School-Based Telehealth Pilot Project Posted January 5, 2017 by Brandi VanAntwerp

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Whether it’s because of time or finances, sometimes it’s a challenge for parents to connect ill children with proper healthcare. That’s why, thanks to a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, CoxHealth is bringing health care to the students. Soon, sick kids can be seen right at school via telemedicine for acute ailments such as sore throats, chronic coughs and the flu.

Over a three-year period, CoxHealth will place mobile telehealth carts in six elementary schools across six counties in order to connect select children with providers via telemedicine. The providers include nurse practitioners aboard the CARE Mobile, a mobile pediatric clinic, sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Parents will be able to participate in the visit either in person, or by phone or video using a smartphone (or other video-enabled device) without having to leave work or home.

The project was the result of new opportunities in the state to provide telehealth in schools and is creating significant interest by those in both the healthcare and education sectors.  Participation is voluntary, and is completely free while the method of healthcare is piloted. If a diagnosis is made, prescriptions will be sent to each family’s preferred pharmacy.  CoxHealth has plans to partner with other agencies to provide financial support for medications for those in need.

This program is currently being introduced to communities, and kids will gradually begin being seen during the 2017 spring semester. However, things won’t be completely in full swing until the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Over time, this grant will also allow CoxHealth to offer specialty care, behavioral health and family practice.