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Best practice guide

Telehealth for school-based services

Prepare students, parents, and guardians for school-based telehealth

You will want to provide students, parents, and guardians with details about the telehealth services offered at the school.

Attending a school-based telehealth appointment

Explain that the only difference in experience is that the health care provider and patient are not in the same room. The patient should still:

  • Listen and pay attention to the provider.
  • Answer all questions as best they can. If the patient sees a new health care provider, the health care provider may ask questions to get to know the patient.
  • Ask questions if they do not understand something.
  • Provide insurance or other information for records before the appointment to the school and/or health care provider.

Attending school-based telehealth appointments from home

There may be occasions in which a student attends a school-based telehealth appointment from home (for example, if the appointment falls during a school closure such as a holiday, break, or COVID-19 related restrictions). If the patient attends a telehealth appointment from home, here are some things the parents/guardian should keep in mind to minimize challenges:

  • Bedrooms can have distractions, such as toys or games.
  • Pets or other family members can interrupt.
  • Everyone should stay seated for the entire appointment, including parents or guardians. This will minimize distraction for the health care provider and the patient.
  • Background noise should be minimized. The patient should not attend a telehealth appointment from a public space. If the patient is an older student they should not drive during their telehealth appointment.

Other tips for successful telehealth appointments

  • Test all technology at least one day before the appointment in order to fix any problems.
  • When introducing new technology to the patient, make sure they can practice using it during the appointment-for example, a new Bluetooth scale or activity tracking watch.
  • Make sure that patients and parents or guardians understand the confidentiality of visits. Explain privacy and security requirements, and that the use of technology can change these requirements.

Tip: Understand the specific legal requirements and privacy concerns when providing care for patients with limited English proficiency and patients with disabilities.

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