Students in several area schools will soon be able to get a medical diagnosis without leaving the school building. A Missouri Foundation for Health grant will allow CoxHealth telemedicine to be used in six elementary schools with the goal of reducing absenteeism.
Over a three-year period, mobile telehealth carts will be placed in schools in Cassville, Forsyth, Monett, Mountain Grove, Ozark and Reeds Spring. That will allow kids to be seen at school via video for acute ailments such as sore throats, chronic coughs and the flu.
According to CoxHealth, parents will be able to participate in the visit either in person or by phone or video using a smartphone or other video-enabled device.
The service will be voluntary and will be free during the pilot period, but parents will still have to pay for prescriptions, which will be sent to their pharmacy. However, CoxHealth says it plans to partner with other agencies to provide financial assistance for medications for those who need it.
The telemedicine service DirectConnect will begin to be offered this semester and will be in all the schools that are part of the pilot program during the 2017-2018 school year.
According to the health system, over time, the grant will also allow CoxHealth to offer specialty care, behavioral health and family practice through telemedicine.