ECHO Ontario Autism

ECHO Ontario Autism

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) is pleased to offer the ECHO Ontario Autism program. Our aim for this program is to build province-wide community capacity and ability to screen, diagnose, and manage children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Ontario. In doing so, we hope to reduce wait times for specialized care by increasing community provider capacity, thereby reserving specialized care for complex cases. This project is fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

What is the ECHO model?

The Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model™ was developed at the University of New Mexico led by Dr. Sanjeev Arora as a platform for both delivery of services and outcomes research. The ECHO approach aims to erase barriers between specialty and primary care.  More specifically, it aims to bring specialty care to rural and underserved communities by using relatively simple to use and inexpensive video-conferencing technology. It links expert specialist teams at an academic ‘hub’ with primary care clinicians in local communities – the ‘spokes’ of the model. Together, they participate in bi-weekly teleECHO™ clinics, which combine didactics containing information on relevant topics with mentoring and de-identified patient case discussions.

The clinics are supported by basic user-friendly videoconferencing technology. This allows community clinicians to join from virtually anywhere providing they have internet and a phone/tablet/laptop or desktop computer. During teleECHO clinics, primary care clinicians from multiple sites or "spokes", present patient cases to the specialist teams and to each other, discuss presenting issues relating to their patients, and determine treatment. Specialists serve as mentors and colleagues, sharing their medical knowledge and expertise with primary care clinicians.

Essentially, ECHO® creates ongoing learning communities where community-based clinicians receive support and develop the skills they need to diagnose and treat a condition such as ASD. As a result, they can provide comprehensive, best-practice care to patients with complex health conditions, in their own communities.


Why join?

It's free

ECHO is fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and is free for participants.

It's virtual

All you need is a computer and a web cam, or a smartphone.

Build a community

Connect with community and primary care providers across the province to develop a supportive community of practice that fosters knowledge exchange and the dissemination of best practices in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD.

Earn MOC credits

Project ECHO Ontario Autism is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Benefits to you and the system of care

ECHO provides the opportunity to improve individual knowledge of ASD and increase the capacity to diagnose and manage this complex condition in rural and underserved areas.


Schedule (16 sessions)

Location: Videoconference
When: Every second Tuesday
Start date: October 16th, 2018
End date: May 28th, 2019
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Register here

Structure of the sessions

What equipment is needed?

Who can attend?

Case presentations


ECHO Autism leads

Expert hub team

Operations team