CareFlow News

e-Prescribing system Integrated Into CareFlow Student Health Records. This great new CareFlow feature is available to all providers capable of prescribing medications to students. Click here to read more on how this can help your school avoid medication errors and save you time!

CareFlow receives a great write-up from author Dr. Ronald Holmes. Take a minute to read All About CareFlow and our mission to put student health first.

CareFlow supports the NASN & NASSNC in their "Step Up Be Counted" campaign. Click below to check out their great new video and access important links. Read More! Profiles CareFlow and our use of Data Analytics to Make School Data Meaningful and Manageable. Read More!

CareFlow Visits Walnut St Labs in West Chester, PA. Read More!

CareFlow Donates Holiday Gifts to a Local Shelter for Women and Children. Read More!

CareFlow just returned home from a small tour of the Boston area to visit current clients, prospects, and to enjoy the area. Look for us near you next! Read More!

CareFlow joins NASN & NASSNC board to create uniform school health data set. Read More!

CareFlow volunteers at Yoga on the Steps 2014 in Philadelphia. Read More!

CareFlow completes asset acquisition of Gleeworks. GleeWorks has provided healthcare and online registration software to private schools in the United States. Read More!

The Latest From CareFlow

May is Asthma Awareness Month

Spring time: the sun is finally peeking through, warm air starts to surround us, and the flowers start to bloom. Most people are eager to spend some time outside after a long, cold, harsh winter. For others, like people with asthma and allergies, it’s a season of suffering. Pollen causes almost unbearable sneezing, along with itchy eyes, nose, and throat. We run to the local pharmacy to purchase an over the counter allergy medicine at the first sign of these symptoms, and try to get it under control at the early stage. But what about those who suffer from Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma can cause coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. These symptoms can be triggered by certain inhaled substances. An asthma attack is when multiple symptoms arise and become very intense, making it very difficult to breathe normally. Asthma has no cure. Even when you feel fine, asthma can still flare up at any time.

May has been declared “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month”, as it is the perfect time of year to remind us of these common diseases, and how they affect millions every day. Many people with asthma also have allergies. Asthma affects approximately 25.9 million Americans, as stated by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Out of the total number of Americans living with asthma, 7 million are children, and many of these children develop asthma before the age of five. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.8 million emergency room visits in 2011 were asthma related, and 14.2 million physician visits were asthma related in 2010. So many students miss school on a regular basis because of asthma.

My younger brother suffered with Asthma growing up. I remember running around and playing outside with him and friends, but he could only run for so long before his play was interrupted by an asthma attack. He would have to take breaks and sit inside for 10-20 minutes at a time, hooked up to his nebulizer, missing out on playtime. Everywhere we went, we needed to make sure he had his inhalers. Before bed each night, he would sit with the machine, and then take peak flow measurements of his breath. I felt at times it was something I was taking for granted; breathing.

So many students across the nation suffer from this lung disease, requiring different types of inhalers, nebulizers, extra time and special treatment, just to breathe normally. Some students can manage their asthma on their own, while younger students may need help. Using electronic medical records to document symptoms, treatments, and notes on students with asthma can make sure parents, nurses and teachers are all on the same page when it comes to the affected student. Parents can easily submit Asthma Action Plans to the students CareFlow chart so the nurses and teachers can use as a resource. Awareness is the most important factor when it comes to asthma, so that everyone can be prepared in an emergency situation.

For more facts and information on Asthma, follow the links below:


Marlene Chotkowski

Vaccinations and Your Children

Keeping your children compliant with your state immunization requirements can be hard for any parent with a never-ending to do list. Many schools require certain immunizations before entry, or they require an exemption note signed by a physician. In the modern world, is getting easier for schools to track their student’s immunizations by using electronic student health records. Schools now have the option to be in close communication with parents if their students are not compliant or if they are missing state required immunizations. Here are a few reasons to make the time to keep your children up to date with their vaccinations if your personal beliefs align with state required vaccinations.

  • Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease and can be a great threat to children if they are not vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.
  • 1 in 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized, 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage, 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care. (
  • Young children are around germs all day. Toddlers often have oral fixations, which inevitably leads to germs entering directly into the mouth. This is often concerning for parents due to the fact that influenza is the 8th leading cause of death in the US.
  • Each year, around 20,000 children are hospitalized due to the flu and about 100 children’s lives are taken. If a child already has a weak immune system, influenza can worsen any existing medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
  • When children are sick with the flu, they often have to stay home from school. This means legal guardians also have to miss work, or find a last minute care provider. Vaccinating your family helps prevent risk.
  • Passing influenza on to a child 6 months or younger is not something you want to do. These children are unable to receive the vaccination; therefore they are at a higher risk. The elderly also tend to have weaker immune systems. Getting vaccinated is not only beneficial to that individual; you also have to consider those around you.
  • Flu shots are often times free, or close to it being very affordable. If you were to be diagnosed with influenza, the medical bills can be expensive, and the time spent in the hospital or doctor’s office can range up to 15 days.

There are options for you and your family if you do not have insurance, or if your insurance does not cover certain vaccines. Vaccines for Children Program may be able to assist families in this situation. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines for children who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or American Indian/Alaska Native. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the VFC Website or ask your child's doctor. You can also contact your state vfc coordinator.

Consider keeping your children up to date with their vaccinations to keep them healthy and happy and able to attend school!

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at


Amber Hawkins

Allergies Hit Close To Home.

CareFlow Electronic Student Health Records understands the significance of recognizing and caring for students with allergies at school. Founder and CEO, Brian Biddulph-Krentar, has a child of his own with allergies. His daughter Avery was just starting to walk when her peanut allergy was discovered. During a family gathering, there were peanuts sitting out on the coffee table. Avery had grabbed a peanut without anyone's knowledge. Shortly thereafter, she developed a rash on her face. Brian and his wife immediately took Avery to the doctor. After some tests, the doctor diagnosed her with a peanut allergy. This instilled immediate concern in Brian and his wife when considering eating out, leaving her in the care of a babysitter, or at a friend's house. Luckily Avery had realized the severity of this allergy at a very young age, and would ask herself about peanuts before her parents had to speak for her.

Now, Avery is 9 years old. She has re-tests annually and is still allergic to peanuts, carrying with her an EpiPen at first and now an Auvi-Q. Communication about her peanut allergy still has to be transparent wherever she goes, including her daily life at school.

Parents that have children with allergies are especially sensitive to filling out allergy action plans, medication orders for EpiPens and inhalers, and providing accurate emergency care information for their students when they send them to school.

This information should be easily documented using your Student Health Record and is in the CareFlow program. The type of allergy, the reaction to the allergy, and the severity of the allergy are all documented very clearly, and you do not have to dig into the student’s chart to find this information. Allergies are documented in RED font and sit directly next to the student’s name. There is also a flag for “life threatening” allergies, which follows the NASN (National Association of School Nurses) data points for the standardization of data project where Brian Biddulph-Krentar is actively involved. is a great website that is designed to help teachers, administrators and other school personnel prevent and manage potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.


Amber Hawkins

Measles Outbreak: What to do if your school gets hit with the Measles.

There have been up to 87 confirmed Measles cases in 7 states and Mexico since the outbreak started to spread in the state of California. 50 of these cases are directly linked to visitors of Disneyland in December 2014 and January 2015. The disease has since spread to Arizona, Utah, Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Nebraska and Mexico. In California, patients range from 7months to 70 years. 1 in 4 have been hospitalized according to the LA Times.

The California department of public health released the following statement on January 22, 2015:

“Measles is highly contagious and highly preventable through vaccinations. CDPH is urging caution to individuals who are not vaccinated, especially infants under 12 months. Any place where large numbers of people congregate and there are a number of international visitors, like airports, shopping malls and tourist attractions, you may be more likely to find measles, which should be considered if you are not vaccinated. It is safe to visit these places, including the Disneyland Resort, if you are vaccinated. Therefore, CDPH recommends that anyone not already immunized against measles gets immunized at this time. Two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR vaccine) are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, check with your doctor to have a test to check for measles immunity or to receive vaccination.”

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is widespread in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. Measles begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. Children routinely get their first dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine at 12 months old or later. The second dose of MMR is usually administered before the child begins kindergarten but may be given one month or more after the first dose.

Students (including college students), health care workers, and unvaccinated Californians who are traveling outside of North or South America should receive MMR vaccine before they go. Infants who are traveling can be vaccinated as young as six months of age (though they should also have the two standard doses of MMR vaccine after their first birthday).

Individuals getting ready to travel abroad can find helpful information about travel vaccines in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

For routine measles surveillance data, please see the Vaccine Preventable Disease Annual Report.

