Spotsylvania County Public Schools
At a Glance:
- Fredericksburg, VA
- preK-12 Enrollment
Frontline Solutions Used:
- Frontline School Health Management, EHR & School Nursing Management, including the Health Portal Add-On
- Frontline Medicaid & Service Management
- Frontline Special Programs Management
- Frontline Recruiting & Hiring
Together, Spotsylvania County Public Schools (SCPS) staff, families, and community partners prepare children for the future. SCPS wants every student to develop the knowledge and skills relevant to their future aspirations and dreams. Even as the district makes significant strides, they are always focused on continuous improvement.
In a district with over 23,000 students on 30 different campuses, the challenge of maintaining accurate records is immense. While school leaders, teachers, and support staff focus on academic progress, it’s up to the school nurses to monitor student health. Alejandra Wilmer, Director of Health Services for Spotsylvania County Public Schools, knew it was time to replace the outdated health tracking system.
The system nurses were using wasn’t set up to track individual student data, even events as simple as regular hearing and vision screenings. When a new crop of kindergarteners enrolled every fall, nurses had to make spreadsheets by hand, listing which students needed to be screened. They followed the same process when older students transitioned to middle or high school.
Medicaid billing was done by hand, managed by a single specialist. As diligently as she worked, written plans of care weren’t always available, and sometimes things fell through the cracks. She often had to track down records all over the district. Clearly, time could be better spent helping children instead of making lists or searching for documents.
“It was kind of like having an iPhone 4 when we’re on iPhone 10.”
“We use Frontline to document, put in all our medications, track our inventory of medications—pretty much everything. It automatically picks up how many students each nurse needs to screen. We rely on the reports for immunizations, we use the letters, we use everything under the School Health Management system. We don’t use paper in any way.”
In the past, users had three different and separate programs to work with—electronic health records, reports, and Medicaid billing. With Frontline, everything is accessible with a single login. Nurses can see student records, run reports, and document every student interaction. Medicaid billing is automatically linked. The quality of care plans, tracking, and reports have improved significantly. No handwritten lists or records needed.
In addition, Frontline integrates with the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS), a statewide registry system for immunization records. It helps the school nurses ensure student vaccinations are up to date in advance, so students don’t have to miss school days. While COVID vaccines are not required, parents appreciate that access to those records allows children to avoid quarantine.
Because they had to maintain HIPAA and FERPA, it just wasn’t a thing to take home children’s information in the past. When COVID-19 showed up unexpectedly, school districts had to rethink how they managed student health records. Fortunately, nurses found they could access records from home. They could monitor student immunizations and run reports. Parents could be contacted by phone or email, and documentation of each conversation uploaded into the system. That access alone was a major benefit of the EHR and Nursing Management System.
When SCPS added Frontline Medicaid Billing and Service Management software, the Medicaid specialist was thrilled because her job got so much easier! As soon as a student’s IEP is finalized, a plan of care is created in the Frontline program. A nurse enters the medical problem, procedures, and medication schedule. Nothing is left to chance. Billing can be done at the front end; no sleuthing required.
And that’s not all. Using Frontline Medicaid Billing and Service Management saves the billing specialist at least 15 to 20 hours a week. No surprise—Medicaid reimbursement has increased substantially because of the new system.
“It’s been a huge change since the RNs automatically bill for every daily med and every daily procedure, which is much more efficient than at the end of the year.”
Templates for tracking
The Frontline templates available within the system are convenient. Alex works with the nurses to customize every single template they request. The step-by-step process is self-explanatory and easy to follow.
It seems like it would take some time to document every detail of every visit, but with built-in templates, it takes just minutes to check off options. The program automatically fills in the profile information for each student, along with the date and time of each entry. There’s even a pop-up “To Do” list for the health office showing which students need medications at certain times so nurses don’t have to keep track and can ensure that students are taken care of on schedule.
Because student health and safety are a priority for the district, the Frontline dashboard is available to all nurses, including substitutes. That means that when any nurse steps into a school’s health office, they have access to “To Do” lists, student records, medical alerts, and everything they need to know about the students.
Along with managing the health office, School nurses are responsible for all student immunization screenings, K-12. It’s vital to have a tool that helps ensure no students are overlooked. Immunization records can be printed for parents in a neat, easy-to-follow format. Students’ health records follow them from when they are first enrolled in SCPS schools all the way through to graduation.
“The nurses pull reports routinely because as children have birthdays or things change with immunization requirements, the system picks it up for them.”
Have you ever had to search through those little file boxes in the health office to find a student’s most recent emergency contacts, allergies, or medical conditions? All of that data is now available electronically. If a student has asthma and needs an inhaler, it will be listed along with other specific medical issues, medication, care plans, and contact information. Even if a student hasn’t turned in a hard copy of their emergency card for some reason, nurses can create and print one right off the system.
With Frontline, every nurse’s documentation is typically finished at the end of the day. Even when several students arrive at the health office at the same time, each one has an individual visit section so the nurse can quickly check off the details and close the note when finished. If they miss one, the system will alert them that a note is still pending so it can be updated and completed.
Compliance and convenience
“If you pull up the student profile, you can immediately see their immunizations, their screenings, health office visits, and parent letters that have gone out. You see the entire student on one page.”
With Frontline, it’s easy to go back and find out when medications were administered and see what was done. If a student has multiple health issues and comes into the health office, their whole history is right there. They can see all records by just scrolling down a single page.
Reminders for daily medications and treatments are posted as pending, helping nurses make sure none are missed. That helps with the workload because the nurses and even substitute nurses can immediately see their planned events for the day. Nobody has to figure out how many daily medications they need to give out that day or worry that they’ll forget if they get busy.
When Frontline users create a new medical alert for a student, the system prompts them to add the details before completing it. That way, the alert can’t come up blank for another user. If a student has a health condition, the nurse is cued to add tasks to the alert before creating a schedule. Along with any internal documents, medical records from a primary care doctor or specialist can be scanned directly into the system when needed.
The dashboard is a valuable tool for Alex as a supervisor, giving her access to Frontline at every site. She can check to make sure documentation is complete or provide individual training for new nurses if they fall behind. A review of the “To Do” lists show what’s happening at each school. She can manage all health offices and support her nursing staff without ever leaving her desk.
Alex Wilmer knows what her nurses needs to succeed. From contact tracing during COVID to monitoring compliance to streamlining Medicaid billing, Frontline has been a catalyst for change in the way Alex and her team support student health.
“With Frontline, everything’s there. It’s much more efficient. The nurses really like it because they do everything in Frontline and there’s no additional program to go through.”
About Frontline Education
Frontline Education is a leading provider of school administration software, empowering strategic K-12 leaders with the right tools, data and insights to proactively manage human capital, business operations, student information and special education.
Educational organizations representing over 80,000 schools and millions of educators, administrators and support personnel have partnered with Frontline Education in their efforts to develop the next generation of learners. Frontline is dedicated to driving engagement across K-12 school systems and supporting the continuous improvement of employee effectiveness and efficiency with solutions for proactive recruiting and hiring, absence and time, professional growth, student information systems, special education, school health management, payroll, benefits and financial management.
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