Publications

    Madore A, Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. Project ECHO: Expanding the Capacity of Primary Care Providers to Address Complex Conditions. Harvard Business Publishing. 2017.Abstract

    This case takes place in the United States (US) and traces the inception and growth of Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO)—a web-based "guided practice" model for primary care providers—from 2003 to 2016. After providing background on the US health system, including medical education, health care financing, and the supply and distribution of primary care and specialist providers, the case explores what motivated Project ECHO founder and liver specialist Sanjeev Arora, MD to train primary care providers in rural New Mexico in hepatitis C treatment and management. It describes early replication of the ECHO model in the US and across medical conditions and what the Project ECHO model entailed—including leveraging technology to expand access to specialty resources, best practices, case-based learning, and outcome monitoring, as well as good will among participants. A professional communications campaign, ongoing research, and persistence supported Project ECHO’s growth. The case displays three dimensions of Project ECHO’s early work: creating a new mode to redistribute the expertise of specialists to primary care practitioners, scaling this new care delivery model and measuring its impact, and identifying sustainable funding sources. The case concludes with the US Congress passing the ECHO Act to promote research on the model and Arora contemplating what else he might need to continue to scale to reach his goal of touching 1 billion lives.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing. 

    TeleECHO Clinic - hub and spoke
    TeleECHO Clinic. Source: Case writers.

    ECHO Institute
    ECHO Institute. Source: Case writers.

    Learning Objectives: To understand what is needed to design a service model; the potential for redistribution of expertise among practitioners to enhance value; the role of operational effectiveness in enabling scale up; and the importance of measuring impact for stakeholders.

    Keywords: Public health, health care delivery, scale-up, resource-limited settings, human resource, information technology, primary care, information management, data collection, mentorship

    Wachter K, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Partners In Health in Neno District, Malawi. Harvard Business Publishing. 2013.Abstract

    Set in Neno District, Malawi from 2007–2012, the case focuses on the economic impact of investing in health care infrastructure. It examines management decisions that leaders of Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) and its founding organization—Partners In Health (PIH)—made as they supported the Government of Malawi in building a hospital and scaling up the delivery of APZU clinical and social programs across Neno district. The case highlights how a non-governmental organization can navigate the politics and local culture to improve Malawi’s health care system in close partnership with a strong, protocol-driven government. The case begins with Ophelia Dahl, co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health, reflecting on her December 2011 trip to Neno, nearly four years after her first visit. She observed signs of progress unrelated to health—bank branches had opened in town, a new road had been built, and the market had expanded dramatically. Ultimately, the case explores what this demonstrates about the value of her organization’s investments in health.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Neno rural hospital
    In the foreground: One-story original structures of Neno Rural Hospital used for outpatient and maternity services. In back: Two-story building constructed by APZU and partners used for inpatient wards, meetings, computer use, laboratory work, and government offices. Source: Keri Wachter, 2012.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the challenges of hiring and retaining local and expat staff, the complexity of an international NGO partnering with the government to improve health care, how leadership acumen and approaches impact scaling up and sustaining health care delivery, the relationship between the district hospital and the local economy, and how to assess impact beyond health measures.

    Keywords: Global health, social equality, project management, business and government relations, partnerships, strategy, economic development, health care policy, health care delivery, public health, human resource management, developing countries, innovation