It is important for parents and schools to be aware of their student’s current immunization compliance. Schools with low immunization compliance and high immunization exceptions are at a higher risk to be infected. Now is a good time to make sure your students are immunized to avoid being infected with the Measles.

What are the first steps to prep if this hits your school?

You will want to make sure you have a list of all of the students that are exempt from the Measles vaccine. These students should be not allowed to attend school during this outbreak.

Having an electronic student health record program is helpful during a time like this, making it easy to run a quick list of all students that are exempt, or are not compliant.

The infected students should not attend school for at least 21 days and should be under the care of their primary doctor. The county’s health department will likely dictate whether this absence from school will be excused under a medical leave.

Below you will find a few reports of the measles found in schools, and some resources to help you prepare your school.

  • 1/25/15: Santa Monica’s freshmen baseball coach had been diagnosed with the Measles. Luckily, all students on the baseball team were vaccinated and there haven’t been any further cases at the school.
  • 1/23/2015: Twenty students out of 3,000 students at the Huntington Beach High School have been asked to stay home from school since early January since they were not vaccinated.
  • Early January: 1 Student at the Orange County high school has been diagnosed with the measles.
  • 1/26/15: a student in South Dakota has been diagnosed with measles

Here are a few photos of the measles from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more photos, visit the CDPH website:

The Ohio Department of Health had created a Measles letter to all school nurses explaining what to do during a Measles outbreak.

Click Here to access the full letter:


Amber Hawkins

The Many Benefits of The HITECH Act and Cloud Based EHR's

CareFlow supports the HITECH Answers article from January 7, 2015 that discusses the benefits of your school adopting a cloud based EHR. Below are a few of the highlights of the article. To read the entire article Click Here.
  • - Your software is always up to date.
  • - Rest easy on HIPPAA data requirements.
  • - Accessibility—work from anywhere.
  • - Could-based EHR systems have almost ZERO downtime.
  • - Reduced expenses for both software and hardware.
  • - Better IT support.
  • - You can use a cloud-based EHR on an iPad, iPhone or Android device.
  • - Satisfaction levels are higher among mobile EHR users


Amber Hawkins


Big data, small data, your data: Tracking and making sense of the data at your school

If you hold information in any type of electronic system at your school, you have the ability to make sense of the data you are collecting. Your data is likely sitting stagnant in text boxes or radio buttons that have been completed individually. Whether its information related to demographics, attendance, healthcare, or student achievement, why not combine this information and put your data to work for you? Track trends, create lists, and use the data for related research. Schools are starting to see the benefits of tracking educational and health data, yet we are still focusing on the standardization of the data, and the overall initiative to promote the use of big data related to student achievement.

First of all, what is “big data”? This buzz word has been trending heavily in the news this year as many tech companies are finding ways to cut costs, and improve overall business using the discoveries found within their data. The definition of big data is: extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interaction.

You have the ability to analyze any type of data. Forbes wrote an article titled Big Data Goes To School which outlines a few ways schools are using this information to their benefit.

Public schools nationwide are taking a cue from business, harnessing big data to improve student outcomes, help school districts make better hiring decisions and help governments use their education dollars more effectively. The results may be more successful students, better teacher retention and more finely tuned administration policies.

Forbes mentions a few categories where big data can help, such as: educational donations, tracking long term outcomes, predicting teacher success, and adaptive learning.

The Washington Post highlights why electronic medical record programs are important to track vital health information with the goal to improve overall care. Many schools across the nation are switching to electronic student health record programs to be able to provide the highest level of care for their students.

A few things are driving health care's shift toward data. The proliferation of electronic health records in the past decade has made it easier for doctors to make clinical decisions and for health-care researchers to work in a much larger scale, writes Health Affairs editor-in-chief Alan Weil. Secondly, the industry is finally demanding it. Rising health-care costs and policy changes are forcing health care to transform into a system that's more and more rewarding providers for quality of care, as opposed to just volume. That change relies on data.

When it comes to healthcare data, in schools and in general, there have been a few roadblocks. Due to privacy concerns, lack of standardization, and therefore, scattered research, the healthcare industry is still in the beginning stages of making the most out of the valuable information being collected on a daily basis. The Harvard Business Review on Why healthcare might finally be ready for Big data talks about the key elements that are crucial for health care to capture the most value out of big data.

One of the first changes we face is the lack of standardization of health care data. The vast amount of data generated and collected by a multitude of agents in health care today comes in so many different forms — from insurance claims to physician notes within the medical record, images from patient scans, conversations about health in social media, and information from wearables and other monitoring devices.

