Spreading Addictions Care Across Oregon’s Rural and Community Hospitals: Mixed-Methods Evaluation of an Interprofessional Telementoring ECHO Program

Honora Englander, Alisa Patten, Rachel Lockard, Matthew Muller, Jessica Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Despite evidence of effectiveness, most US hospitals do not deliver hospital-based addictions care. ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a telementoring model for providers across diverse geographic areas. We developed and implemented a substance use disorder (SUD) in hospital care ECHO to support statewide dissemination of best practices in hospital-based addictions care. Objectives: Assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of ECHO and explore lessons learned and implications for the spread of hospital-based addictions care. Design: Mixed-methods study with a pre-/post-intervention design. Participants: Interprofessional hospital providers and administrators across Oregon. Intervention: A 10–12-week ECHO that included participant case presentations and brief didactics delivered by an interprofessional faculty, including peers with lived experience in recovery. Approach: To assess feasibility and acceptability, we collected enrollment, attendance, and participant feedback data. To evaluate ECHO effects, we used pre-/post-ECHO assessments and performed a thematic analysis of open-ended survey responses and participant focus groups. Key Results: We recruited 143 registrants to three cohorts between January and September 2019, drawing from 32 of Oregon’s 62 hospitals and one southwest Washington hospital. Ninety-six (67.1%) attended at least half of ECHO sessions. Participants were highly satisfied with ECHO. After ECHO, participants were more prepared to treat SUD; however, prescribing did not change. Participants identified substantial gains in knowledge and skills, particularly regarding the use of medications for opioid use disorder; patient-centered communication with people who use drugs; and understanding harm reduction as a valid treatment approach. ECHO built a community of practice and reduced provider isolation. Participants recognized the need for supportive hospital leadership, policies, and SUD resources to fully implement and adopt hospital-based SUD care. Conclusions: A statewide, interprofessional SUD hospital care ECHO was feasible and acceptable. Findings may be useful to health systems, states, and regions looking to expand hospital-based addictions care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • ECHO model
  • case-based learning
  • continuing medical education
  • hospitalization
  • substance use treatment
  • substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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