School telehealth in Louisiana

Hot on the heels of the Texas school telehealth expansion reported earlier (Telehealth counselling program expands in Texas TTA, Jan 27) comes news  of a school telehealth system in neighbouring Louisiana. The Advocate, a Baton Rouge newspaper, reports that from next month students at Ossun Elementary with earaches, sore throats or other common sick-at-school ailments will be seen on the elementary school campus by a doctor in an exam room about five miles away at Carencro Middle School’s school-based health centre.

Louisiana has several school-based health centres (see Louisiana Adolescent School Health Program) and Carencro’s centre opened in 2010. As the School Boards look into cost-effective ways of expanding these services, Lafayette has decided to use the Carencro facility via telehealth technologies at the nearby Elementary.

School based health centres are said to help students  achieve better academically as a majority of students (Lafayette claim 90-95%) with minor ailments  will be able to rejoin their classes following a consultation at the school rather than having to miss school to visit the family physician.  Then there’s the obvious advantage for the parents too!

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