St. Luke’s Health Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Centerannounced today that it has launched Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes– a new telehealth program that will enable a team of specialists to assist primary care providers throughout Texas, in treating patients who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C.
Project ECHO at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center will feature Hepatologist Norman Sussman, MD, who has more than 30 years of experience and an active interest in advances in the management of chronic hepatitis C and fatty liver disease.
Project ECHO uses multipoint teleconferencing to connect with community providers in a peer-to-peer format, and uses case-based learning to teach providers how to deliver state-of-the-art medical care. The end result is a sophisticated medical workforce and improved health and healthcare in communities across the state.
Project Coordinator Lizette Escamilla leads the outreach and manages efforts of Project ECHO. “This is a fantastic approach to reach people across Texas, who would otherwise not have the chance to get the care they need,” said Escamilla. “The program eradicates the burden of travel, extra expenses and lengthy referral waiting times. Patients will be able to receive their specialized healthcare from their primary care provider in their own neighborhood town.”
As part of the program presentation, Dr. Sussman will examine each patient’s presentation forms during the videoconference. Following the videoconference, he will generate a report detailing the appropriate course of action and send it to the local provider to begin treatment.
“The mission of this program is to use teleconferencing as a means to bring specialized healthcare to underserved Texas cities and rural communities,” said Sussman. “This will provide patients the opportunity to receive chronic hepatitis C treatment and other specialized care that they may otherwise have difficulty accessing.”
As an incentive, all participating providers will receive specialty chronic hepatitis C healthcare mentoring education and Continuing Medical Education credits (CME) for this free program. The telehealth program is modeled after The University of New Mexico’s Project ECHO.
For more information on St. Luke’s Health Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center’s Project ECHO, contact Lizette Escamilla at [email protected]