As stated above, many schools are starting to realize the benefits of combining and analyzing the data that they have saved in their different systems to improve education and healthcare. Here are a few initiatives that are helping educational data research and why you should consider doing the same with the information held in your system, or systems.

The Data Quality Campaign
Who we are: The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Launched in 2005 by 10 founding partners, DQC now leads a partnership of nearly 100 organizations committed to realizing the vision of an education system in which all stakeholders—from parents to policymakers—are empowered with high-quality data from the early childhood, K–12, postsecondary, and workforce systems to make decisions that ensure every student graduates high school prepared for success in college and the workplace. To achieve this vision, DQC supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote the effective use of data to improve student achievement.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
How teachers and schools use data effectively.

The NCTM (outlines different types of data at the school and how this data can be beneficial. Here are a few categories:

Achievement data: benchmark tests, annual state tests, quarterly grades, performance tasks, these are all data points that can be tracked and reported on. There are also daily tasks such as homework, quizzes and performance that can be tracked.

Demographic and behavioral metrics: monitor students’ background, attendance, social and behavioral issues, mobility, retention, and dropout rates.

The Univiersity of California San Diego, and University of Irvine
The Health Data Exploration Project , from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), has been awarded a $1.9M grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), to create a network of researchers, scientists, companies and others to catalyze the use of personal health data for the public good. The Network was spotlighted on an ET presentation at Health Datapalooza by Matthew Bietz, PhD, lead co-investigator for the Health Data Exploration project.


Amber Hawkins


Students with allergies: how do they cope in school settings and how to help prepare for an allergic reaction at your school.

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE), “Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department- that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year”.

Students who have allergies, or develop allergies throughout their adolescence need to take their health concerns very seriously to avoid triggers and allergic reactions in all settings. Students with allergies in a school environment many times need special accommodations to be sure to avoid an allergic reaction. Due to the fact that some reactions are life threatening such as anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that can cause serious breathing difficulty, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and, in some cases, even death, (, if a reaction does take place, the student should have an allergy action plan on file with the appropriate treatment plan.

FARE also shares, “According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.” Because of these high statistics, schools require that parents and students communicate their allergy concerns before the start of school so this information can properly be communicated to the appropriate staff…including teachers, coaches, cafeteria staff, dorm parents, chaperones, the list goes on. Anyone caring for the student at any time needs to be aware of a possible reaction, and they will need to know what to do in this situation.

A student’s allergy action plan needs to be easily accessible during a reaction or anaphylaxis. Students are exposed to many different situations while attending school such as peers bringing in snacks, field trips, cafeteria food, bugs at recess, etc. so once they leave home, a reaction can take place at any time if allergic students are not careful.

One of the most common types of allergies are food allergies. Common triggers include peanuts, tree nuts, crustacean shellfish, fish, wheat, milk, eggs, and soy. Having a food allergy is not as simple as just avoiding the food itself. Allergic students have to watch out for any contact with the food, including touching or breathing in foods. These students are then responsible for checking labels, communicating food allergies when food is involved, and always staying alert.

School personnel must recognize the signs of an allergic reaction, and have a protocol in order if a reaction occurs. Common reactions include difficulty breathing and wheezing. Knowledge on how to use an EpiPen will also be important following an allergic reaction. Learn when its appropriate to use this method, where to inject the EpiPen on the body, and how long to leave the EpiPen injected. This information will all be available on the manufactures website, and should be detailed within an allergy action plan for the student having a reaction.

Giving teachers, chaperones, coaches, staff, etc. quick access to the student’s emergency information is crucial since emergencies are never planned. There are electronic student health record systems that provide mobile access through smart phone apps to this type of emergency information, providing access anywhere, anytime.


Amber Hawkins


Concussions, our youth, and the paperwork that follows

The significance of concussions in youth sports has been headlining nationally over the past few years. Most recently, three student athletes died due to head injuries in the first week of October 2014.

All private and public schools were required to create a concussion policy at their school by January 2014. All for a good reason, as concussions have ended the careers of many athletes, from top professional athletes down to beginning youth athletes. Concussion regulations in youth sports have been heightened by states and have been heavily enforced in recent years after unbelievably high statistics for concussions among student athletes surfaced. Sports-related brain injuries result in an average of 250,000 emergency room visits each year. These statistics and the new laws have schools putting together concussion policies, and parents will need to complete consent forms for student athletes annually, or in some cases, before every sports season. All resulting in additional paperwork for schools, but online student health record systems have proven to be effective in collecting this information electronically.

