MURRAY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – School Based Telehealth is a community-based service from Intermountain Health that provides acute medical care for students during school hours that is improving access to care, reducing absenteeism, and increasing support for school nurses.
These virtual, clinical services are provided by Intermountain Health’s Connect Care team or a local provider in the community.
The School Based TeleHealth program aims to reduce healthcare costs by treating conditions that can be seen through telehealth services. Telehealth is a valuable tool to reduce disparities and provide equitable access to healthcare for families.
Telehealth services have been shown to reduce hospitalization, emergency care and school absenteeism, diminish the financial burden on families and reduce health care costs in general.
To access, parents would provide their health insurance information with consent to treat, or there is financial assistance available for the calls. A Connect Care visit costs $69.
Benefits of the program include:
- Students having the ability to stay in school and see a provider during school hours
- Reduce unnecessary missed school days
- Affordable options for acute healthcare visits for families
- An opt-in program where parents give consent to use the telehealth services that are offered at the school
- Parents are able to join the visits virtually and not have to miss work
- Receiving quality healthcare in a timely manner
- Equipment meets federal patient privacy regulations and is equipped with Bluetooth enabled peripheral devices to provide real time health data and images for providers who use this information to assess and determine a treatment plan.
- Ability to be seen for over 20 conditions (some of which are the most common pediatric concerns seen in the Emergency Department)
- School nurses being an integral part of the program to oversee the health of the students
“Parents, school health professionals, and providers are very happy with what the program offers. This has shown to receive very positive feedback, including some parents who have agreed it is a safe, fast, convenient, trustworthy and money saving option,” said Amy Back, RN, MSN, executive director of Pediatric Telehealth for Intermountain Health.
“Keeping kids healthy and in school is one of the most critical factors in supporting student learning and achievement,” said Aubreigh Parks, nursing and wellness supervisor for Wasatch County School District.
“This program helps to level the playing field and address the chronic absentee problem- which represents 27 percent of students statewide and impacts the economy, the ability for students to learn, and the long-term health of our students.”
“As a result of the support for this program from our District administrators and School Board, our teachers have greater satisfaction with their jobs because we don’t have as many kids missing class. It’s also easier on parents when they don’t have to miss work for doctor’s appointments, and our nurses are able to practice at the top of their license, which gives them better job satisfaction,” added Parks.
Intermountain Health and other community partners are helping organize and implement the program within Utah schools. Currently, this partnership is being utilized by Wasatch County School District, and is expanding to collaborate with other districts looking for more options to provide care for their students and families.
Connect Care is the current provider support model with the intent to include community providers as possible. This program is open to other healthcare providers in the area who would like to participate, as well.
For more information about the Intermountain Health School Based Telehealth Program, contact Shelly Cooper at Shelly.email@example.com.
Sponsored by Intermountain Health.