BRMMC | News Article

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Niswonger Virtual Health Clinic giving students access to higher level of care in school

 At school, children have always been able to rely on the compassionate care of their school nurse. But sometimes, certain injuries and illnesses require a higher level of care.

The Niswonger Virtual Health Clinic will enable kids in school to see a physician remotely from the school nurse's office. Thanks to a partnership with Niswonger Children’s Hospital and First Assist Urgent Care, area schools are now able to offer students virtual access to doctors and nurse practitioners right in the school nurse’s office. The new clinic, called the Niswonger Virtual Health Clinic, uses eMD Anywhere technology and is designed to help keep kids healthy and in school by catching illnesses early. Also, the new clinic will provide medical services for children who may not normally have access to doctors.

 “Being able to offer this kind of clinic to the kids in our community is wonderful,” said Lisa Carter, CEO of Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “At the children’s hospital, we’re dedicated to helping families, and this is just one more way we’re reaching outside of the hospital walls to care for children in our region.”

 Here’s how it works: Parents sign their children up by filling out paperwork through their school nurse’s office. If a student becomes sick and requires a higher level of care than the school nurse can provide, the student can go to the clinic where the school nurse will remotely connect to a First Assist Urgent Care doctor or nurse practitioner using special video equipment. Then, the student will be examined virtually.

 The provider will use the technology to look inside the student’s throat, mouth, ears and eyes, just as if they were actually in the doctor’s office. If a prescription is needed, one will be electronically sent to the student’s pharmacy. The provider and school nurse will determine if the student can stay in school or if someone needs to pick them up to recover at home.

 After the visit is complete, the provider will contact the child’s pediatrician or primary care provider to communicate what care was given and arrange any necessary follow-up appointments.

 “We’re really excited to have the Niswonger Virtual Health Clinic inside our schools,” said Dr. Gary Lilly, director of Bristol Tennessee City Schools. “We believe this will encourage students to get care sooner because they’ll be able to walk down the hall into the clinic and have access to a provider within minutes.”

 As an added convenience, parents will be able to join the visit through their computer or smartphone, enabling them to be a part of the virtual exam without having to leave work. Parents can sign up their children by contacting their school nurse.

 The clinic is in 37 schools in the following school systems:

  •     Bristol City
  •     Greene County
  •     Kingsport City

 Within the next month, the clinic will be placed in an additional 24 schools in the following school systems:

  •     Hawkins County
  •     Unicoi County

 To learn more about Niswonger Children’s Hospital, visit www.niswongerchildrens.org.