A school-based telehealth (SBTH) program uses telecommunications technology to connect children in need of acute or specialty care services to a healthcare provider at a distant site.
- Telehealth refers to a broad scope of remote healthcare services, including nonclinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.
- Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit.
Rationale/Why do we want a SBTH program in the HCSD?
A school-based telehealth (SBTH) program uses telecommunications technology to connect children and staff in need of acute or specialty care services to a healthcare provider at a distant site. A SBTH program in the HCSD can provide onsite primary care to serve our students and staff by collaborating services under one roof. All school nurses will serve in a dual capacity as they perform their regular job duties of providing medical attention during the school day and serve as medical liaisons that support and connect our School-Based Telehealth Clinics to Mercer Medicine for telemedicine services. Additionally, a SBTH program helps children and families who have to travel for their medical services and addresses wraparound services for children who are struggling.
Benefits of a SBTH program in the HCSD
The HCSD will benefit from having a SBTH program in the following ways:
- Follows HIPAA laws regarding patient privacy and confidentiality (Click link to access HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices)
- Services provided by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner via Mercer Medicine of Harris County
- Increases children and families’ access to healthcare
- Reduces barriers to healthcare in the community
- Reduces student and employee absenteeism due to illness and having to leave or miss school/work for medical visits
- Could potentially add mental health services
- Increases economic development in the community
- Potentially places our Healthcare students at HCHS in apprenticeships in the healthcare field
For Students and Families
- Time and hassle saved on travel
- Travel expenses saved (gas/food)
- Access to providers that otherwise may not be accessible
- Less time students miss from school
- Less time parents miss from work
- Reduced unnecessary emergency room visits
- Early diagnosis and treatment
- Decreased exposure to other illnesses from providers’ offices
- Convenient, quality healthcare
For Schools and the School District
- Higher attendance rates
- Improved school performance
- Positive parental involvement and communication
- Healthier kids and decrease of disease transmission in classrooms
- School becomes a part of the student’s healthcare team
- Decrease in the need for substitute teachers if faculty and staff have access
- Health education opportunities for school nurses and other school staff