FORT WAYNE, IND. – JAN. 12, 2021 – A new partnership between Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District and Parkview Health will give students access to a complete healthcare visit without leaving campus. Using state-of-art equipment, the school will offer students enhanced virtual health visits with a Parkview provider.
The school clinic will use a virtual exam kit, which will share real-time diagnostics with a Parkview Health provider through a video visit. The digital devices in the kit enhance the virtual exam by sharing the patient’s heart rate, body temperature, heart and lung sounds, as well as images and video of the ears, throat and skin.
With the school nurse’s assistance, the provider can virtually evaluate students and offer treatment for common conditions such as cough, cold, flu, earaches, skin irritations, pink eye and allergies. The convenient care model will not only increase access to high-quality healthcare for families, but it will also help reduce student absences and time away from the classroom, minimize the spread of illnesses, and reduce parents’ time off work.
“This collaboration with Parkview improves access to healthcare for our students and enhances the services our school nurse is able to provide,” said Tonya Weaver, superintendent, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District. “We strive to provide an innovative approach to education and now we can offer this innovative approach to healthcare, too. The virtual exam kit is a valuable tool to assist our school nurse in providing a more complete, coordinated approach to student health services in school. I believe parents will greatly appreciate this convenient support.”
When they come to the clinic, students will first be evaluated by the school nurse. If a virtual visit is needed, staff will contact the students’ parents for consent and to verify insurance information. With assistance from the nurse, students will be connected with a Parkview provider for a virtual visit and exam. Following the visit, a summary will be shared with the student and parents. Prescriptions, if needed, will be sent to their pharmacy of choice for pick-up.
“Sometimes our families need multiple days off work and school to address simple healthcare needs – we hope to bridge this gap and ease their burden,” said Tori Lamotte, school nurse, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District. “By creating this virtual care partnership, our students can be seen and treated quickly for illnesses like strep throat, bronchitis or ear infections. We know time is precious and if we can quickly address minor health concerns, it will be a win for everyone.”
Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools is the first school district to partner with Parkview Health to offer virtual health visits to students. Using its already robust virtual health platform, Parkview has been piloting virtual exam devices to enhance virtual visits and make care more convenient for patients. Through the generosity of donors, the Parkview Health Foundation will be covering the first year of the virtual exam kit subscription fee.
“Virtual care connects patients to a provider wherever they are, even at school,” said Max Maile, vice president, virtual health, Parkview Health. “We are excited to partner with Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District to enhance their health services and improve access to care for their families. The virtual exam kit offers unique diagnostic abilities that give an offsite provider more information than they would have with a traditional video visit, making the virtual experience even more valuable.”