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Bedford County Schools Interactive Video Technology Case Study

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Bedford County Schools decide to use interactive video technology to provide health care to students in schools through Project iACHE (increasing Achievement through a Cadre of Healthy Environments).

Bedford County Schools decide to use interactive video technology to provide health care to students in schools through Project iACHE (increasing Achievement through a Cadre of Healthy Environments).

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  • 1. 1/3 Case Study — School-Based Health Centers Eliminate Health Care Access Barriers for Rural Students Bedford County Schools Industry: Education Location: Bedford County, Tennessee Number of Students: 7,817 CHALLENGE: • To reduce travel, cost, and time barriers related to health care access for rural children • To take full advantage of existing school nurses and collaborating physicians to expand reach • To keep children healthy, in school, and ready to learn SOLUTION: • Deploy Cisco® TelePresence® technology at all 14 Bedford County Schools locations • Collaborate with local physicians to provide primary care to children in schools via video technology • Expand school staff reach to provide services such as counseling to more children while reducing loss of productive time to travel and travel expenses PROJECTED RESULTS: • 6,000 children will receive health care through virtual school-based health centers • School absences reduced • Parent pickups avoided • Travel burdens reduced for parents, school personnel, and providers • Increased percentage of children receiving follow-up care CISCO GRANTS STRATEGY TEAM: KEY TO SUCCESS • Made key stakeholders aware of the grant opportunity • Convened stakeholders and decision makers for planning • Assisted Account Manager in presenting potential uses of technology • Facilitated the grant writing process • Assisted with award management once funding was received Bedford County Schools use interactive video technology to provide health care to students in schools through Project iACHE (increasing Achievement through a Cadre of Healthy Environments). Challenge Bedford County Schools (Bedford County, Tennessee) serve over 7,800 students. Many of these students have significant health needs, and given the rural nature of the area and barriers to accessing health care, many of these needs go unaddressed. Given that one in four students suffer from a chronic illness or debilitation, the need for health care access is critical. Unfortunately, many families in the region, particularly those who are underserved, face multiple barriers in accessing health care: • Travel: Many families in Bedford County have no transportation, or lack reliable transportation. Others are unable to afford fuel costs associated with unplanned travel. As a result, seeking primary care for conditions that parents may not consider “serious” may not be affordable, or possible. • Work schedules: Working parents may not have the flexible schedules needed to accommodate picking up a sick child from school and taking him or her to the doctor unexpectedly. In some instances, parents are forced to choose between work and their child’s health. • Poor health literacy: For underserved populations, understanding the value of timely health care to prevent complications, the need for preventive care, or simply following provider or medication dosage instructions can prove extremely difficult. • Provider availability: Even for parents that have transportation, flexible work schedules, and a strong understanding of the need for early primary care to avoid complications, simply obtaining an appointment with a pediatrician or other primary health care provider can be difficult.
  • 2. 2/3 In addition to health care access barriers, several other factors made the implementation of Project iACHE essential: • Students must remain in school and be ready to learn: Pressure on schools, teachers, and students in regard to academic progress and achievement is constant, making every minute of classroom instruction critical. Research also supports the fact that healthy children are more likely to do well on standardized tests, and meet grade-level objectives. • Expertise and staff time must be equitably accessible across the system: Students at one school may be in need of services that, on any given day, may only be available at another school simply due to staff locations and travel requirements. Solution Fortunately, Project iACHE addresses and erases all of these barriers simultaneously through the establishment of 14 virtual school-based health centers. The provision of school-based health care eliminates the barriers that families face in obtaining needed health care for their children. School-based health care using a telemedicine-driven model maximizes efficiency and staff time, while drastically reducing sustainability burdens as compared to other SBHC models. Virtual school-based health centers were selected as the ideal approach to addressing Bedford County students’ health care needs based on the following: • In many cases, school-based health care offers the only option for children with working parents to receive the health care they need to avoid complications from common illnesses, or to manage their chronic conditions effectively. School-based preventive care also has the greatest chance of positively impacting students’ health behaviors, particularly when prevention education is provided to both parents and students. • School-based health care allows students the greatest opportunity for academic success, in that it reduces “out of seat” time and allows students to return to their classrooms, rather than leave school, in order to receive routine preventive care or care for common illnesses, including strep throat, ear infections, rashes, and the like. • The integration of telemedicine as a key delivery method of primary care limits the burdens on local health care providers, maximizes school and community resources, and reduces the burdens associated with sustainability and partner “burn out.” Further, the ability to record prevention education, and individual patient visits, and provide secure, password-protected access to these sessions in compliance with HIPAA regulations, offers parents the opportunity to view sessions and/or refer to them for clarification. This feature is particularly important for parents with low health literacy levels, in that they can refer to provider instructions as needed to ensure compliance. To guide the project’s implementation, Bedford County Schools adopted the following vision: To provide timely, technology-supported access to health care for all Bedford County students, with a strong emphasis on reaching underserved children, including the financially needy and those diagnosed with chronic illnesses or disabilities. “If the school-based health centers had been in place at that time, I would not have lost my job because of having to stay at home with my children, or leave work to take them to the doctor to get medicine.” Parent Bedford County Schools “Without this grant our school system could not afford the equipment needed to start this much needed service, especially with budget cuts within the school systems.” Parent Bedford County Schools
  • 3. 3/3 3/14 Americas Headquarters Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Asia Pacific Headquarters Cisco Systems,(USA) Pte. Ltd. Singapore Europe Headquarters Cisco Systems,International BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands Cisco has more than 200 offices worldwide. Addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers are listed on the Cisco Website at www.cisco.com/go/offices. Cisco and the Cisco Logo are trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. © 2014 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Printed in USA To achieve this vision, the partnered hospital doctors were provided desktop video conferencing endpoints. The schools were each equipped with mobile cart endpoints and peripherals for interacting with patients, with the school-based consultations facilitated by existing school nurses. The network infrastructure was built to connect and handle the high quality video interactions between the doctors and the students at each school. All of this equipment was purchased with a $497,936 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Projected Results Once fully operational, Project iACHE will serve at least 6,000 unduplicated student users annually through an estimated 10,000 video conferencing- driven telemedicine visits annually, with at least 30 percent of these children being uninsured. In addition, counseling, social work, and other social support services will be provided via video conferencing to an anticipated 200 families per year. The Cisco Grants Strategy Team: Key to Success Cisco Grants Strategy Team led the way during the entire process. Specifically, the Cisco Regional Grant Manager developed a strong understanding of Bedford County Schools’ needs, identified a grant opportunity that addressed these needs, and ensured that the planning and grant writing needed to develop a winning project was successful. As a result of this leadership, Bedford County Schools and their students will have access to health care that would not be possible, access that is facilitated by Cisco video conferencing equipment. For More Information To find out more about the Cisco TelePresence, go to: www.cisco.com/go/telepresence. To learn more about the Cisco Grants Strategy Team, please contact grantquestions@cisco.com. “Cisco has been with us every step of the way. Bedford County School System is looking forward to helping students, helping parents, and increasing attendance in our schools, but there’s no way we could have come this far without the awesome Cisco Grants Strategy Team.” Betsy Norris Grants Coordinator Bedford County Schools

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