Providing real-time resources in support of LGBTQ+ and HIV+ populations as information experts on the ECHO hub team: a case report
Keywords:community health services, telemedicine, sexual and gender minorities, information literacy
Background: Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a telehealth initiative that aims to reduce disparities in delivery of health care by leveraging technology and local expertise to provide guidance on specialized subjects to health care providers across the world. In 2018, a new ECHO hub convened in Indianapolis with a focus on health care for individuals in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) populations. This ECHO iteration was one of the first of its kind and would soon be followed by a new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) ECHO as well.
Case Presentation: In a novel approach, information professionals participated in the early planning stages of the formation of these ECHO teams, which enabled the provision of real-time medical evidence and resources at the point-of-need once the teams were launched. This case study demonstrates proof of concept for including health sciences librarians and/or information professionals in the ECHO as hub team members. In this case study, the authors describe and quantify the value added to the HIV and LGBTQ+ ECHO sessions by the medical librarians, as well as provide a template for how other telehealth initiatives can collaborate with their local health information professionals.
Conclusions: Librarian involvement in Project ECHO over the past three years has been enthusiastically received. The librarians have contributed hundreds of resources to ECHO participants, helped build and curate resource repositories, and expanded the embedded librarian program to an additional two ECHO iterations. ECHO hub team members report high rates of satisfaction with the performance of embedded librarians and appreciate the provision of point-of-need evidence to ECHO participants.
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