Goodside Engagement Coordinator Devin Krueger shows Overton ISD Nurse Misty Carpenter how to access telehealth services via an iPad at Overton Elementary School on Wednesday.

Overton ISD students may now see a doctor for simple diagnoses while still at school thanks to a new telehealth partnership between Goodside Health and the district.

The program will connect children and their parents with doctors via video chat at “little to no cost” to test for “strep, flu and COVID-19 as well as sore throat, headache, skin rash, pink eye, upset stomach and the common cold,” according to the Goodside Health website. Students may also use Goodside’s telehealth services for “age appropriate” mental health screenings.

“It’s about trying to make things easier for parents,” Overton ISD Nurse Misty Carpenter said. “We have been COVID testing, which has been great. But then there’s so many other things that we can address with this. It would help a parent out so the parent doesn’t have to take off [work] and try to get a doctor’s appointment.”

Aside from simply dismissing children from school after a diagnosis, doctors can also use their video call to write prescriptions. Required medical testing can be conducted in the school nurse’s office during a visit.

In order to be eligible for the program, parents must register their child with Goodside Health online, then give consent for their child to see a doctor upon each telehealth visit. Parents who use the service can expect to pay rates similar to that of a normal doctor visit unless they qualify for Medicaid.

Goodside works with a team of doctors around the state for their video call services. Even so, Goodside Engagement Coordinator Devin Krueger, a registered nurse, said doctors can often respond to telehealth visits within one minute.

“We’re all over the state of Texas,” Krueger said. “We have [doctors] in Fort Worth, down in the Valley and El Paso, the Austin area and the Houston area — all over the state of Texas. So they just draw on a random doctor, whoever’s available at that time. There’s about 10 to 12 of them that work on our team every day.”

Overton ISD Superintendent Stephen DuBose said parents have already approached the district to express gratitude for telehealth options after seeing an announcement on social media.

“We think it’s a great opportunity,” DuBose said. “It could save money. Parents won’t be taking off and losing hours at work... You know, I think it’s just kind of where the whole world is headed.”

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