Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, Texas, has launched an exciting telehealth program, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), with a team of healthcare professionals, Project ECHO Medical Director and Hepatologist, Norman Sussman, M.D., and Project Coordinator, Lizette Escamilla.
Project ECHO is a telehealth program that enables specialists like Dr. Sussman to coach primary care providers throughout the State of Texas in treating patients who have been diagnosed with chronic disease, using telecommunication. Each clinic has primary care providers call at scheduled clinic times, via videoconferencing, to discuss each patient’s chronic disease diagnosis with the Project ECHO BSLMC team. As part of the program presentation, Dr. Sussman examines each patient’s presentation form during the videoconference. At that time, the Project ECHO BSLMC team recommends the appropriate course of action for treatment.
The mission of this program is to use teleconferencing to enhance medical resources in communities that currently lack specialized care to under served Texas cities and rural communities. This program provides patients the opportunity to receive chronic disease treatment and other specialized care that they may otherwise have difficulty accessing.
Project ECHO provides a great alternative healthcare option to Texas cities and rural communities. As an incentive, all participating providers receive specialty chronic disease consultation.
We encourage primary care physicians and mid-level clinicians to contact Project ECHO for training on how to treat HCV locally rather than having to refer patients to distant specialists. Treatment and monitoring patients is becoming easier than ever before.