Continuous Quality Improvement: Always Part of ECHO-Chicago
Our March 2020 blog post centered on the focus groups conducted last year and some of the positive feedback our team heard. Hopefully the aspects of ECHO-Chicago programming that resonated with our past participants can also be useful for other ECHO programs! While we’re always thrilled to hear about what we should continue doing, it’s an equally important part of our work to hear where changes can be made. Continuous quality improvement has been part of the ECHO model from the beginning. In the decade we’ve spent working with this model, we’ve been able to expand and improve thanks to the feedback and ideas from our partners and past participants. Here, we will share a few examples of how we collect input and the ways it’s changed ECHO-Chicago.
One of the main mechanisms for soliciting feedback from past participants is through pre and post-series surveys that go out at the beginning and end of each topic series to every individual participant in that series. The data from these surveys is reported only in aggregate and consist of a few types of questions: knowledge-based questions, self-efficacy questions, and space for free text responses to suggest improvements. The first two categories are analyzed to ensure that our facilitators are communicating the content of the series in a way that resonates with participants and helps us to tweak curricula and didactics to optimize their impact. One question we always ask in our post-series surveys is about what topic areas participants wish we had series on; since we want to meet the needs of our partners and community, we are always looking to expand our offerings to match up with the topics that are most relevant and useful. This has led to the creation of several of our series, including our Childhood Adversity & Trauma: Strategies for Promoting Health (CAT) series, which was suggested by past participants and has now been running for almost two years. Additionally, we heard in post-series surveys and directly from participants that there was a need for a series about diabetes. We heard that and were able to secure funding and an incredible facilitation team and launched that series just a few months ago!
The addition of Patient & Caregiver Voice Segments to several of our series was initially suggested by members of the Community Advisory Board for our Serious Mental Illness (SMI) series. Similar advisory boards with experts and members of the community are in place for several of our series and are another source of ideas and feedback for the series they are connected to. Once we began to include these sessions in our SMI series, we asked for feedback about them on the aforementioned post-series surveys. The responses encouraged the expansion of these segments to more series and is something we’re working to add even more broadly. To learn more about our Patient Voice Segments, please visit past postings here and here.
Another improvement we’ve made to our ECHO-Chicago programs also came from suggestions from past participants. As the backgrounds and credentials of our participants has diversified, we were asked to expand the types of credits we can offer for participating in our series. We initially only offered CME credit, but due to suggestions from our ECHO-Chicago community have widened our options to be able to also provide CEUs, as well as MOC Part II and IV credits for several of our series and are continuing to think about new ways to offer credits to all of the providers who participate with us.
We love that making ECHO-Chicago better means working together with our participants and partners. It really is a team effort to make our program the best it can be, and we are so thankful to everyone who has shared feedback that has helped us grow and improve. The examples above are just a sliver of the quality improvement work we’re doing with every part of our work. If you have feedback about ECHO-Chicago you would like to offer, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please do check back for more blog posts, podcasts, and information as we near our 10thanniversary!Back to Updates