What is Health-e-Schools (Telemedicine)?
Health-e-Schools is improving access to healthcare for students in Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell & Yancey counties in Western North Carolina through the use of telemedicine. The technology is based on high-definition video-conferencing using specially equipped stethoscopes and cameras so that a centrally located healthcare provider can examine students at multiple schools without traveling. We address acute issues such as the common ear ache, sore throat, cold/allergies, asthma & spirometry, as well as many other illnesses. We provide chronic disease management, medication management, sports physicals, adolescent medicine consultations, and behavioral health visits with our providers. We work in conjunction with athletic trainers to provide care for student athletes, and collaborate with Primary Care Physicians to ensure that all care is coordinated and serves the individual patient on a personal level.
Who can use Health-e-Schools?
Any student enrolled in the public school system in any of the seven counties we serve (Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell & Yancey) is eligible to use Health-e-Schools, as well as all faculty and staff of the school system. In addition, we provide services to all students, faculty and staff at McDowell Technical Community College and Mayland Community College. All patients must submit a signed consent/enrollment form prior to any services being offered. Students under the age of 18 must have their form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Forms are sent home at the beginning of the school year, but they can also be requested from the School Nurse, accessed on this site by clicking here, or may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Insurance or Uninsured – Regardless, everyone at the school may use Health-e-Schools. We accept Medicaid, NC HealthChoice, BCBS, State Employees Health Plan, and more. Uninsured students and adults will be seen with our sliding fee scale. We will not turn away any patient based on insurance status nor their ability to pay.
What Purpose Does this Serve?
Using telemedicine to connect patients to quality health care providers is a proven way to increase access to health services, especially in rural areas; however, the idea of a school-based telemedicine program is unique. Health-e-Schools allows school nurses to connect any students in need of medical care with health care providers. School-based health centers have been shown to improve attendance and reduce barriers to learning. Health-e-Schools increases classroom attendance for students and decreases time spent away from work for the parent or caregiver of the student.