April 02, 2020

The Forgotten Part Of Every School’s Outbreak Emergency Plan: Bullying

teen_tech_cyber bullying smallerProviding a safe, thriving environment for students to learn and staff to work in is the foremost goal of any school setting. But, creating a safe environment that facilitates learning can be a challenging task. School administrators and emergency managers must work together to create a healthy school climate, effective intervention, and crisis plans that prepare staff and students for emergencies. Unfortunately, many schools focus so much on the physical prevention process such as upgrading equipment, creating task forces, and establishing hotlines and phone trees, that they forget that they must also take mental health into consideration. That means social stigma and bullying-related prevention.  

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April 02, 2020

Staying social while social distancing during COVID-19

video call-1Social distancing means that you should not, at any time, be closer than 6 feet to any person who is not from your household. Currently, social distancing is crucial and something that everyone should be practicing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, we must understand the difference between physical distancing and social distancing, and realize there are still ways to socially interact while maintaining physical distance. In a time of physical isolation, it is more important than ever to stay in touch with your loved ones!

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April 02, 2020

Avoiding COVID-19 Cabin Fever: Fun Activities for Kids of All Ages

artsFor most of us, it seems like it has been ages since we have left our house and interacted with people outside of our family. It certainly has been nice to slow down a bit and to spend more time at home! And, how amazing are the teachers and staff to implement eLearning for their students in what seems like overnight? However, the COVID-19 quarantine is starting to wear on parents who are trying to work, homeschool, and entertain their kids… all at the same time!

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March 20, 2020

The Benefits of Schools Utilizing e-Learning

elearning-1Understanding the concept of eLearning is simple. eLearning is learning by using electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online. The common misconception regarding eLearning is that it loses the interactive feel of in-the-classroom learning. Many believe that the students and teachers can’t interact just because they are not together in the same room. However, this is simply not true.

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March 20, 2020

How K-12 Schools Manage Prospective Students, Enrollment, and Student Health During COVID-19

working from home-1The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every organization throughout the world and has created trying times for school administrators overnight. Most schools and student activities have been suspended indefinitely, and eLearning is the new ‘normal’ for educators. While creating online courses and ensuring that children continue to learn, School Leadership is also looking for ways to prepare for the day when students return back to school and for the next school year.

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March 20, 2020

Best Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety while Coping with COVID-19

face maskDuring these uncertain times, it’s no wonder that many students, parents, and teachers are facing anxiety in some way or another. With the news that many schools are out for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 virus, questions arise such as “How will I teach my child/student while at home?” and “What are the best ways to keep them healthy?”. We are all experiencing stress and everyone reacts to it differently, but it’s how we all cope with our anxiety during these turbulent times that will make us a stronger community in the end. Below are a few ways that will help us cope and decrease these stress levels.

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February 28, 2020

HIPAA & FERPA: Does your school have to comply with these regulations?

RP_HIPAA_K-12_ThumbWe're frequently asked about HIPAA and FERPA and if schools in the U.S. should comply with these regulations. Here are the basics of HIPAA and FERPA laws and how they each apply to schools and student records.

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February 25, 2020

Magnus Mobile App & Emergency Preparedness at K-12 Schools

Did you know that most schools access emergency contact information 57 times a year?

About Magnus PageWe know the importance of mobile devices and that generally, everyone has their phone or tablet close by. And, we definitely understand the significance of always being prepared to care for students while on campus or during sporting events. The functionality of the Magnus Mobile App is designed specifically for the K-12 staff, allowing them to efficiently track student health information and to increase emergency preparedness at their school!

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February 24, 2020

Benefits of Limiting Screen Time for Children

Children Phone-1Students of all ages are living in a virtual world. Technology can be beneficial when used correctly and consumed in moderation. However, children have a difficult time getting away from technology. Technology is everywhere and is easily accessible, which is why managing a child’s screen time is so important. Studies show that too much screen time can cause children to become less active, less creative, and to communicate less.

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January 29, 2020

5 ways Teachers Can Teach Their Students Responsibility

Teacher-1It is important for children to start learning about obligations, accountability, and consequences from a young age. These essential life skills can make for a better world in the future and teachers play a crucial role in teaching them to their students. They will aid kids in becoming better students and constructive members of society.

