Johnson City Schools to welcome telemedicine service in 2020
The more that students are in school, the more opportunities they have to learn. That is one reason Johnson City Schools has partnered with Ballad Health to bring their virtual health or telemedicine health service to all Johnson City Schools.
“We are excited about offering the virtual health program in our schools and we believe that the program will assist our students to maximize their learning time in the classroom by maintaining good health,” Supervisor of Safety and Mental Health Dr. Greg Wallace said. “It will also be a convenient way for students to have increased access to medical professionals without leaving the school campus, which will be helpful to not only the student but also the parents and guardians.”
With the telemed service, a health care provider will have the ability to virtually examine a student by looking in their ears and the back of the throat. They also have the ability to use a stethoscope to hear the heart and lungs and they will have an examination camera that will get close-ups of moles and rashes. School nurses are also equipped to perform a flu or strep test on-site.
Just as before, if a child becomes ill at school, they will be sent to the school nurse. Then the nurse will follow the protocol for notifying parents/guardians and determining if the child should be evaluated by a medical provider. Only children who have had their paperwork completed and returned to the school are eligible to participate in the telemedicine program. Staff also have the opportunity to be seen by the health care provider.
“It’s an attempt to provide a convenient and affordable way to get children seen appropriately and keep them in school if we can do that,” Corporate Director of Virtual Health at Ball Health Debbie Voyles said. “Because if they’re not contagious, we want them back in class and learning.”
The program will provide families with a convenient option for ensuring their child’s health is cared for in a timely and cost-effective manner, providing the student and parent/guardian with fewer missed days from work and school. Parents/guardians will have the option of being present for the evaluation in the school-based clinic. If they are not able to participate, they will receive timely follow-up communication regarding the child’s medical evaluation and treatment. They will also be notified of any prescriptions to be picked up at the pharmacy.
The service is not intended to replace a child’s primary care provider; it merely provides convenient access to medical care when it might otherwise be difficult due to school attendance and/or parent/guardian work schedules.
For more information about the telemed service or for a packet to fill out to be returned, please visit www.jcschools.org/healthservices.