It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that “utilization of telehealth technology may be a valuable tool to assist registered professional school nurses to provide school health services. The health of many students is impacted by lack of access to primary care and specialty services due to health disparities caused by poverty and other social determinants of health. Technology and telehealth can assist the school nurse in addressing these issues. The school nurse is on the frontlines of school health services and has the expertise to provide the critical link and oversight to successfully implement and utilize telehealth/telemedicine technology in the school setting.”
NASN emphasizes that telehealth provides a potential strategy to remove barriers by:
- Providing extended health and mental health care
- Providing timely access to meet urgent and emergent healthcare needs
- Promoting collaboration between regional health centers and healthcare providers in remote areas
- Decreasing absenteeism and time out of class, and decreasing lost work time for parents/caregivers
Telehealth can improve student attendance by assisting school nurses in the management of chronic conditions (Reynolds & Maughan, 2015). The use of telehealth to address physical or mental/emotional health can improve student attendance and may enhance parents’ and caregivers’ work productivity (Ollove, 2017).
As the emergence of Covid-19 has highlighted even greater need for telehealth, PHII has increased its development of services in this area.