
Need: Improve healthcare access and decrease chronic disease disparities in rural Appalachia.
Intervention: A community health worker-based Chronic Care Management program demonstrated such a level of success in a single West Virginia county that it was further scaled for implementation in a multi-center, 3-state area of Appalachia.
Results: When analysis of the disseminated program's results also demonstrated improved health outcomes and decreased healthcare costs, sustainability became possible due to innovative financial reimbursement models.
Need: To prevent or slow the progression of diabetes for at-risk residents in Rural Northeast Louisiana.
Intervention: The North Louisiana Regional Alliance developed a program that offered screenings, education, and an intense course for participants throughout the Northeast Louisiana region to lower the risk of diabetes.
Results: The program saw an overall decrease in blood sugar levels in residents who participated in their initiatives.