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January 29, 2020

Virtual Care Options on the Rise in Schools

Virtual Care 2Virtual care is an umbrella term that encompasses how healthcare providers can remotely interact with their patients. Telemedicine, a specific method of virtual care that is becoming increasingly popular in schools across the US, refers specifically to the treatment of medical conditions without seeing a patient in person. A health professional utilizing this method can take advantage of live video and audio conferences, or even instant messaging to diagnose and address their patient’s condition.

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January 29, 2020

Benefits of Community Service in Schools

Community Service-1Whether they are a kindergartner or a senior in high school, community service is a great way for students to get involved in their community. Volunteering can range from working a few hours in a local garden to spending a week building homes in the community. There are multiple reasons that community service is beneficial to students.

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December 19, 2019

2019 Magnus Round-Up

2019 was a fantastic year for Magnus Health! We established new partnerships with industry leaders for SIS and Athletic Tracking solutions to bring our clients the most complete and comprehensive health management software to date. Break-through improvements were made to the Magnus software and team, and we traveled near and far to meet people in our industry!

Here are the 2019 Top 10 Magnus Moments:

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November 26, 2019

Giving Back to the Community: Magnus Holiday Canned Food Drive

Can Drive 2019Magnus Health believes in giving back. From volunteering in our community to donating to local schools, we really love to help others! It states in our core values “Make it Better. Make it Happen.”, and what better time to make it happen than during the holiday season? So this year, Magnus and Veracross joined forces to host a canned food drive for local food banks and shelters near all of our office locations!

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November 26, 2019

Diabetes Awareness Month

5-1November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose or sugar is too high. While the underlying cause of Diabetes varies by type, both lead to excess sugar in your blood. The two most common forms of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin in the body. Type 2, affects the way the body processes blood sugar. While up until recently, the most common form of diabetes in children was Type 1, Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly more common. The main factors attributed to this shift are obesity, family history, as well as children becoming less and less active. Diabetes symptoms vary from person to person, but some of the main signs to look out for are:

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November 19, 2019

Should Schools Implement Child Trafficking Prevention Education?

stop child traffickingFlorida recently became the very first state to require its schools to educate students on the dangers of human trafficking. According to a recent press release from the Florida Department of Education (FDE), ”The State Board of Education unanimously approved a new rule requiring education in child trafficking prevention for students in grades K-12. With this approval, Florida will be the first state in the nation to address the need for instruction in child trafficking prevention. The new rule also establishes procedures for school districts to plan and document delivery of the required instruction."

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October 31, 2019

Magnus Summer 2019 Product Release Highlights + Fall road Map

Magnus Roadmap-1We hope you enjoyed your summer vacation… Because we’ve had a busy summer here at Magnus! Our team sorted through hundreds of feature requests and feedback, checked out our timeline, and took action to get as much done as we could before the first day of school came back around. From bug fixes to speed enhancements, there were many improvements to the Magnus Health software all around.

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October 31, 2019

The Growing Ban on Halloween in Schools

HalloweenIn recent years, Halloween celebrations in schools have seen a decline with many schools opting to have teacher workdays in lieu of “dealing” with the holiday. There are 2 main reasons as to why so many schools are choosing to forego hosting Halloween celebrations: the fear that the festivities will make some students and staff feel alienated due to various personal or cultural and religious reasons. 
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October 31, 2019

Should Home Economic Class Be Required at School?

food_child_healthy cookingWhile science, math, literature, and technology are core building blocks of education, there are some life skills that can’t be learned from textbooks. One of the biggest examples of this is the Home Economics class as it teaches students essential life skills and structure.

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September 27, 2019

Benefits of Nutrition Education

food_child_eating lunchTeachers and parents alike can agree that a healthy kid is a happy kid so it’s important to teach kids about nutrition from a young age! Nutrition goes beyond just what we eat, it also explains why and how certain foods affect our mental and physical health. As you will read below, there are many ways in which we can talk about nutrition in our schools as well as in our homes.

