Telemedicine, which is mostly used in prisons, nursing, and remote areas has become more beneficial even to school students. Sick students do not have to miss their classes like they did before whenever they got ill and had to be rushed to the doctor. The American Telemedicine Association revealed that at least 18 states had authorized reimbursement for Telemedicine services in schools and 28 of them requires private insurers for telemedicine appointments.
Last November, at Ducketts Lane Elementary School, a second grader student got ill and had trouble breathing. Veronica DeSimone who is the school nurse did some examinations on the girl and diagnosed that she was having an asthma attack.
Like the norm, the nurse could have administered some medication to the girl to save time, but the parents had not yet signed the authorization form and had not delivered the kid’s medication to school. Moreover, the child’s father was busy, and it could take time for him to get the girl from school. Also, the nurse could have called an ambulance to take the girl to the emergency room, but this would force her to miss the rest of the day’s classes.
Things got easier with the school’s telemedicine as the girl’s parent had authorized permission for participation in the telemedicine program. All the nurse had to do was to set up an online video and audio link to an emergency pediatrician from Howard County General Hospital, then examined the girl with a digital stethoscope and the pediatrician was able to listen to the girl’s lungs from her station. The doctor diagnosed the girl and directed the nurse on which medication to administer to her, and within 10 minutes, the girl was okay and back to class.
Educators and lawmakers in the country have said that telemedicine is a game changer in matters concerning the children’s health. It will help to keep them in school which will improve their education outcomes.
According to David Monroe, a medical director at Howard County General’s Children Center, telemedicine is more efficient than the face-to-face children examination. He said that the images provided by telemedicine equipment are better than those from conventional instruments.