How Project ECHO works

“Project ECHO provides a way where hospitals doing fantastic stuff can also help communities to do fantastic stuff, while learning about what they need to do together."
Prof Max Watson, BMJ Palliative Care 2019

Extension of

Project ECHO is a distance learning methodology that breaks down hierarchies of specialist knowledge by creating virtual knowledge sharing networks.

Project ECHO uses  a 'learning loop' approach; specialist teams and local providers learn from each other by collaboratively problem solving real-time experiences and sharing best practice via video-conferencing. 

ECHO's aim is to  enhance decision making and transform service delivery.

The ECHO Model's Four Key Principles  

ABCD Model

1. Using technology to leverage scarce resources

Video conferencing technology, such as Zoom enables busy professionals to share learning and best practice across rural, hard to reach areas without the need to travel.

2. Sharing best practice to reduce disparity

Discussions held within ECHO meetings are well-informed and adhere to standards of practice to ensure that a joined up, standardised approach is taken across all settings.

3. Case based learning to master complexity

ECHO acknowledges that no one case is the same; by using real-life cases, discussion facilitates learning which goes beyond textbook examples.


4. Web-based database to monitor outcomes

Data is stored and analysed using the unique database, iECHO which allows for organisations to complete a thorough evaluation of how their project is transforming service delivery.

The Format of an ECHO Session

A typical ECHO session is 60- 90 minutes long. A topic expert delivers a 20 minute teaching session with discussion. The participants then discuss current issues or experiences they face and determine the best course of action together through 1-2 ‘case presentations’.

Watch a short clip of an ECHO in Action...

ECHO Terminology


The group of participants, who develop a community of practice


The ‘Hub’ hosts an ECHO network, with IT and administrative support and a network specialist.


A participant in an ECHO network.

Case presentation

An ECHO Network participant presents a workplace experience, issue or success to share best practice and access peer support.


Topics selected by the network for the ECHO sessions


The ECHO movements preferred platform to host ECHO sessions.

Resource library

An online library of useful network resources including; session recordings, the presentations and online materials.


Project ECHO’s web-based database used to collect data on the ECHO Movement.

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