SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Local schools are saving money by bringing health into the classroom.
The Nixa School District and CoxHealth say the clinic is combining on-site care with virtual technology to address symptoms faster and get students and staff back in school days earlier, thus saving time and lots of money for parents and the district.
The way it works is that anyone in the district, teachers, bus drivers, other staff, as well as students, can go to the clinic when they are feeling bad. There is a “navigator” there in person that will set up technology to be in contact with a nurse practitioner or doctor through the virtual visit program and they will also call the parents and have them on the webcam too so that everyone can see each other.
The clinic officially opened a year ago on February 4th.
The most significant benefit to this program is allowing them to address illnesses sooner so teachers and students can recover quicker and not spread germs for longer than they have to.
The program is also a huge help for parents; instead of driving back and forth from school, work, and doctor’s visits, parents can see and speak to the doctor over a webcam. The program saves the teachers time by helping them not have to get a substitute to take them or their kids to the doctor.
Zac Rantz, Chief Communication Officer at Nixa Schools, said that the school district has already broken even on the costs to set up the clinic to the prices the school would have had to pay a substitute teacher
Tabitha Ferwalt, the virtual visits product manager, said, “We originally started our virtual school clinics three years ago. We started with six school districts locally, Ozark being one of those, and Monett as well as a few others, and we had excellent success with those programs. The students loved it. We had outstanding feedback from the parents. So then we just continued to grow the program. So currently, across southwest Missouri, we have 27 districts that participate in virtual school clinics in 53 of their buildings.”
Having this program can also free up local Urgent Cares and the Emergency rooms to treat more severe cases.
The latest virtual clinics to open was Fordland and Spokane.