NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 36

NON-TRADITIONAL ACCESS schools in Dallas and has since expanded to reach students in more than 100 schools across North Texas. To date, the program has conducted more than 4,000 virtual doctor visits, allowing students convenient access to treatment at their school and the ability to get back to class quickly. Parents sign a consent form for each academic year, allowing their child to participate in the program. When a child presents in school with symptoms, the on- site school nurse determines whether the student needs to see a pediatrician or nurse practitioner and calls the parent. Parent involvement is at their discretion, explains Stormee Williams, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of the School Based Telemedicine Program at Children’s Health. (HIPAA). Through extended mobile technology, parents can utilize after-hours connections to discuss their child’s virtual visit summary, prescriptions and any other requested information. Details of the visit are also communicated back to the child’s regular doctor. “An after-visit report, which summarizes the entire visit, diagnosis that was made, and the treatment plan, is sent to the child’s primary care provider and the parent,” Dr. Williams said. Children’s Health staffs its telehealth medicine program with a pediatrician or nurse practitioner at Children’s Health Pediatric Group, the health system’s extensive regional primary care/medical home network. The system lauds this telehealth technology for providing a natural path to community primary care providers, fostering the establishment of “medical homes” for school children, which Children’s Health notes is an ultimate objective of the program. Since 2013, this non-traditional access point has provided care in nearly 4,000 Technology and non-traditional access virtual visits for students, meeting their points makes healthcare convenient care needs quickly and reducing hours spent away from school and, for parents, hours away from “When she calls you, the school nurse asks if you want work. Children’s Health accepts major insurers and to be involved,” said Dr. Williams, referring to parents’ Medicaid and notes that a family will never be out involvement in their child’s telehealth visit. “Some of of pocket more than $50 for the visit. The system our parents come in and actually attend the visit with also estimates that its telehealth network has helped their child. Other times, the parent calls in and is on prevent as many as 2,600 primary care referrals speaker phone during the visit.” to local emergency departments and urgent care School nurses are equipped with secure, encrypted centers already. telemedicine technology, which includes high- definition, real-time videoconferencing and state- of-the-art digital scopes. Strep and flu rapid tests are also available as diagnostic tools for the visit, which is confidential and compliant with the Healthcare Information and Portability Accountability Act S ince 2013, t his n on-traditional acc ess po int has provided c are in nearly 4,000 virt ual visits for studen ts. 34 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 Children’s Health has also learned this telehealth initiative allows for portability outside of the school setting, too. Last year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the pediatric health provider set up a telemedicine station at the mega-shelter that housed hurricane evacuees, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Emergency physicians at the pediatric hospital remotely observed children at the shelter, via a computer monitor and specially designed equipment for measuring vital signs. Getting sick or injured is never convenient. But here in North Texas, we’re making sure that getting the medical attention you need is convenient. TEL CHI ECO LDR MM EN’ S UNI C AT HEA ION LT H