Greene County General Hospital’s medical clinics, My Clinics, in collaboration with the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) have partnered with WRV Elementary to offer healthcare services via telehealth technology, a first for the county. This school-based service provides students the opportunity to see a licensed health care provider without leaving school.

Telehealth is the use of telecommunication and information technology, known as Agnes Interactive, which provides clinical healthcare from a distance. When a student presents symptoms that are beyond the scope of care for the school nurse, the student will be seen by a My Clinics’ licensed provider via the Agnes Interactive software two-way video and virtual diagnostic equipment. Exams requested by this provider will utilize the interactive technology that allows a high-resolution visualization of the student’s ears, throat, and skin as well as a high-fidelity sound of student’s heart and lungs, resulting in an accurate medical assessment without the student needing to leave school.

The services provided at WRV Elementary via telehealth include diagnoses and treatment for acute illnesses such as strep throat, ear infections, rashes, and influenza as well as the treatment of minor injuries, limited laboratory testing, and the management and ongoing care of existing medical conditions such as diabetes and asthma. Greene County General Hospital’s Director of Nursing, Kristin Crynes, will oversee the WRV school nurse program to ensure the services offered are in compliance with Indiana Department of Education’s regulations. To participate in the program the student must have prior parent/guardian consent and fees are appropriately billed to insurance by the My Clinics.

WRV School Corporation received a grant for funding and program support from IRHA to establish the services. The IRHA launched the first telehealth clinic in 2016 in Elwood and plans to open five per year in Indiana from now through 2020.