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Impact of Sleep Telementorship in Primary Care: Sleep VA-ECHO (Veterans Affairs-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes).

Palen BN, Mattox EA, He K, Beste LA, Borgerding J, Patel S, Au DH, Chang MF, Parsons EC. Impact of Sleep Telementorship in Primary Care: Sleep VA-ECHO (Veterans Affairs-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Sep 21; 18(18).

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Sleep VA-ECHO (Veterans Affairs-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a national telementorship program intended to improve knowledge about sleep disorders among non-specialty providers. The project goal was to describe the characteristics of Sleep VA-ECHO participants from primary care and their use of program-obtained knowledge in practice. Sleep VA-ECHO consisted of 10 voluntary, 75-min teleconference sessions combining didactics and case discussion. Out of 86 participants, 21 self-identified as primary care team members and completed a program evaluation. Participants self-reported their application of knowledge gained, including changes to practice as a result of program participation. These 21 participants represented 18 sites in 11 states and attended a median of 5.0 sessions. They included physicians (29%), nurse practitioners (24%), and registered nurses (24%). Nearly all participants (95%) reported using acquired knowledge to care for their own patients at least once a month; 67% shared knowledge with colleagues at least once a month. Eighty-five percent reported improved quality of sleep care for their patients, and 76% reported an expanded clinical skillset. The greatest self-reported change in practice occurred in patient education about sleep disorders (95%) and non-pharmacologic management of insomnia (81%).

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