In May 2014, the White House addressed the concern around youth sports by starting the first Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit to help with the lack of concussion research. The summit will help raise concussion awareness and include steps to prevent, treat, and care for concussions. Additionally, the Office of the Press Secretary has published a paper titled “Fact Sheet: President Obama Applauds Commitments to Address Sports-Related Concussions in Young People.” This document presents statistics concerning concussions in our youth and acknowledges that there are gaps in our concussion research. It also addresses the need to reverse this escalating trend in our athletic communities today and includes the following quote:

“Concussions can have a serious effect on young, developing brains, and can cause short- and long-term problems affecting how a child thinks, acts, learns, and feels. While most kids and teens with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks, and a more serious concussion can last longer.”

The risk and reality of concussions in our youth have brought 48 states to enact the Zackery Lystedt Law, with Washington State becoming the first state in the nation to enact this overdue concussion safety law in 2009. This law enforces guidelines and demands education, annual mandatory consent from athletes and parents, immediate removal from activities if a concussion is suspected, and written clearance before students are able to return to sports after a concussion. The law also provides schools legal immunity if there was a student death or injury on their campus, if the school is able to provide proof of the students insurance, and if the school has a signed statement of compliance outlining concussion and head injury policies at the school.

There are many initiatives in place to help educate parents, coaches, and athletic departments to enforce the law, which is extremely applicable to schools across the nation. Based on the state law, the schools are required to annually implement their own policies, which may vary between private and public schools. In any case, these policies have added a hefty amount of additional paperwork including consent requirements and waivers to the enrollment process for schools and for student athletes and their parents. There are fact sheets and consent forms for parents and athletes, all of which require signatures and must go on file at the beginning of the school year, or prior to the start of an athletic season.

Many schools are starting to collect this information online through electronic health record systems, which can help reduce the amount of paper that is needed to cover these new policies. Parents can easily fill out the same information online rather than collecting 3+ pages of paper with a simple signature that could just as easily be an E-signature. There are currently only a few electronic student health record systems that can accommodate this more efficient method of collecting electronic forms, but current system users seem pleased with the


As the statistics show, concussions are not something to be taken lightly. The initiatives that are in place at this time need continuous support as new research is released often regarding concussions and our youth.

See for a list of head injury statistics compiled by “Moms Team,” the trusted source for sports parents.


Amber Hawkins


Cloud Based Eletronic Health Records and You.

Having a cloud based electronic health record (EHR) system while working in the healthcare industry has numerous benefits and can even be lifesaving.

One of the first items to consider while choosing a program would be to make sure your EHR is securely stored on the cloud and review your options for accessing the information remotely. Your healthcare information will frequently back up and save, creating another layer of reassurance.

Implementing an EHR on the cloud is very simple and does not take much time. Because of the cloud, users can access their secure web hosted EHR from wherever they can access Internet or have a data plan. On the contrast, to start using a program that is NOT on the cloud, one of the first steps would be for the company to travel on site to your facility to install your EHR program. Every time you would an update to the EHR, they would require access to your secure netwok or possibly need to travel to your school, think about the security concerns and potential costs! The updates with a cloud-based system can be done instantly and remotely.

Another benefit of having a cloud based Electronic Health Record System is the security that comes along with your records. The program should be HIPAA complaint, protecting all records with a username and password at all times. The health care information will be backed up and saved on a regular basis to assure no data is lost. You will be able to access your data securely on the cloud without worry that your records will ever be at risk, and you can access the information from an internet-accessible device! If there is a fire, flood, any natural disaster at your facility, any paper records or programs installed on site could get destroyed and all of your healthcare information could be lost.

During an emergency, an off site trip, or for personnel working on call from home- having a web based electronic health record system is essential to overall security and quick access to your health records. If your EHR is on the cloud, you will also have mobile access to your health records. Having a system that is only hosted at your facility limits the use of your information. With a cloud based EHR, take a tablet or smart phone on the go with you so you will never be without access. You never know when an emergency situation will arise!


