Sickle cell improvement across the NorthEast ReGion through Education (SiNERGe) is a multi-state collaborative dedicated to improving care for individuals with sickle cell disease throughout the Northeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration through the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Program. SiNERGe includes sickle cell providers in DC, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Together SiNERGe members are working to:
- Increase the number of providers that treat sickle cell patients
- Increase the number of providers prescribing hydroxyurea
- Increase the number of sickle cell patients that are receiving care from providers with greater knowledge of how to treat SCD
This web-based instrument is under development to encourage education and shared decision making between patients and providers to assist with starting hydroxyurea. This project is led by Dr. Michelle Eakin with input from pediatric and adult hematologists, community health workers, research coordinators, primary care providers, nurses, and people with sickle cell disease.
Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) began as a way to improve access to care and health outcomes for individuals with Hepatitis C, living in New Mexico. Since its inception in 2003, it has expanded to include over 50 diseases/conditions, in 40 states, and over 10 countries. SiNERGe is the first group to implement Project ECHO® for sickle cell disease. We are working across our region to educate acute care, inpatient, and ambulatory providers on best practices for sickle cell care. Project ECHO utilizes video conferencing technology to hold weekly tele-ECHO® clinics, in which providers present de-identified cases to our expert panel. Our experts then provide recommendations for the care of the patient. In addition, each tele-ECHO® clinic also includes a brief didactic talk on best practices for sickle cell care.
Project ECHO is a guided practice model designed to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities by connecting providers with specialists through ongoing, interactive, telementoring sessions. Launched in 2015, The Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell TeleECHO Clinic provides access to providers who have limited access to and/or knowledge about managing patients with the sickle cell disease. ECHO utilizes interactive video conference technology, linking the expert panel to any provider looking to gain knowledge in sickle cell disease or would like consultation on the guidelines for best care for their sickle cell patients. ECHO also improves access to specialty care for rural and underserved population. The ECHO panel consists of a pediatric and adult hematologist expert, primary care and coordination expert, pain and psychiatric expert and community health worker expert. Together, the expert panel provide recommendations on de-identified cases presented by providers. In a typical Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell ECHO, we discuss two cases presented by the participants. In between the cases, a brief didactic provides further details on various aspects of sickle cell disease. Didactic topics may include renal complications, pain and addiction management, neurological complications, iron overload, and ED management. Some benefits of participating in ECHO include getting consultations on complex sickle cell disease related cases from the multi-disciplinary panel of experts and collaborating and networking with other providers in the community. Community providers learn from the expert panel, community providers learn from each other, and expert panel learn from community providers as best practices emerges. Additionally, providers receive support and develop the skills they need to treat sickle cell disease. As a result, they can provide comprehensive, best-practice care to patients with complex health conditions, right where they live.
Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Disease ECHO® is hosted every Wednesday, 1 p.m. EST.
For more information or to register to attend contact: [email protected] or 443-287-0608.