Addiction, Evidence-Based Practice, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Opioid, Project ECHO, Quality Improvement, Substance Use Disorder (SUD)



  1. Scott, Jennifer DNP, FNP-BC
  2. Schachman, Kathleen PhD, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, FIAAN
  3. Hupert, Cynthia DNP, RN


Background: There is a lack of substance use disorder (SUD) providers in the micropolitan Midwestern state. Individuals who live in rural areas with SUD may have a gap in treatment for their addiction.


Objective: The objective of this quality improvement project was to increase the engagement, participation, and awareness of rural primary care providers in treatment of individuals with SUD.


Methods: This is a quality improvement project that utilized a skip-logic standardized survey to evaluate participants who attended Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Addiction educational sessions.


Results: Findings included 176 participants over 14 sessions, while reaching primary care providers in 62 clinics over a 7-month period. However, it was found that only half of those participants completed the survey. A variety of topics surrounding SUD were offered. In addition, each session included a case study with feedback provided by the team. Seventy participants (79%) rated "strongly agree" and "agree" to "I will make changes to my practice." Participants provided feedback as to how they would change their practice after an educational session; responses included adapting how naltrexone is prescribed based on the recommendations made during the presentation, update treatment guidelines, screen for adverse childhood experiences, utilize motivational interviewing, feeling more confident in providing medication-assisted treatment for patients, and finally, better able to manage pain in those with SUD.


Conclusion: Project ECHO Addiction is an evidence-based translational quality improvement project that reaches rural primary care providers to help increase awareness, engagement, and networking in treatment of patients with SUD, which in turn improves patient outcomes as they receive treatment in a timely fashion.