Project ECHO Trains Future Hepatitis B Experts for Rural and Underserved Areas

ECHO HBV Bootcamp: Intensive Training for Future Hepatitis B Specialists
ECHO HBV Bootcamp: Intensive Training for Future Hepatitis B Specialists
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MANHATTAN, N.Y. - July 10, 2019 - PRLog -- DKBmed, LLC and the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) are partnering with Project ECHOTM to bring expert hepatitis B care to areas of the country with underserved expert care. The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects 1.25 million people living in America, yet only 35% have been diagnosed. Further, only 31% of people with HBV diagnoses are receiving appropriate medical care. People with chronic HBV infection die an average of 22 years earlier than those without the virus because of the consequences of HBV, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Many people at risk of acquiring or who already have HBV face culture-specific barriers that prevent their being tested or treated. In addition, many clinicians are unfamiliar with the interpretation of serology results that are used to diagnose the disease and the guidelines that can direct treatment. These gaps contribute to the current increase in HBV activity seen in the United States and to the suboptimal outcomes in patients.

The new program, ECHO HBV Bootcamp: Intensive Training for Future Hepatitis B Specialists (, seeks to close these gaps through case-based guided practice led by expert faculty, using the highly successful Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model created by the University of New Mexico. In this telementoring learning experience, registered participants present cases they encounter to our expert faculty, who serve as mentors and provide guidance and expertise based on current guidelines and their extensive experience. Project ECHO is an efficient means of disseminating the most current information to health care professionals in rural and under-resourced areas, engaging with and training participating health care professionals to become passionate HBV advocates within their community and improve patient outcomes.

ECHO HBV Bootcamp involves a series of five live, web-based mentoring sessions starting in summer 2019, which will continue through winter 2019. Each session begins with a brief presentation or didactic led by an expert facilitator before the participants present their cases and address any issues around management of HBV. These case-based learning experiences enable participants to obtain extensive knowledge, develop new skills, and improve care.

Over the series of these mentoring sessions, health care professionals will learn who to screen for the virus, how to overcome culture-specific barriers that interfere with identification and treatment, when to initiate treatment, how to interpret serology results, and refer to specialty care if needed. Health care professionals interested in participating in this program can enroll by contacting Matt Miller at mmiller at dkbmed dot com.

"To effectively control the spread of hepatitis B, it is imperative that clinicians be aware of the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations so they can identify which of their patients they should screen for HBV," said ECHO HBV Bootcamp Mentor and Co-chair Ponni Perumalswami, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Liver Diseases, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. "ECHO HBV Bootcamp was created to enhance clinicians' knowledge of these recommendations, which should increase screening rates and get more patients into treatment sooner."

"After someone receives a diagnosis of hepatitis B, they should receive treatment according to the latest guidelines. Today's therapies are more effective than ever before," added ECHO HBV Bootcamp Mentor and Co-chair Kalyan Ram Bhamidimarri, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine. "ECHO HBV Bootcamp informs clinicians about the newest HBV drug regimens so they can effectively counsel their patients and provide them with the most effective treatment."

Drs. Perumalswami and Bhamidimarri previously collaborated on DKBmed's Screening, Counseling and Linkage to Care Education (SCALE) HBV, which used simulated patient cases to educate clinicians about not only effective conversations that can overcome cultural barriers to HBV screening and treating HBV but also treatment of HBV according to current recommendations. Knowledge increases were seen in overcoming screening barriers (42% to 67%) and the benefits of new medication (34% to 58%) while more than 90% of participants made changes in practice related to these issues.

Credits and Support

ECHO HBV Bootcamp will be certified by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine for 1.0 credit hour (per module) for AMA credit, with 1.0 MOC points (ABIM). AAPA and AANC credit hours (1.0 per module) will also be available.

This program is supported by an educational grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

About DKBmed

DKBmed is an integrated continuing medical education company operated by a team of medical education experts. DKBmed provides health care professionals with effective medical education that closes identified knowledge and practice gaps with the goal of improving patient health.

Working with accredited providers, DKBmed develops innovative educational programs and quality improvement initiatives and specializes in bringing new learning methodologies to the CME landscape. To date, DKBmed has developed a number of QI projects in pain management, HIV, depression, and diabetic eye disease. DKBmed was an early adopter of case scenarios with recorded and live actors, TED/DKBmed Talks, 3D animation, webcasts, podcasts, e-mail, and mobile phone applications for clinicians and patients. These forward-thinking approaches enable health care professionals to learn using state-of-the-art techniques and access educational programs in a manner that is most convenient and appropriate for them.

DKBmed's programs are accessible through the company's web site ( They reach more than 50,000 health care professionals in primary care and in a variety of specialties, including cystic fibrosis, diabetes, infectious disease, dermatology, ophthalmology, rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary disease, nephrology, multiple sclerosis, gout, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, depression, viral hepatitis, eating disorders, and pain management.

About the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine

The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) has been providing trusted independent continuing education for health care professionals for over 30 years and is a recognized leader for jointly sponsored and cosponsored continuing education activities. The PIM continuing medical education (CME) program delivers effective CME activities designed to contribute to the professional development of physicians and other health care professionals, support their lifelong learning process, and positively impact the delivery of medical care. PIM is Accredited with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Psychological Association (APA) and is Accredited with Distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission (ANCC) on Accreditation.

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