Modernizing Health Management at Spotsylvania Public Schools
At a Glance:
- Fredericksburg, VA
- K-12 Enrollment
- Certified staff: 1788
- Support staff: 1382
- Administrators: 114
- Frontline School Health Management
- EHR & School Nursing Management including the Health Portal Add-On
Together, Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ 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 Alejandra Wilmer, Director of Health Services for Spotsylvania County Public Schools, knew it was time to replace an outdated tracking system.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 kindergartners 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. Clearly, their time could be better spent supporting students instead of making lists.
“It was kind of like having an iPhone 4 when we’re on iPhone 10.”
Frontline School Health Management
With the implementation of Frontline School Health Management, record keeping got a whole lot easier. The quality of care plans, tracking, and reports has improved significantly. They’re easier to print out and much more user friendly. Before SCPS upgraded the system, staff could not access any electronic medical records from home. COVID-19 made it clear that nurses needed access to student records while working remotely.
“It’s all there. Before, we weren’t able to track hearing and vision from year to year. The nurses would have to create all the lists by hand. Now we set a track year, and Frontline automatically picks up how many seventh graders each nurse needs to screen, or third graders, or kindergartners.”
Accessible and Secure Health Records
Because they had to follow HIPAA and FERPA regulations, it just wasn’t a thing to take home children’s information in the past. But 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 new EHR and Nursing Management System.
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. It’s easy to follow.
Having templates for something as basic as inventory control for medications to highly detailed individual care plans is invaluable. Since nurses work by themselves, they appreciate the flexibility of those features.
School nurses are responsible for all student immunization screenings across K-12, so it’s vital to have a tool that helps ensure no students are overlooked. Immunization records can be printed for parents in a neat and 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 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 one and print it directly from the system.
How prepared are school nurses to handle a public health crisis like COVID-19? With Frontline, they have 24/7 access to student health records. Nurses working from home can keep up with the immunizations and run reports. Those reports include health alerts that notify the nurses right away which students need new medications or care plans. Nurses managing contact tracing with spreadsheets hope to shift that task to Frontline in the near future.
Keeping track of regular hearing and vision screenings during school closures evolved to meet the needs of students during the pandemic. Students on a hybrid schedule attend live classes in cohorts, so nurses know which days to expect them on campus for testing. For those students limited to distance learning only, nurses ask parents to schedule a time to bring them into the school for individual screening.
Compliance and convenience
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. Before, nurses had to go into a different screen for immunizations or previous visits. Now 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 is 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 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.
Alex is already looking forward to implementing additional Frontline capabilities next spring, from contract tracing to collaboration with other departments, that utilize Frontline’s Medicaid & Service Management solution for special education services. Knowing she can count on Frontline for support during the implementation phase, she looks forward to expanding the partnership in the future.
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.
Frontline Education corporate headquarters are in Malvern, PA, with offices in Roseville, CA; Salinas, CA; Andover, MA; Walled Lake, MI; Rockville Centre, NY; Williamsville, NY; Brecksville, OH and Austin, TX.
Learn more at www.FrontlineEducation.com