How Technology in Schools Is Improving Rural Health Care

March 2nd, 2020 | 3 min read

Children actively participating in class

In rural areas, families may struggle with getting help for their child’s health problems.

But new technology is enabling kids to see a provider, in school, and on the spot. Telehealth is the name used for the virtual method of seeing a provider through a video chat.

“Rural areas of our state are lacking access to health services. Telehealth is changing the face of health care, increasing access to providers and improving health outcomes,” said Steve Smitherman, president of the Indiana Market for CareSource.

CareSource has provided virtual conferencing equipment for Orleans Junior and Senior High School and Batesville Primary in Indiana to improve the students’ well-being though telehealth visits with a provider.

Mental Health Care Access through Technology

At Orleans, junior and high school students now have the opportunity to be seen by a therapist for mental health issues without leaving school. The new school-based virtual care program allows students to meet with licensed providers from Indiana University Health, at their school, in a private room.

“We chose to partner with IU Health and CareSource as a way to offer high-quality, affordable, and timely mental health care to our students,” says Chris Stevens, Ed.D., principal of Orleans Junior and Senior High School. We believe this program will help students not only survive their Junior High and High School years, but also thrive during those years.”

Read more about the program.

 “Together with our partners, we can fundamentally change the way children access mental health providers while at school,” said Smitherman. “Increasing access to care is one of CareSource’s top priorities, and we are proud to support this innovative program.”

School-Based Virtual Care Improves Rural Health Care Access

Batesville Primary students also have the opportunity to see a doctor without having to leave the building.

The program connects students needing medical attention to a pediatrician from Margaret Mary Health. Students meet with a school nurse in a private room, using video conference tools and telehealth equipment funded by CareSource.

Students can be treated for minor injuries or acute illnesses, such as strep throat, ear infections, rashes, pink eye and the flu.

Read the press release.

The CareSource mission of making a lasting difference in members’ lives by improving their health and well-being is a catalyst for funding telehealth initiatives and other programs that addresses the unique needs of its members. Explore more of the Tools and Resources available for CareSource members.