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September 27, 2019

Should Mental Health Be An Excused Absence in Schools?

sad childMental health has been a hot button issue for a while, but it has especially escalated in the last decade. Between civil riots about the importance of highlighting mental health issues in the workplace, and Local and Federal governments enacting bills to aid citizens suffering from mental illnesses, the “hot button” label for this topic doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon... If anything, it’s just heating up.

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September 27, 2019

National Head Lice Prevention Month

health_child_lice check (2)Head lice infestation can occur during any time of the year, however, the problem significantly increases when students go back to school. Having head lice is an uncomfortable issue, but more common that one might think. Luckily there are certain measures people can take to prevent and treat head lice!

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August 30, 2019

National Immunization Awareness Month

health_child_immunization-1August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and we here at Magnus know how the importance of this! August is a great month for NIAM because, with the start of a brand new school year, it is a good time for nurses to remind parents and students about the vaccinations they may need for the upcoming school year. Immunizations are important to help protect our children and ourselves from harmful diseases. Since the invention of vaccines, they have prevented the spread of contagious diseases and saved thousands of lives. Below are a few ways that will help you bring awareness to immunizations and the importance of them.

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August 30, 2019

The Positive Impact Athletic Programs Have on Students and Schools

AthleticsCoachable children grow up to be employable adults. Athletics in young children teach a set of skills that become increasingly valuable as they go through life. Athletic programs have a positive impact on the students, in turn, positively impacting the schools as these children use the skills they gain from playing sports to become well-rounded students and adults.

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August 30, 2019

2019 Back to School Q&A with Magnus Health Client Services Team

nurse_harriett at computer_smallAs the Summer season starts to slowly come to an end, school Nurses are starting to get back into their routine, making sure each student has everything that is needed to get them enrolled in classes and sports for the new school year. That means everyone has lots of questions. Parents have questions for the school nurses, nurses have questions for our Magnus support team... After chatting with the Client Success Team, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked Back to School questions submitted by our clients and listed them here for an easy reference!

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August 27, 2019

Should teenagers be required to start school early?

teen_sleeping smaller-1While it has been the norm for US students in K-12 to start school around 7:30 am or earlier, communities are now starting to question if early-start policies are the best option for teenagers.

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July 31, 2019

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

surveyThe Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is a biennial national survey, conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), that was designed to enable public health professionals, educators, policymakers, and researchers to 1) describe the prevalence of health-risk behaviors among youths, 2) assess trends in health-risk behaviors over time, and 3) evaluate and improve health-related policies and programs. The survey focuses almost exclusively on the types of risky behaviors as opposed to the causes of those behaviors. This is done in an effort to more clearly define the direct connection between specific health-risk behaviors and their outcomes (i.e. alcohol and other drug use as it relates to poor academic achievement). 

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July 31, 2019

Magnus Gives Back to the Community - Summer 2019

Here at Magnus, we try our best to give back to the communities around us at least a few times a year. Just this past winter, our team donated gifts during the Holidays to families in need. Recently, with all of this beautiful weather we’ve been having, we decided to get out of the office for a few hours and dedicate some time and energy to local charities. Keep reading to see what both the Raleigh and the West Chester teams were up to! 

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July 26, 2019

The Importance of School Gardens

adult-beans-blur-168287School Gardens help to extend the classroom beyond traditional settings by expanding it outside. Gardening can provide students with hands-on learning opportunities while increasing environmental awareness and vital experience in problem-solving.

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June 28, 2019

Technological Advancements Help School Nurses Provide Better Care

nurse_folder and laptopSchool nurses play a crucial role in children’s health. They give preventative, educational, and emergency aid for students. With the many services school nurses provide daily, more and more nurses are looking to technological advancements to help manage their daily tasks and to enhance student health.

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June 28, 2019

The Importance of Self-Care as an Educator

teachers 1.pngEducators, by nature, are givers. The majority of the time, givers will give themselves to others before thinking of themselves. This is a very admirable trait. People become an educator because they strive to make a difference in the world and that passion is what leads them. But, you cannot pour from an empty cup and self-care is so important to avoid burnout! Self-care is vital to creating a work and life balance that will lead to healthy relationships with students, coworkers, family, and most importantly - oneself.

