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Project ECHO® Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Project ECHO Model™ ?

Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a movement to democratise knowledge and amplify the capacity to provide best practice care for underserviced people all over the world. The ECHO Model™ is committed to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable populations by equipping communities with the right knowledge, at the right place, at the right time.

What is a Hub?

A hub is an organisation, such as IPWSOwhich has undergone training and signed off on a licence to run Knowledge Networks.

The hub is the multidisciplinary group of experts for a specific area and usually consists of a network lead, a facilitator, alongside experts in the particular subject of the ECHO session who deliver a teaching presentation and provide suggestions and expert opinion to the spokes/participants.

In some programmes dedicated IT and administration support are also based at the hub. These crucial support roles enable the network to function smoothly and for participants to focus on the topics under discussion not the underlying technology or processes of Project ECHO.

What is a Spoke?

A spoke can be any one person or a group of people who participate in an ECHO session from their own location via video link to the hub.

The spokes are responsible for delivering case presentations which will offer discussion and opinions of best practice from peers and hub experts.

What is a Knowledge Network?

A knowledge network is a community of practice hosted by a hub who meet on a regular basis via video conferencing to discuss a particular topic or area of interest to them.

Hubs can host more than one Knowledge Network, and spokes can be a member of more than one Knowledge Network.

Project ECHO is about creating a supportive knowledge network. All members of the network are teachers and learners. Expertise lies both in the spokes and in the hub.

To facilitate IPWSO@s Knowledge Network, we will ask for your permission to share your email address with other members of the programme.

What are the IT requirements for a spoke participating in an ECHO Network?

The key requirement is a broadband connection capable of streaming a video off the internet without too much stuttering.

Most modern handheld devices, laptops with speakers/headphones and microphones, or a PC that is fitted with a webcam/ microphone and speakers, will be able to connect to the hub via Zoom.

If you need to purchase a webcam for your computer, choose a make, that is, ‘plug and play’, and that does not require you to load software onto your computer. 

What is Zoom and how do I download it?

ECHO® sessions utilise Zoom, a cloud-based platform for video and audio conferencing.  Zoom works across all mobile devices, desktops and phones.

The Zoom software can easily be downloaded from the Zoom website, 
www.zoom.us/download onto the device you wish to use before zooming (logging in) into network sessions.

We also recommend testing Zoom before your first network meeting.
You can find general information about Zoom and participate in a test call here: 
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Are there recommended practices for IPWSO ECHO® Zoom Meetings?

Yes – a few tips to make the experience satisfactory for everyone:-

  • Understand how the meeting software works ahead of the meeting so you can easily use its features, including the mute/unmute buttons and the chat function;
  • Test your own computer link to Zoom before the meeting, including checking your camera, microphone and speaker volume;
  • Eliminate or reduce background noise in your environment (e.g. turn off mobile phones, and background electrical devices;
  • Turn on your camera at the start of the meeting and make eye contact with the camera (not your computer screen) when you’re speaking;
  • Raise your hand if you wish to speak or, if you prefer to comment in writing, write your comments in the chat box;
  • Speak clearly and slowly as most participants will not have English as their first language;
  • After speaking leave time for others to respond as there is often a noticeable lag, especially with a large number of participants;
  • If you need to step away from the meeting or you know you’re going to make a noise, mute your microphone so the meeting can proceed without interruption.

Avoid:

  • Disclosing any sensitive personal information;
  • Personal criticism;
  • Engaging in side conversations or talking across other people;
  • Extraneous noise, which can be distracting to all participants.
Are sessions recorded?

IPWSO will record the ECHO® sessions and each participant understands and agrees that his/her image and voice may be recorded as part of the record of the ECHO® session.  While the recording will be primarily for internal IPWSO use, some parts of the ECHO® sessions may be edited and form part of an ECHO® resource library.  The recordings will not be used for commercial purposes.  Any participant who for religious or ethical reasons does not wish his/her image to be recorded may switch off the video camera and participate on a voice only basis. Please advise echo@ipwso.org in advance if you wish to adopt this approach.

Will I have access to resources mentioned during the network sessions?

Yes, each knowledge network has a resource library, located on this website.  Some resources may be password protected and others will be freely accessible to network members and the wider public.

How does IPWSO fund the ECHO® programmes?

IPWSO is grateful to Pfizer Inc., for supporting the ECHO® programmes by way of an Independent Medical Education Grant. 

IPWSO is solely responsible for the content of the programmes and the selection of presenters, authors and moderators and/or faculty (“Faculty”). Pfizer Inc., does not direct or influence the content of the programmes and does not participate in the selection of the “Faculty”.   

Presenters are required to complete a Meaningful Disclosure of Supports at the outset of presentations.

IPWSO acknowledges that the International Academy of CPD Accreditation Consensus Statement (“IACPDA Consensus Statement”, at https://academy4cpd-accreditation.org) is a benchmark for independence in continuing medical education (CME) funding and will adhere to the IACPDA Consensus Statement with respect to the ECHO® programmes and the funding even if the programmes are not accredited or certified CME Programmes.

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