Bringing healthcare services to students at school

4th March, 2014 - Posted by Meredith Lawrence - No Comments

For many students that grew up in suburban school districts in the shadow of large cities, the nurse’s office was a place where they went if they got sick or were looking to get out of gym class. But for students in some rural and urban areas, the healthcare facilities at their public schools could very well be the only place they can access healthcare services.

For communities that don’t have access to local healthcare providers, or for families that simply can’t afford to visit doctors and specialists, the local public school can be the primary healthcare provider for their children. Unfortunately, the healthcare services available in these schools are often limited.

To help increase the access to quality healthcare services, many schools are looking to telemedicine solutions. The trend of implementing telemedicine in schools is gaining so much traction, that an upcoming Webinar entitled, “Keep the Kids in School: How Telemedicine is Transforming School-Based Healthcare,” has been planned to help answer questions educators have about the benefits, challenges and best practices of telemedicine in schools.

Utilizing advanced video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions connected to scopes and other medical devices, these telemedicine solutions enable an on-site nurse or aid to consult with a nurse practitioner or doctor via video to deliver care to a student. This care can include dental care, mental health services or other kinds of specialized care that would otherwise be unavailable to the student.

Delivering these healthcare solutions to students in schools yields other benefits in addition to increasing access. Since students can receive these services in school, they don’t have to sacrifice time from learning to attend a doctor’s appointment.

Eliminating the need for a student to physically travel to a doctor’s office is also a relief for many parents who subsequently don’t have to take time off work to take their child to the doctor for a check-up or treatment. This can be a huge benefit to low income families, especially, since they tend to have jobs where time spent not working directly impacts their wages.

There are also educational benefits of adopting telemedicine in schools. Utilizing VTC solutions, healthcare professionals can be brought in via video to provide health education for students and parents.

Despite all of the benefits, there are some challenges hindering the implementation of telemedicine solutions in schools.

Privacy policies need to be navigated to ensure that teachers and medical professionals can share essential information. School nurses can be exceptionally busy making it difficult to get them onboard with the program. Finally, the technology needs to be purchased and implemented at a time when schools are struggling with tight budgets. Even when grants are used to launch programs, schools need to identify funding sources – such as third party reimbursement and additional grant opportunities – to sustain the program. However, many schools have managed to overcome these and other challenges, and have identified best practices for the implementation of these programs.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of implementing telemedicine solutions in schools, to hear about grants that can help fund school base healthcare programs and to learn about best practices for implementing telemedicine in schools, register for our upcoming Webinar, “Keep the Kids in School: How Telemedicine is Transforming School-Based Healthcare.” The Webinar will focus on:

  • Successful partnerships between healthcare providers and academic institutions
  • Greatest challenges facing school-based healthcare
  • Funding opportunities that can be used for your school-based health program
  • A live Q&A to answer questions

For additional information and to register for the Webinar, click HERE.

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