Atrium Health Floyd is providing more opportunities for students and teachers to receive virtual care for minor health conditions without having to miss important class time.
Virtual visits are now available at Armuchee, Coosa, Model and Pepperell high schools (Floyd County Schools); Main Elementary, Rome Middle School and West End Elementary (Rome City Schools) and Van Wert Elementary and Cherokee Elementary schools (Polk School District). Virtual visits are also available at Darlington School.
Virtual visits allow students, teachers and staff to interact with Atrium Health Floyd providers from their schools to receive treatment for the following:
- Ear pain
- Flu symptoms
- Head lice
- Pink eye
- Sore throat
- Urinary tract infection
Chris Butler, director of Corporate Health at Atrium Health Floyd, said the goal is for all of Atrium Health Floyd’s school partners to have a virtual clinic within the next five years.
“We know how important it is for students and teachers not to miss valuable class time. That is why these virtual clinics are being implemented as part of our partnership with local school systems,” said Kurt Stuenkel, president of Atrium Health Floyd. “From our school nurses to our primary care physicians, we can cooperate to make sure we deliver care where and when it is needed.”
Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover virtual care. Depending on insurance coverage, patients or patient families may be responsible for copays and deductibles for these services. Financial assistance may be available for families who do not have insurance coverage.
“We really appreciate this partnership with Atrium Health Floyd,” said Glenn White, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. “From the school nurses to the athletic trainers at our high schools, Atrium Health Floyd has really made a difference when it comes to caring for our students.”
Students and staff can make a virtual care visit with an Atrium Health Floyd provider through the school nurse, available at all schools where virtual visits are provided. A parent or guardian can also send a note or contact the school requesting a visit in advance for a minor with a non-contagious conditions.
It is also a benefit for parents, who will not have to miss work to take a child to the doctor.
“This can cut down on lost class time for students and teachers,” said Eric Holland, superintendent of Rome City Schools. “They still might have to leave class for the appointments, but students and teachers can make plans to do that when it is least disruptive. It certainly is better than a teacher or a student missing a half day or entire day of school.”
The parent or guardian will be invited to join the virtual care visit by video or phone. Appointments are held in a private, secure space at school. During the visit, the virtual provider will assess the patient over video with the help of the school nurse.
“We understand that parents want to be involved in the care of their kids while they are away from home,” said Butler. “The process we have ensures that parents will know what is going on with their students. It also means they sometimes will not have to take time off work for a doctor’s visit.”
The provider can diagnose the patient’s condition and offer a treatment plan. If needed, the provider can send prescriptions to a preferred pharmacy. With permission, visit notes will be sent to the patient’s primary care physician.
If the patient’s condition is minor and non-contagious, everyone can return to their day without leaving school or work.
Atrium Health Floyd already operates a full-service primary care clinic at the College and Career Academy on the Rome High School campus. The clinic is available to students, faculty and staff members seeking treatment for minor illnesses and injuries as well as vaccinations.