Insights: the Magnus Health Blog

Magnus 911 Enhancements [Updated feature]

Posted by Tricia LaPaglia on Mar 27, 2015 3:35:00 AM

The first time I sent my son to preschool, I probably overdid it. On Sundays, I made sure his little shirts and shorts were ironed for the entire week. I made Star Wars labels for all his clothes with his name and phone number. I packed cute sandwiches without the crust and left adorable post it notes inside his lunchbox even though he couldn’t read yet. And I knew his exact schedule down to the minute. That lasted about a year. Let’s just say that he can read very well now and writes me reminder notes for my lunchbox instead. But I still know his schedule not just because I’m his mom, but also because I’m one of those people who likes the details. Give me the “who, what, where, when, and why” and I’m a happy camper. These next Magnus enhancements are for all you detail lovers.

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Topics: SMR, Emergencies, Technology, School Nurses

Stocking your student snack store with healthy options

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Mar 26, 2015 10:59:07 AM

Healthy_school_snacksMmmm... snacks! I was always that kid in elementary school who couldn't wait more than an hour for my next snack or meal break. Between running around on the playground and growing 5 inches taller in one year, it was hard to keep hunger at bay - and I know my experience isn't unique.

When kids and teens are growing and burning off energy in sports and at recess, their appetites can rival a professional athlete's appetite. Grumbling stomachs can be heard in otherwise quiet classrooms, and between classes, you can find students stopping by a vending machine or the student snack store to quiet their appetite.

But are school snack options properly fueling students and their growing muscles? Are the school vending machines stocked with healthy school snacks that will keep students full for more than ten minutes? We've reached the point in time when our food and lifestyles are being critically assessed, and schools are no exception.

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Topics: Health Trends

Emergency Plans: The top 5 mistakes to avoid [Guest Post]

Posted by Chris Joffe on Mar 25, 2015 9:30:18 AM

Imagine this…the fire alarm goes off but you know it’s not a drill. What happens next? Does your staff know who to communicate with and when, in order to get everyone to safety? Are there enough staff trained and prepared, who can lead the school to safety based on the plan that is outlined in that giant binder?

This scenario can happen at any time, during school hours or in the middle of the night. Whether it is a catastrophic emergency or a smaller contained issue, your staff will need to be prepared to deploy and facilitate the appropriate responses to each situation.

So the question is: How prepared is your staff to deploy the plan your administration painstakingly put into place?


As the leading provider of emergency services for more than 100 schools, Joffe Emergency Services has seen the effects of emergency plans gone wrong. Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid when it comes to emergency planning for your school.

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Topics: Emergencies, Guest Posts

100% health form compliance for pre-season athletics

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Mar 24, 2015 9:48:00 AM

SMS-logo-blue-1-300x44Client Profile 
  • Name: Stacy Finley
  • Job Title: Nurse & Director of Binder Health Center
  • School: Saint Mary's School
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Type: Grade 9-12, Private Boarding & Day School for Girls
  • Size: 250 students
  • Website:

7462_10151839129577029_1694009627_nThe nurses at Saint Mary’s School spent countless hours collecting, reviewing, and tracking the required documentation for nearly 250 students. Seven forms per student meant 1,750 forms had to be manually tracked using a spreadsheet, and hundreds of reminder phone calls had to be made.

While some students arrived early for pre-season athletics with all required documents in hand, some others did not have all of their information completed and were trying to move into student housing. This forced school staff members to scramble to complete forms, contact families, and occasionally take students to doctor’s appointments.

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Topics: SMR, Compliance, School Nurses, Client Success Stories

HIPAA & FERPA: What they are, and how they apply

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Mar 19, 2015 2:11:44 PM

We're frequently asked about HIPAA and FERPA and how they apply to our schools. We're not experts, so we asked an expert to share insight with us. And that's exactly what Karen Gregory, Director of Compliance and Education at Total Medical Compliance (TMC) did for us in a webinar. Below are the basics of HIPAA and FERPA, taken from Karen's presentation. We'll go briefly into what each law is, and how they each apply to schools and student records.

This is not legal advice, nor is it intended as legal advice.

