Adapting the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to Create Organizational Readiness and Implementation Tools for Project ECHO

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Abstract

The Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model expands primary care provider (PCP) capacity to manage complex diseases by sharing knowledge, disseminating best practices, and building a community of practice. The model has expanded rapidly, with over 140 ECHO projects currently established globally. We have used validated implementation frameworks, such as Damschroder's (2009) Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and Proctor's (2011) taxonomy of implementation outcomes, combined with implementation experience to (1) create a set of questions to assess organizational readiness and suitability of the ECHO model and (2) provide those who have determined ECHO is the correct model with a checklist to support successful implementation. A set of considerations was created, which adapted and consolidated CFIR constructs to create ECHO-specific organizational readiness questions, as well as a process guide for implementation. Each consideration was mapped onto Proctor's (2011) implementation outcomes, and questions relating to the constructs were developed and reviewed for clarity. The Preimplementation list included 20 questions; most questions fall within Proctor's (2001) implementation outcome domains of ”Appropriateness“ and ”Acceptability.“ The Process Checklist is a 26-item checklist to help launch an ECHO project; items map onto the constructs of Planning, Engaging, Executing, Reflecting, and Evaluating. Given that fidelity to the ECHO model is associated with robust outcomes, effective implementation is critical. These tools will enable programs to work through key considerations to implement a successful Project ECHO. Next steps will include validation with a diverse sample of ECHO projects.

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