An inside look at how telemedicine is helping students at school

Telemedicine comes to three Jefferson County Public Schools

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Proper medical care isn’t accessible to everyone. Things like money, transportation, and time can get in the way. Now, thanks to a collaboration between Norton Healthcare and JCPS, some students have access to online medical care while at school.

Through a pilot school-based Telemedicine Program, children at three JCPS schools can see a Norton Healthcare provider through a secure video visit from the school nurse’s office. The program is being offered at Englehard Elementary School, Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North and Iroquois High School.

“We come to them where they are in the school and hopefully we can keep them in school,” Rachel Alexander, APRN and telemedicine program coordinator with Norton Healthcare said.

With a web cam, some special equipment, and the help of a school nurse, it's like the Norton provider who is miles away is right there in the room.

Englehard Elementary School Nurse Nicole Lasley was using telemedicine on student Layla Cosby on Wednesday.

"It's basically an examination through the modern world," Lasley said.

"The lighting is great, the camera is great," Alexander said. "Usually with the stethoscope we can hear the lung sounds and the heart sounds just as if we were listening right then and there."

The Norton provider can treat a child for things such as colds, earaches, fever, pinkeye, sore throat, and rashes. They can even write prescriptions.

"Anything you would go to an urgent care for or a pediatrician other than a check up type of thing, we can do that with telemedicine," Alexander said.

Nurse Lasley says it helps her students who need care beyond the ice packs and band aids.

"Having a prescription called in and by the time the parent picks the child up they have everything they need," Lasley said.

It's helping parents like Kara Cosby, Layla's mother.

"This is a Godsend to most people because they get an opportunity for their child to be seen by a medical professional and they don't have to worry about leaving work losing time, money which is super important for them too," Cosby said. "It's a bonus for everyone."

The video visit, examination and testing are free through the pilot program at participating schools. The provider will follow up with a parent or guardian after the visit by phone. Any prescribed medications are the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

Parents of Engelhard Elementary School, Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North and Iroquois High School students can enroll their children by clicking here to fill out an online consent form.

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