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Topics: Regulations & Legislation, School Nurses

Learning about yourself and your team

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Mar 17, 2015 10:57:00 AM

Not long ago, the higher powers at Magnus asked all of us to take a personality assessment. They promised it would take only 15 minutes, so I said, "Alrighty, I'll do that right away." (Full disclosure: I have no clue what my actual response was.) Honestly, I've taken a number of similar assessments like this in years past, and I wasn't expecting to find a lot of groundbreaking information about myself or others. However, what I did find was both affirming and surprising.

isfpThere are 16 personalities and I am an ISFP. I carry this badge proudly - I'm an "artist" an "explorer" an "adventurer". I like those titles, but what I like more is proof to my coworkers and leaders that my brain functions differently than their own. And that's not specific to ISFPs, that's something each and every personality type can say. We're all wired differently, we communicate differently, are annoyed by different things, and thrive under different circumstances. This assessment was valuable not just because I have some affirmation and comfort in knowing I'm not alone (there are three other ISFPs here), and not just because the resulting information I read about ISFPs made me feel legitimized. This assessment was helpful because I can now see sides to my coworkers that I didn't know before.

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Topics: School Nurses

Print blank forms [New feature]

Posted by Tricia LaPaglia on Mar 13, 2015 2:31:00 AM

I’ve never been much of a marathon runner. Okay, I’ve never been much of an exercise person in general unless you count carrying fifteen books home from the library. But when I heard about the Krispy Kreme 5K, I caved to peer pressure and signed up. How could I resist a good cause and a doughnut? Did I spend months training? Did I slowly work my way up to prime running form? Absolutely not. Climbing the hill up Peace Street was a beast. Without my Magnus teammates I would have thrown myself onto the sidewalk and happily quit. I staggered through, and promised myself to plan ahead next time and see the big hills coming.

This spring at Magnus we’re prepping for our very own back-to-school paperwork “marathon” which has its own set of hills. Some parents are already at the starting line in hypothetical sweatbands and track shorts. They’re ready to dash through paperwork before summer vacation. Cheering them on, we implemented a few simple new tools to help them finish in record time. Parents can now print blank forms and enjoy a new flow to the parent experience.

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Topics: SMR, Technology, School Nurses

A pioneer in the world of K-12 health software [Employee Spotlight]

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Mar 12, 2015 2:22:00 PM

Allen-Cobb-landing-pageYou've probably heard us talk about Magnus Health's Chief Product Officer, Allen Cobb, before. In fact, you may have even met Allen in person. You can easily find him presenting the Annual Report at conferences, leading sessions at Magnus Academy, or visiting with one of our integration partners. 

Allen wears all sorts of hats at Magnus, but one thing is for sure: He's an innovative guy with a talent for creating big ideas. But don't let his go-getter attitude fool you. Allen also likes to have fun, and you can usually find him cracking dad jokes or showing off his 1980's dance moves in between meetings.

But before we get into that, let's start at the beginning.

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Topics: Technology, Employee Spotlights

How to start using social media (and why school staff members should!)

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Mar 11, 2015 3:00:00 PM

social_media_starter_guideI remember the days when Facebook was by invite only, and when U.S. Senators started Tweeting and we all thought they were crazy. Little did we know how much social media would evolve, and how integral it would become to our everyday lives.

Now, every school has a Facebook page where student projects and basketball game pictures are regularly shared, while businesses and organizations take to Twitter and LinkedIn to share resources and news - all of which educators and school staff members can use to develop their career. 

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Topics: Technology

Understanding automated email reminders

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Mar 10, 2015 11:42:00 AM

There are a few things you need to understand about automated email reminders, because after all, they are essential to parent communication. It is my pleasure to point those things out. Once you decide how you'd like things set up in your account, you can, as we like to say, "set it and forget it."

Types of reminder emails

1) Incomplete

These emails are triggered when a student is missing information, AKA, their account is incomplete. This email is based off of the tracker deadline, so that date will be uniform across a tracker.

2) Next action

This email is triggered when further action is required. Example: A physical expires and needs to be updated. This email is based off of a requirement's next action date, meaning these emails will vary from requirement to requirement, and student to student.

As a school, you can choose to turn on one, both, or neither of these reminder email types. If both types are turned on, the information is combined into a single email so you're not overwhelming parents. It's worth noting that parents get one email per student. So, even if a child is missing 10 items, the parent is not going to get 10 separate emails. On the other hand, if they have 10 children with outstanding accounts, they will receive 10 emails.

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Topics: SMR, Technology, Work Smarter, Not Harder

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