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June 27, 2019

National Safety Month - Poison Prevention

cleaning03June is National Safety Month, and while there are many standard safety threats to children that we try to prevent, there are some that maybe aren’t as prevalent. Poison control is an important one! The best way to avoid poison ingestion is to have a plan in place to keep poisonous substances out of reach of children and to know what precautions we can take to prevent contact.

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May 31, 2019

Severe Food Allergies: The EpiPen Challenge

epi penFood allergies and access to epinephrine auto-injectors continues to be a growing challenge in both the US and Canada. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER. And, between 1997 and 2011, childhood food allergies have increased by 50%! These affected children spend much of their day in school, where they may be exposed to food allergies, which could trigger a severe reaction, known as anaphylaxis.

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May 30, 2019

May - Asthma Awareness Month

asthma-1Every year in May we recognize Asthma Awareness Month. During this time of the year, many children and adults suffer from asthma and allergies so the purpose of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is to help educate people on this ailment and to bring awareness. More than 26 million people in the US have asthma, which means that likely you or someone you know suffers from asthma and allergies. Because such a large portion of the population, including kids, is affected by this illness it is important that schools have Allergy Action Plans set so that, in the event of an emergency, the staff knows what to do if someone starts to have an attack.

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May 30, 2019

The Importance of Sleepaway Summer Camps

CAMPSending your child to a sleepaway Summer camp can be unsettling, especially if they have never been away from home before. Parents worry that their child will be homesick or exposed to situations that can mentally and physically challenge them.

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May 30, 2019

Is Your School "Sun Safe"?

Children-playing-in-an-outdoor-60138764Summer and sunny weather is here! However, summer is not the only time a child needs to be protected from the sun, and every child needs sun protection. Damage from exposure to UV rays builds up over time, so sun protection should start at an early age. It is essential for teachers and school staff to model sun safety and create an environment where there are sun-safe policies integrated with health education and practices. Teachers and administrators should recognize the importance of sun safety and create an environment that communicates these practices and sun safety education.

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May 29, 2019

Employee of the Quarter for Q1 2019 - Danielle T.

Danielle TIntroducing our latest Employee of the Quarter, Danielle T.! Here at Magnus, we like to recognize employees that demonstrate all of our company’s core values, and Danielle is a fantastic example of that! She displays positive energy, teamwork, and she focuses on what matters.

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April 29, 2019

Three Ways Field Trips Benefit Students

bigstock-Gifted-Kids-On-A-Field-Trip-65861359Almost everyone has had a memorable childhood field trip! Bringing a bagged lunch, riding the school bus with classmates, and a parent chaperone with a group filled with best friends always made for a very special day. Day to day, the environment in which a child spends their time plays a significant role in brain  development. Teachers carefully create a classroom environment to help their students become successful.

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April 29, 2019

The School Nurse Shortage Crisis

nurse_child_temperature (2)CBS recently covered news on the School Nurse shortage as a part of their “School Matters” series, and some are calling this a growing national crisis. They say “only three out of five schools across the country have a full-time school nurse... often forcing school administrators, with no medical training, to step in and provide some level of care.”

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April 29, 2019

Avoiding Digital Distractions in the Classroom

students_tech_phone in classTechnology is an intricate part of most of our lives, especially in the lives of our teens. Teens are checking their social media more than ever during the school hours and it’s likely a trend that won’t go down anytime soon. While schools may not be able to control how students use their phones at home, they can regulate how much they are used at school. Even though there is not a 100% guarantee you will stop kids from using devices like phones and tablets during class, there are ways that schools can cut down on unnecessary screen time during the school day.

