Pike County Schools offers telehealth to students

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -As Pike County students head back to in-person learning, a new telehealth program will give students the opportunity to visit a doctor during the school day.

“Parents can’t access the doctor’s office as much as they like, or doctor’s offices may be closed after they get off of work," said school nurse Lori Hatfield. "This will allow their child to receive services without them being there or without parents having to miss work.”

Through a partnership with Pikeville Medical Center, students who are attending in-person classes and become sick will have the opportunity to be seen virtually by a PMC medical provider without having to leave school. In most cases, parents or guardians will be able to pick their sick child up from school, pick up any necessary prescription medication from a pharmacy, and go directly home.

“Think of it like an urgent care clinic. We are able to do an almost complete exam virtually,” said, Dr. Aaron Crum, chief medical officer of Pikeville Medical Center.

A PMC medical provider will communicate with the school nurse as they see the student through a high-definition video teleconferencing system provided by PMC.

“We can examine your throat, nose, heart, and lungs all virtually with the product we have in the school,” Dr. Crum said. “We’re also able to give students the same test as they would get in their doctor’s office for strep throat or the flu if they have respiratory symptoms.”

In-person classes start in the Pike County School System on Sept. 28, and Superintendent Reed Adkins believes with the majority of students choosing in-person learning, the program will be an asset to the community.

“The fact that they are going to be in school in our school will make a big difference in attendance and also make a huge difference in the overall of our community,” Adkins said.

The PMC Healthy at School Telehealth Program will also be offered in the Pikeville Independent School System.

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