Sick kid in nurse's office

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana elementary school is battling sickness this flu season with more than just hand washing and vaccines.

Bradie Shrum Elementary School is one of three area elementary schools to partner with St. Vincent Hospital and bring telehealth technology to school nurse's offices.

In just a one trip to the school nurse's office, students like Tucker Clem can be examined by a doctor or a nurse practitioner and even get a prescription.

The school nurse uses a laptop to video chat with a doctor or healthcare provider at St. Vincent.

The purpose is to keep kids healthy, especially during this flu season, and to save time by keeping parents at work and keep kids in the classroom.

"That way, when [parents] come in, they pick up the student and they pick up the prescription all in one trip," said St. Vincent family nurse practitioner Lindsey Brough. "And if the child has a sore throat, and we determine it's not strep, we can send them back to class."

The telehealth technology in schools also helps students get healthcare they might not otherwise receive.

"We are making sure we are spreading access or giving more access to the community for health care," St. Vincent Salem and Jennings Hospitals Administrator Dana Muntz, said. "We do not turn any patent away based on their inability to pay."

"The Indiana Rural Health Association received a grant in 2016, which allowed us to form this network," said Indiana Rural Schools Network Project Director Kathleen Chelminiak. "It's the Indiana Rural Schools Clinic Network, and if any other communities are interested in getting this in their schools with their providers, they can find us on our website."

Parents must give their permission by signing a waiver and can be included in the telehealth appointment.

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