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April 29, 2019

Stress Relief Activities to Aid in Reducing Childhood Stress

student_depressed at schoolFamily issues, bullying, homework, and even world news are just some of the many triggers that can attribute to increased stress in a child’s life. Experiencing stress at an early age is common and normal, but too much stress can have negative repercussions on children’s health. Even though there are some stressful situations in life we can’t control, having “supportive relationships with adults as early in life as possible can prevent or reverse the damaging effects of toxic stress”. Here are some stress relief activities that can be implemented at school or at home to help reduce childhood stress:

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March 27, 2019

Trauma-Informed Education (TIE) and Why It's Vital for Schools

Trauma Informed Education quoteA recent study conducted by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) suggests that roughly 25% of American children will experience at least one traumatic event by the age of 16. With disturbing events such as a natural disaster and the death or loss of a loved one, trauma cannot always be prevented. However, how schools help students respond and deal with traumatic events is something you have a little more control over.

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March 27, 2019

5 Ways to Monitor Your Child's Screen Time

canva-girl-using-ipad-outdoors-MADGv2abEpMHanding your child a phone, an iPad, or some other technology device to keep them entertained has become an easy fix for parents. Even though this solution may seem practical at that moment, it can have a lasting negative impact on children in the long run, if parents are not mindful. Children and teenagers between the ages of 8 to 18 years, spend an average of 7+ hours per day looking at screens.1 Too much recreational screen time for children can impair their sleep and it attributes to poor cognitive development, affecting their overall health.2

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March 27, 2019

5 Tips to Getting Kids Motivated and Moving Outside

children_playgroundSince the growing popularity of electronics, it has become more and more difficult to motivate children to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. Getting the kids to be active outside has multiple benefits: it helps avoid childhood obesity, it helps increase brain function, and it encourages them to think outside of the box. Parents know this, but how do they put that plan into motion and get children to go outside?

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March 27, 2019

March is National Athletic Training Month

bigstock-Male-High-School-Basketball-Te-66904900-1Happy National Athletic Training Month! At Magnus, we recognize and appreciate each and every Athletic Trainer and the many hats that they wear. They provide all aspects of care, from recognizing symptoms of an injury to the injury prevention. This year’s National Athletic Training Month’s slogan (per NATA) is “ATs Are Health Care,” and we couldn’t agree more.

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March 01, 2019

Liability and Student health Information Q&A for K-12 Schools

paper_bindersTo limit your school’s liability risk, you must protect students from a variety of safety threats. It’s important to not only be prepared for the obvious threats, but also for the emerging threats that could catch you off-guard. One of these more recent threats relates to the collection and management of student health information. To dig a little deeper into this topic, Magnus would like to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding school liability and data security.

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February 25, 2019

5 Things Teachers Can Say to Promote a Healthy Classroom

element5-digital-352043-unsplashWe know that it’s not always easy enduring the winter months in your classroom. The days seem so long, cold and gray, and winter woes affect teachers and students alike. Aside from your students feeling extra antsy, you’re probably also dealing with a lot of sick kids, especially during the flu season. When you’re in such close quarters, it’s very easy to share germs, so we have a few tips that can help you survive the winter!

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February 21, 2019

Employee of the Quarter - Danielle

Danielle W HeadshotWe are kicking off 2019 here at Magnus by recognizing a team member who has gone above and beyond! Not only does she work hard to be the best she can be within her role at Magnus, but she is also a shining light in the office by keeping the work atmosphere positive. Danielle currently works in the Help Desk department, but will transition to the Records department this month. Learn more about Danielle below!

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January 29, 2019

5 Hidden Benefits of Physical Education

bigstock-Children-Playing-Soccer-63748090-1Everyone knows that Physical Education (PE) class is great for kids. It helps improve their physical fitness, increases their motor skill development, and encourages daily exercise. But, what about the hidden benefits? PE is much more than just exercise!

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January 29, 2019

Smartphone Psychiatry: Future Apps Could Help Monitor Mental Health

health_depressedIt’s no secret that in recent years, heavy smartphone use in teens has been linked to a myriad of mental health issues, ranging from anxiety to depression. But, what if the same device causing the tech-age angst could also be the key to detecting those same conditions?

