Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia
Project ECHO


Project ECHO

The CRCNA in partnership with the University of Queensland Centre for Online Health has developed two unique ECHO projects targeting Northern Australian healthcare workers. These are:

Based on the Project ECHO model, we will deliver free monthly online sessions open to all healthcare professionals and staff working in Northern Australia.


What is Project ECHO®

Project ECHO ® (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) is a virtual knowledge-sharing network designed to create a ‘learning loop’ between healthcare professionals and healthcare workers with the aim of increasing knowledge and access to quality healthcare in local communities.

Project ECHO is an interactive model of collaborative learning through case discussions. In ECHO, professionals from across Northern Australia, including those in rural or under-served areas gain access to a panel of specialists through regular videoconferencing sessions. At every session, participants present de-identified cases for group discussion and gain advice from specialty experts, as well as other peers in the network. The group of multi-disciplinary healthcare workers form a community of practice, which serves as a sustainable mechanism for ongoing knowledge sharing and mentorship.

The origins of ECHO

The Project ECHO model was initially introduced in New Mexico, USA. The model has since spread across the globe after a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that adult patients with hepatitis C had equivalent health outcomes when treated by ECHO-trained primary care doctors, compared to hospital specialists .

ECHO is a proven model shown to improve the capacity of diverse frontline professionals in a range of topics in healthcare, education and other human service sectors. The model has been applied and studied in a range of health conditions internationally. The ECHO Institute indicates that health conditions that are well-suited to ECHO:

  • are common
  • are complex
  • require evolving treatments
  • carry a high societal impact
  • have serious outcomes if left untreated; and
  • show improved outcomes with ongoing management.

ECHO networks used to support professionals working in healthcare service delivery in Northern Australia.

Project ECHO benefits

  • It’s free
  • A virtual network to share telehealth knowledge and experiences
  • Increase knowledge, capacity and delivery of quality telehealth sessions
  • Decrease professional isolation by joining a peer network
  • Improve health outcomes for patients and families.