Amber Hawkins


Preparing for a Student Health Record System Implementation: CareFlow and Senior Systems

After selecting the right online student health record (SHR) for your school, it is time to shift your attention to the implementation process, and integration with your student information system (SIS). Managing change is crucial during this process. Identify all stakeholders and communicate with them, explaining what the changes will mean for them. Communication is key to planning your rollout, and will help you adhere to deadlines and milestones.

To read more click the link here for the Senior Systems Blog


Amber Hawkins


Electronic Student Health Records in a Fire Emergency

What goes through your mind when there’s an emergency at your school?

1. Is everyone safe?
2. What has been lost?
3. How can we connect with emergency contacts?

If there is a fire or other damaging situation at your school, after ensuring that everyone is safe, it is time to assess the situation. There was recently a fire emergency at a school in Connecticut, in which their health center experienced smoke damage and was temporarily relocated. The school, fortunately, had an electronic student health record program which allowed them to access all of their emergency health information and continue documenting visits, medications, vitals, etc. without skipping a beat.

Having a hosted electronic student health records program alleviates the possibility of medical records and emergency care information being lost. Instead, you can focus on what’s important: caring for your students and contacting the appropriate personnel and parents/guardians to alert them of the emergency.

Your electronic student health records program should be web-based. This means you will be able to access the program and all of your student’s electronic charts wherever you are with Internet access or a data plan on a mobile device. Having electronic records is no good if they are stored on an on-site server that can also be destroyed in a fire or flood.

During a fire emergency, all of your paper health forms, medication logs, authorization forms, prescriptions, anything on paper with a doctor’s signature- could unfortunately be lost forever. Although parents are often advised to make copies of these health forms for their own records, we all know that doesn’t always happen. This puts schools at risk for having students on campus while figuring out the next steps during reconstruction.

Keeping this information on the cloud, or within an electronic student health record system in the cloud would ease all anxieties of losing this important healthcare information.


Amber Hawkins


Preparing for a Student Health Record System Implementation and Online Health Form Rollout

After selecting the right online student health record (SHR) for your school, it is time to shift your attention to the implementation. Managing change is crucial during this process. You must determine everyone who will be affected and how best to communicate with them. Some stakeholders may be more reluctant to adapt or may require additional training. Identifying these types of potential challenges early on allows you to plan for them, so they don’t turn into a major problem when the school year begins.

If you choose the right vendor, the entire process should be detailed for you using standard project management practices. Communication is the key, as is adherence to deadlines and milestones.

The first step is performing a thorough analysis of current processes from an entire student care perspective. What are the health center workflows? How do the athletic trainers operate? What is the school counselor’s role? What do chaperones or coaches need when taking students off campus, etc.? Your SHR vendor will want to know these types of things in order to configure the software to meet your needs.

Once your school is up and running, training should be provided. It is important to realize that a lot of schools have staff who may need training outside of the SHR program if they are not proficient or comfortable using a computer. Tips on browser functionality, Excel, and iPads may be useful. Most users learn best through hands-on, real-world examples. I recommend onsite training with the trainer shadowing the staff and back-entering the information into the SHR after seeing the students (and as time allows). This will speed up the transition. As with any new software, you may feel that using the SHR is slowing you down at first, but once you and your staff become proficient and gain confidence, you will see an increase in effectiveness as well as time-savings.

As enrollment time rolls around, you will begin to work with your vendor to design your health forms. A credible vendor will have a catalog for you to select from. You should also be able to completely mimic your current forms if you choose to do so; however, many of the forms you use are likely used across other schools.

Setting goals is an important part of this process. You should expect to reduce communications with parents and reduce printing and the use of paper. You could also set a parent/guardian satisfaction goal.

To achieve these goals we recommend the following process:

1. Build the health forms.

2. Review the health forms.

3. Test the forms internally.

4. Revise the health forms if needed.

5. Work with the communications team to determine the communication process for parents (a.k.a. automated reminders).

6. Create a deadline for completion.

7. Determine your reporting needs for when you come back to school.

8. Open the health form up to a small parent group willing to provide feedback.

9. Revise the health forms again if needed.

10. Release the health forms to the general population.

Finally, we recommend that the health center staff come back to school a little earlier than usual the first year. After all, this is a new process for you, and you want to make sure you are comfortable when the normal rush begins. In year two, you will find it is much easier, not only for you, but also for parents. The right SHR should allow for only a review and any updates to the student record.


Brian Biddulph-Krentar


Care Coordination Critical in Assuring Campus Health

An Electronic Student Health Record program can stand as the centerpiece of a web of coordinated care for everyone that will be caring for your students at your school. Whether your student is at school, on a field trip, at a sporting event, or even at home, a secure, web based student health records system should assure all of the right personnel have access when appropriate to your student’s emergency care information.