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January 28, 2019

Introducing the Magnus Health + SportsWare Partnership

Magnus-Athletics-by-Sportsware (2)Introducing our newest partnership... SportsWare! SportsWare is the on-the-go tool for schools to record, manage, and report athletic injuries and training room treatment notes. High school, college, and professional Athletic Trainers are managing millions of Athletes in SportsWareOnLine. And, where there is online availability, there is mobile availability… so SportsWare provides trainers, coaches, and nurses instant access to vital treatment information and up-to-date eligibility reports.

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December 19, 2018

The Top 5 Magnus Moments of 2018

MagnusHealth-logo-stacked-noBG2018 was a big year in terms of bringing the best and most seamless experience to Magnus users. Along with several other solutions, we established new partnerships with industry leaders for Student Information Systems and Athletic Tracking solutions to bring our client schools the most complete and comprehensive health management software to date. Here are the 2018 Top Magnus Moments:

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December 18, 2018

A Look Back - The Top 2018 Magnus Health Blog Posts

alphabet-arts-and-crafts-blog-459688As 2018 is drawing to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the top Magnus blog posts that we published this year. From providing our readers with best practices on how to use the Magnus software to busting flu myths, we’ve had a lot to share with you over the past 12 months. Check out some of most read blog posts from this year!

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December 18, 2018

Magnus Gives Back to The Community 2018

achievement-blur-charity-1493374As the year winds down, we all find ourselves reflecting on everything we have accomplished this year, and we start looking ahead to what the next year will bring. This is the perfect time to not only be grateful for all we have but to recognize and give back to the community. Here at Magnus, we believe in the power of making things better and getting the job done. We are incredibly proud of our team for their enthusiasm to bring positivity into the community.

This year, Magnus is giving back by donating to two very special organizations:

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November 29, 2018

Employee of the Quarter - Q3 2018

Ed… And we’re back! Here at Magnus, the third quarter is ALWAYS a busy one. With Back to School during this time, our phone lines are busy, inboxes are full, and form submission hits a new record high year after year. With that said, our Q3 Employee of the Quarter is a special one. It means this person really shined during our most hectic time of the year. Ed, our Lead Product Analyst, has been exceptionally demonstrating the Magnus values, and we sure are proud of him!

Let me tell you a little bit about our Employee of the Quarter, Ed… Ed is a problem solver… Literally. His role here at Magnus is to listen to our customer feedback and recommendations regarding the Magnus software and to determine how we can make the product better with every new feature release. He leads our Product Team with hard-work, team collaboration, and some dad jokes to keep it fun. Read on to learn more about Ed!

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November 29, 2018

5 Of the Biggest Health Threats to K-12 Schools and How to Combat Them

health_stethescope smallerWith each passing year, more and more children are diagnosed with various health issues. From a lack of school health staff to severe allergies, check out 5 of the biggest health concerns that K-12 schools nationwide face.

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November 29, 2018

Emergency Rooms Seeing a Rise in Children's Mental Health Cases

teen_health_depressed smallerIn recent years, an increasing number of children are showing up in emergency rooms for mental health reasons. After seeing an increase in mental health concerns in her own practice, Dr. Anna Abrams, a pediatrician and researcher at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., analyzed data from 45 different children's hospitals from 2012-2016 and saw a roughly 55 percent increase in mental health cases.

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October 30, 2018

Fact vs Myth: The Flu

nurse_child-1Flu season is creeping up quickly! But, don’t be scared! We want to make sure you and your school are prepared! The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have great resources available, however, there are still many misconceptions about the flu. Let’s talk about a few of the most common myths. 

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October 30, 2018

Limiting Screen Time in Children Linked to Better Cognitive Performance

teen_tech_boys playing video games at nightA recent observational study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that limiting screen time for children to just two hours a day can help improve their brain function, memory, attention, and the speed at which new information is processed. When limited screen time is paired up with a good night’s sleep of at least nine hours, kids tend to score better on tests.

The study analyzed data from the broader original study that focused on 4,500 children aged 8-11. Researchers examined screen time, amount of sleep, and time spent engaging in physical activity and compared it to the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines.

