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Hotline Available for HIDOE Student-Related Health Questions and Telehealth Visits

Health Hotline & Telehealth Services

(844) 436-3888 (toll free)

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding holidays & breaks

Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) students and families have access to a health hotline and telehealth services provided by the Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn Program (HK). These services have been available since May 2020 and will continue into the new 2020-2021 school year. The health hotline and telehealth services will deliver equitable access to health resources and care for HIDOE students using mobile devices and interactive technology.

A partnership between HIDOE and the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, the HK program offers school-based health services during the academic year and provides nursing coverage to every complex area in the state. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic moving classes to online learning, HK will offer a no-cost health hotline and telehealth visits as an extension of services provided to students in the traditional school health room.

“This partnership helps to ensure continuity of care for public school students during this unprecedented health crisis,” Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami said. “Students and families can call the health hotline from anywhere. They will receive health guidance and may be scheduled for a telehealth visit when appropriate. Students will be referred to the appropriate medical and/or mental health care when indicated.”

Health Hotline

The health hotline can be reached at (844) 436-3888 (toll free) and is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding holidays. HIDOE students and families who call the hotline will speak with an HK registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (APRN). The nurse will perform a basic triage assessment over the phone regarding the caller’s health concern or question about their child. The caller may receive basic health advice or information and, with parental consent, the student may be scheduled for a telehealth visit with an HK nurse practitioner. Nurses staffing the hotline have been working in schools statewide and are familiar with many families and students. Families may request to make an appointment with a specific HK nurse practitioner.


Callers scheduled for a telehealth visit with an HK nurse practitioner will receive a link by email or on their mobile phone prior to the visit. To connect with the nurse, the caller simply clicks the link.

Telehealth is the safe and confidential delivery of health care services using interactive technology. Students’ information will be kept private in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. At a minimum, callers will need access to a telephone.

No-Cost Services

The health hotline and telehealth visits will be provided at no cost to HIDOE students. Families with medical insurance will be asked to provide their insurance information, but HK will not bill or collect co-pays from families.

HK nurses will screen for general health concerns and can connect students with other service providers such as HIDOE support staff such counselors, social workers, school psychologists or other medical referrals.

The health hotline and telehealth visits do not replace a student’s primary care provider but provide families with an alternative way to access health services while supporting social distancing. HK will be sending a note to primary care providers for the telehealth visit. By calling the health hotline, HIDOE students and families can be assured they will speak with a nurse who will answer health questions about their children.

Questions and Answers

About the Program

Q: What is Hawaii Keiki?

A: Hawaii Keiki (HK): Healthy and Ready to Learn is a partnership between UH Manoa School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene and the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE). HK puts registered nurses and nurse practitioners in public schools to improve student access to health care services.

Q: Will I have to pay for services?

A: There’s no cost to families for any services your child may receive. However, we need your insurance information to bill your insurance for certain services. Students without health insurance will still receive care from an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) at no cost. There are no copays for any of the visits.

Q: Should I call my regular healthcare provider first?

A: Yes. You should call your regular healthcare provider first and schedule a visit if they are seeing patients. If your regular healthcare provider is closed or not seeing patients, the HK Health Hotline is available to you. If you do not want to visit the doctor in person, and your healthcare provider does not offer telehealth services, you can call the HK Health Hotline.

About the Health Hotline

Q: What is the Health Hotline?

A: The HK Health Hotline is a phone number you can call to discuss a health concern about your child. It is currently only available for HIDOE public school students, not charter school students. The HK nurse answering your phone call will direct you on how to receive health services, recommend home treatment or management, and offer a telehealth visit (if needed).

Q: What is the phone number and when is it open?

A: The HK Health Hotline phone number is toll free (844) 436-3888.  It is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding holidays.

Q: Why is HK offering this health hotline now?

A: Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the HK nurse cannot see your child in the health room at school. HK understands that accessing care with your child’s regular provider may be difficult because many clinics are closed or have limited staff.

Q: Can I call the hotline if I have a concern about my baby, myself or my family member?

A:  No. The hotline is only for HIDOE students. Family members should call their primary care clinic.

Q: Who do I contact if I have a problem with the hotline?