Parents will have access to complete and update health record information such as physical exams, immunizations, allergies, health history, and customizable permission forms throughout the year and over the summer. Let an electronic student health records program do the grunt work such as sending reminders to the parents letting them know exactly what is outstanding or that everything is 100% complete. Parent support should be available during the enrollment period via phone, email, and live chat!

Parents should be able to login at any time and make changes to their student’s health records. The school nurse can get an alert when any changes or additions are made to the student’s chart from the parent’s portal.


Nurses will have a place for secure, online charting as well as a communication portal between all care providers at the school (nurses, athletic trainers, counselors, parents, teachers, coaches, chaperones).

School nurses should quickly and easily be able to document visit notes for students and associate them with a reason for the visit. Nurses should have the option to send a secure message to other care providers at the school. School nurses should also have the ability to quickly and securely email parents from within the electronic student health record program with the email sent can be saved to the student’s chart!

Athletic Trainers

Athletic Trainers will track injuries, treatments, and game status for your students in an electronic student health records program. They can internally communicate with school nurses and coaches as needed about open injuries. Ideally, access to the program is available on mobile device for when you are on the field or off-campus.

Athletic trainers should also be able to send concussion alerts to appropriate staff members and immediately email parents about injuries on or off-site. Sending coaches a status update daily should be an easy and even automated task. This will let coaches know who is out, full go, or limited for a game or practice.


Counselors should have a locked down version of the program so that only they can see confidential notes. Counselors should be able to securely send alerts and/or internal messages to other care providers at the school and put a “red flag” on a student’s chart as needed. Communication with parents from within your electronic student health record program should be simple and secure. The email sent should save to the student’s chart to guarantee 100% documentation.

Chaperones/ off site personnel during emergencies:

The right program will provide chaperones, coaches, and others temporary and secure access to limited emergency information for a selected group of students. Your electronic student health record program should have a smart phone app to access through the iTunes or Google Play app stores for a mobile device. Native applications work better as they take advantage of additional technology on the phone, such as alerts, camera, calendar, etc.

Chaperones, coaches, and other personnel traveling off-site can have this emergency care information available at their fingertips as needed and as defined by an administrator. The access to this information should be managed to control exactly what the assigned personnel can and cannot see.


After student’s graduate from school, they should have the option to gain access to their health information easily. Some vendors provide a personal health record where a student or parent can automatically transfer the information. Healthcare information is oftentimes required upon acceptance to a college or university, or wherever the student’s future may lead them. They should be able to access past immunization history, allergy information, health history, and any scanned documents.

Connect everyone at your school with an electronic student health records system!


Amber Hawkins


Reduce Medical Errors and Liability with a School Electronic Medical Record

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) used by your school’s health center, athletic trainers, school counselors, and even chaperones, will help prevent medical errors in your health center. You are no longer alone in your exam room with your patient. You can now have the trusted assistance of this advanced technology to confirm that you are always giving the correct dose when administering meds. Controlled settings confirm when medications are administered along with their frequencies to avoid duplicate doses when there is miscommunication between nurses. Doctors and nurses will be able to communicate more efficiently while reading typed progress notes rather than transcribing each care provider’s individual handwriting in old-fashion paper charts.

Not only will a reliable EMR reduce medical errors due to miss interpreting handwriting, while examining a student care providers will be able to take advantage of pre-populated templates to avoid excess typing while writing their repetitive S.O.A.P notes.

Parents with children at schools using an EMR can rest assured that their children are receiving quality health care with this innovation that is happening in schools nationwide.

According to ABC News, “Since 1995, at least 1,720 hospital patients have been accidentally killed and 9,548 others injured from mistakes made by registered nurses across the country, the Tribune’s analysis of 3 million state and federal computer records shows.”

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices states that medical “errors involving prescription medications kill up to 7,000 Americans a year.”

In an article by Pharmacy Times “Preventing Medication Errors in Health Systems”, About 39% to 49% of medication errors occur during drug ordering, according to one recent study. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) programs have been successful in reducing these errors. Health care providers can access a patient’s medical records to view demographics, medical history, progress notes, laboratory and procedural results, and medications. One study found that EMR programs reduce medication errors by 55% compared with paper-based systems.


Amber Hawkins