The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chattanooga has partnered with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Tennessee Coordinated School Health, United Way of Bradley County, and SkyRidge Medical Center to create the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. This school-based mobile health clinic is the first of its kind in Tennessee to offer telemedicine services. Introducing telehealth services into the school systems is an innovative way to expand care to students in underserved and rural areas. Telehealth services at schools deliver basic healthcare services to students, with parental consent, bringing the doctor straight to the child. The mobile health clinic provides services for, “sick visits, such as sore throats, earaches, coughs, colds, and urinary tract infections; prescriptions and over-the counter medications; conditions such as asthma; sports physicals, well-child vaccines; sutures; and referrals.” Through such programs as the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, children have better access to healthcare diagnosis and prescriptions, reducing the need for a parent to find and obtain an often hard to get doctor’s appointment outside of school time, saving hundreds of miles of travel and lost work days. “It doesn’t make sense to pull a child out of the school setting so they could see a physician, when in many cases, the problem could be resolved through technology,” says Joel Hornberger, Cherokee Health Systems’ Chief Operating Officer. Employing a school-based telehealth system would also help manage a child’s chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, and facilitate the “health education for children, families, and school personnel.” Additional benefits of school-based telehealth services include:
- Decreased emergency room visits through preventive care and early diagnosis
- Increased support for school nursing programs and healthcare programs
- Improved emergency preparedness statewide in cases of illness outbreaks
For more information how Barton Telehealth may be right for your school’s needs, please visit Bartonassociates.com.