Houston Matters

Project ETHAN: Reducing Unnecessary Trips to the Emergency Room

Back in December 2014, all firehouses in the city of Houston began implementing an intervention program called Project ETHAN, or Emergency Tele-Health and Navigation. The goal: to direct non-emergency patients who call 911 to primary care clinics, instead of automatically taking them to the ER. We talk with Dr. Michael Gonzalez, program director of Project […]

Project ETHAN Susan Carrington

Back in December 2014, all firehouses in the city of Houston began implementing an intervention program called Project ETHAN, or Emergency Tele-Health and Navigation. The goal: to direct non-emergency patients who call 911 to primary care clinics, instead of automatically taking them to the ER.

We talk with Dr. Michael Gonzalez, program director of Project ETHAN and an emergency medicine professor at Baylor College of Medicine, about what kind of impact it’s had on the community since it launched eight months ago.

(Above: Susan Carrington, 56, speaks with a doctor through live video chat in her apartment near Hobby Airport. The doctor reviewed her symptoms and arranged a clinic appointment for the next morning, instead of an ambulance ride to the emergency room. Image Courtesy: News 88.7)

MORE: 
Doctors Make House Calls On Tablets Carried By Houston Firefighters (NPR, April 9, 2015)
Houston Fire Department Using Doctor Video Chats For Minor 911 Calls (News 88.7, March 23, 2015)

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