CareFlow Electronic Student Health Records
This is an excerpt of an interview with director Amber Hawkins regarding CareFlow Electronic Student Health Records’ purpose, partners and value to educational institutions. CareFlow is located in West Chester, PA and has 80 clients across 28 states in the US and Canada. Its clients range from private boarding schools, day schools and universities.
What is CareFlow?
CareFlow Electronic Student Health Records enables schools to collect back to school information from parents online, chart visits to the health center and have access to modules and functions for every key stakeholder in student and campus health through a secure cloud-based student health records solution.
What influenced the start of CareFlow?
CareFlow was started when a school asked us as a healthcare consulting firm to help them find an electronic solution for their student health visits and online forms. We quickly found there was a lack of school-centric solutions, and we quickly developed a prototype that became very popular. We found that many schools struggled with not only health form processing, collection, auditing and compliance, but also with immunization tracking and a general inefficiency in gaining the full picture of a student visiting the health center due to a paper workflow or more limited and outdated Electronic Health Records (EHR).
Who are CareFlow’s partners or affiliations?
We are partners with many of the student information systems. They include: Pearson Powerschool; Veracross; Finalsite; FileMaker; NASN; DATARPM; WhippleHill/Blackbaudand Senior Systems. CareFlow integrates with a school’s student information system to populate the student demographic and parent contact information into the CareFlow system to create electronic charts for each student.
What is the benefit of using CareFlow in schools?
CareFlow can benefit all key personnel in schools. Within the health center, the school nurses and administrators can benefit from using our online back to school forms. We give parents the ability to fill out their required forms online, and upload any forms that need a physician signature directly through the portal. This eliminates 97 percent of the paperwork that would normally be involved in the collection period that a school has to manage every year.
CareFlow takes over by fully supporting the parents throughout this process over the summer/ enrollment period. The school nurses and administrators who are involved in collecting, managing and distributing the information collected from parents can have an extended vacation and allow our team to do the work for them. During a normal day, using CareFlow after the enrollment period rush, school nurses, athletic trainers and counselors can all use our HIPAA secure system (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to chart their daily visits and treatments.
For example, athletic trainers can better track concussions and communicate with their coaches about the game and practice status of injuries. School counselors can have a completely secure portal where no other users have access to their notes enabling them to keep their contact information safe. Additionally, we have a phone application that takes the place of an emergency card for each student at the school. Imagine giving the school soccer coach access to a phone app filled with only their players’ emergency contact information. You can avoid giving them a paper packet of this information that would have to be printed each year, and could easily be left behind at a game or accessed by unauthorized personnel. You can give school stakeholders such as chaperones, coaches and teachers access to this app and manage the level of access they have.
What are some of the success stories of CareFlow?
Like all good SaaS applications (Software as a service), CareFlow is an ever-evolving product. We are constantly taking a look at what is being done in hospitals and physician practices and translating those ideas into what a school nurse needs, especially with the help of our customer advisory board. We have had many successful implementations and solved such issues as on-time collection of back to school forms and created an integrated environment between legacy IT systems (information technology) and now the nurses office and other health stakeholders.
The Westtown School located in West Chester, PA is a school that has had great experience in reducing the time it takes for parents to complete the back to school process. They have also been able to combine attendance history in the health center with their main attendance program in order to gain a full picture of where students are throughout the day. Westtown also finds charting easy and helpful when addressing a student in need of care.
We are very proud to be able to give nurses their summers back by having our software take much of the back to school form process away from them. This includes no more mailing, collecting, sorting, processing and compliance auditing.
How does CareFlow stay current with health related concerns?
CareFlow has a great customer-base, a client advisory board and an internal nurse that monitors health situations. We are extremely active on social media to stay abreast of ongoing health concerns and keep the world informed as subject matter experts. For instance, we write our own health related articles/ blogs and feature news articles internally.
Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of eight books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates” and “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]