Vanderbilt launches telemedicine program for Kentucky schools

Nashville, Tenn.-based Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt revealed plans to roll out a telemedicine program at four schools in Allen County, Kentucky, Oct. 6.

The school-based telemedicine program will connect sick students in a school nurse's office with Vanderbilt clinicians via video conferencing technology and digital stethoscopes and otoscopes. The remote clinicians will be able to offer students treatment for conditions that typically require a trip to a pediatrician's office, such as abdominal pain, skin irritations and limb sprains.

There are no pediatricians practicing in Allen County, so families would otherwise have to travel to adjacent counties to receive healthcare services for their children, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center statement. Following the virtual visit, the pediatrician may deliver an electronic prescription to the family's preferred pharmacy and send additional communication to the student's primary care clinician.

The school-based telemedicine program was established under a gift from Laura Jo and Wayne Dugas, the Cal Turner Family Foundation and the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation.

"This initiative … will allow us to reduce travel time and stress for these children and their families, and will create improved access to expertise that might not otherwise be available," said Luke Gregory, CEO of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

More articles on telehealth:
U of Mississippi Medical Center named 'telehealth center of excellence'
Teladoc updates mobile app after Best Doctors acquisition
Northwest Community Healthcare, Lurie Children's Hospital partner for pediatric emergency telemedicine

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