A:  HK Customer Care at (808) 465-5713. Customer care is available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding holidays.

Q: Who can use the hotline and telehealth?

A: Students attending HIDOE public schools and registered in HIDOE’s Health Office Anywhere (HOA).

About Telehealth

Q: What is telehealth?

A: Telehealth is when you can meet your healthcare provider outside of the traditional in-person visit using technology like mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Telehealth services may be provided through audio, text messaging, or video conferencing software. Using telehealth allows you to talk to a health professional while you stay home and practice social distancing.

Q: Why use telehealth?

A: Telehealth can improve health care access, decrease risk of adverse health outcomes, provide quality care that would normally be provided in the health room, and provides access for all students of HIDOE regardless of location.

Q: Do I have to provide consent for a telehealth visit?

A: Yes. You will be able to verbally authorize a telehealth visit when you agree to be scheduled for an appointment. A copy of the verbal consent will be put in your child’s health record. The nurse will email you a copy if requested.

Q: Are there any risks with using telehealth?

A: Your HK nurse is not able to provide hands-on care nor provide/arrange for any emergency care that you may require during the telehealth consultation. Telehealth equipment may be deficient or fail, causing delays in your medical evaluation and treatment.  The HK nurse may have limited access to your child’s health record. There is always a risk of a security breach when using the internet. Measures are in place to decrease the likelihood of risk.

Q: What happens if my child needs labs or x-rays?

A: If the HK nurse recommends additional testing (such as labs or x-rays), they will refer you somewhere you can have an in-person visit (like your child’s regular doctor, an urgent care, or the emergency department).

Q: Will the nurse be able to prescribe medications over the phone?

A: In Hawaii, nurse practitioners can prescribe medications – similar to your regular doctor. However, there are limited prescriptions the HK nurse will be able to provide through a telehealth visit for the safety and well-being of your child.

Q: Can the nurse refill my prescriptions?

A:  Yes, but only certain medications.

About Privacy

Q: Will my information be kept private?

A: Yes. Your privacy and confidentiality will be protected during the phone triage and telehealth consultation, you will be told who is in the room with the HK nurse. Our electronic medical record systems have network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality of your health information.

The laws that protect privacy and confidentiality of medical information and student information also apply to telehealth. Information obtained during a telehealth appointment that identifies you will never be disclosed to researchers or other entities without your consent.

Q: What systems are you keeping or storing my child’s information in? The nurse said she was looking up my child.

A: HOA is HIDOE’s school based electronic health record used by many school districts. HOA keeps a record of visits to the health room, immunizations, required screenings like hearing and vision. It is HIPAA and FERPA compliant. Additionally, the HK nurses document telephone visits and telehealth visits in a medical record system known as Epic. Epic allows the nurse practitioners to communicate with your child’s regular doctor.

Q: How do I know if my child is in HOA?

A: All HIDOE public school students are in HOA.

Q: Will my teenager be able to receive services without my knowledge?

A: Yes. The HK program supports and encourages parental involvement in a student’s health care. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and applicable state laws, all exchanges between HK staff and the student are considered privileged and confidential. All records will be maintained in compliance with state and federal statutes. See Chapter 577A of Hawaii Revised Statutes for more information about Legal Capacity of  Minor to Consent,

Q: What are privacy laws?

A: There are two privacy laws created to protect student information, FERPA and HIPAA.

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects students’ personally identifiable information (PII) and any information directly related to a student that is maintained in student education records.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a national standard that protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. Via the Privacy Rule, the main goal is to ensure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well-being. For more information, please review HIDOE’s Quick Guide to Student Information Privacy.

About Nurses

Q: What is the difference between an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and a Registered Nurse (RN)?

A: The difference between an APRN and RN is the degree of autonomy granted to APRNs. The APRN has additional education and training to see patients on their own or refer to a physician or specialist as needed. Unlike RNs, nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat acute illnesses, manage chronic conditions, and prescribe medications.

Q: Is a Nurse Practitioner (NP) a kind of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)?

A: Yes. A NP is a type APRN. You may hear our nurses referred to as either an APRN or a nurse practitioner.

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