AOA's Own the Bone program partners with Project ECHO

The American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) recently became a partner with Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). Beginning in spring 2019, the AOA and its Own the Bone program will be launching the nation’s first orthopaedic-focused teleECHO program. Participating clinicians will convene via monthly videoconferencing sessions to enhance knowledge and skills through expert-led lectures and interactive case presentations.

The AOA’s Own the Bone® program is a national post-fracture, systems-based, multidisciplinary fragility fracture prevention program seeking to change provider and patient behavior in order to reduce the incidence of future fractures and positively impact bone health treatment.

Paul A. Anderson, MD, FAOA, who chairs the Own the Bone steering committee, is pleased to begin growing and sharing knowledge among orthopaedic providers, including surgeons, specialist physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses. “Project ECHO has an impressive track record of facilitating the expansion of knowledge within the medical community. The structure of teleECHO programs is particularly helpful, because all participants – experts and attendees – are viewed as teachers and learners. Our program’s team of experts are eager to begin this interactive process, and we are excited to offer this terrific learning opportunity to a broad network of clinicians at Own the Bone institutions. The field of bone health often changes rapidly, and Project ECHO will allow the Own the Bone community to interact and keep abreast of these developments in a timely manner. Expert consultation will be available to aid important advances in bone health care through Project ECHO.”

Project ECHO® makes specialized healthcare knowledge available to the masses by gathering local clinicians together with expert specialist teams in the setting of virtual teleECHO sessions. Expert panels present brief lessons, and participating clinicians are given the opportunity to discuss actual patient case studies without identifiable information.

Project ECHO began in 2003, at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center thanks to the efforts of hepatologist, Sanjeev Arora, MD, who figured out a novel strategy to meet the needs of thousands of untreated patients with hepatitis C who lived in rural areas with no nearby specialists. He created a technology-based learning platform that empowered primary care providers to treat hepatitis C in their own communities without the need to refer them to far-away specialists.

The AOA’s Own the Bone program now joins the global ECHO community, which currently consists of over 250 replicating centers, or “hubs,” and 12 “superhubs” (a center that can train and support other replicating centers) in 34 countries, offering more than 150 ECHO topic areas, with a goal of touching 1 billion lives by 2025. The AOA is the second specialty society to launch a teleECHO program, following upon the work of Itasca, IL-based American Academy of Pediatrics.

For those interested in learning more about the Own the Bone ECHO, please visit www.ownthebone.org/ECHO or contact Ben Grace, MPH at grace@aoassn.org.

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Own the Bone would like to thank Amgen for their generous support during the ECHO program launch process.