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October 29, 2018

Binaural Beats: Every School's New Secret weapon?

binaural 3

I first found binaural (pronounced bi-nor-el)  beats when I was searching for home remedies for a condition I have called Trigeminal Neuralgia TN2. It’s a condition that causes severe facial pain stemming from an irritation to the trigeminal nerve. The pain can be sudden, and ache for days without relief. Thankfully in my case, TN2 is less intense than the more common TN1, meaning that it’s a burning ache versus a powerful, instant shock. Conventional treatments didn’t seem to be working and since there is no cure, I decided to do a bit of research. That’s when I found binaural beats.

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October 29, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Coordinated Student Care

Brian headshot in circleCoordinated Care Across Campus and Beyond… that’s what the folks at Magnus say! Our number one goal here at Magnus is to make sure each of our client school’s health, safety, and emergency preparedness needs are met, so their students can focus on learning.

Students interact with a lot… A LOT… of people who care about them. Starting with the parents and guardians, as well as many other family members, plus babysitters, the doctors, and primary care physicians come into their lives at a very early age. Once they start school, they have teachers, guidance counselors, and school nurses making sure they are healthy and happy on campus. And, don’t forget about the bus drivers! As they grow older, they start to become more active and social, which leads to them joining clubs and teams and other activity groups. Add up all of the people in a student’s life, and that is a ton of interaction as they grow up and go through school.

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September 27, 2018

Teens Not Sleeping Enough? Here is How You Can Help!

teen_bored girlThe average American Teenager gets only seven hours of sleep per night, cramming it between school, homework, sports, and work, while research suggests they need closer to nine hours a night. Unfortunately, biology is working against them. According to Mary Carskadon, a Member of the Centre for Sleep Research at Brown University, as children get older, they are naturally more inclined to want to stay up later and sleep in longer. And, with school start times getting earlier, there is little time for teenagers to recover.

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September 26, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - 2018 Fall Road Show

Roadshow Banner

We here at Magnus believe that the best part of working in schools is having the chance to improve student health care and safety. The more we work with school nurses, coaches, and administrators, the more we realize the biggest concern is for their student health. From gathering and organizing the health forms, to making sure these records are accessible when they are needed, Magnus Health is there to help you through the entire process.

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August 29, 2018

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Prevent Teen E-Cigarette Use

Man vaping: Photo credit: Adobe Stock, Innovated Captures

Often resembling USB flash drives and coming in a variety of flavors, including various candies and fruits, e-cigarettes have soared in popularity among teenagers in recent years. In fact, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students - with the variety of flavors cited as one of the top reasons for use.

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August 29, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Back to School Donations

kidraisinghandCommunity is important to each and every one of us here at Magnus. We’re proud to call Raleigh, NC and West Chester, PA, our co-home! We’re passionate about helping others, especially students and schools. Even though our Help Desk call and email volume increases during Back to School time, we are all working hard, company-wide, to make sure each and every Magnus user has the help they need to successfully turn in their health forms and be prepared to return to the classroom.

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August 29, 2018

Climate Change and Extreme Temperatures - The Impact of Extreme Weather

climateDoes the idea of Climate Change overwhelm you? Do you want to make sure your family is safe, but are unsure of what the weather may look like tomorrow?

Let’s look at the facts. We know climate change can cause extreme, unpredictable weather patterns. But, to be prepared even if a dangerous situation arises, you can set a couple of easy parameters. The most dangerous events in the summer season are thunderstorms and flooding, extreme heat and humidity, and now, more airborne allergens than we have seen in the past.

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July 26, 2018

World Health Organization Declares Video Game Addiction An Official Disorder

In the most recent draft of the 2018 International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the World Health Organization (WHO) now includes a section on “Gaming Disorder.” The new chapter focuses on disorders caused by the addictive nature of excessive online video game playing. However, merely playing video games for long periods of time doesn’t necessarily qualify a person as having an addictive disorder - the behavior has to significantly impair a person’s personal, family, social, or educational life.

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July 26, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - The New Magnus Mobile App

Magnus Mobile 2.0 is here! Our mobile app has gone through a whole lot of work, and is better than ever! We know the importance of the mobile device, that generally everyone has their phone or tablet nearby, and we definitely understand the significance of always being prepared to care for your students on and off campus. So we took our mobile app, put it under a microscope, then updated the look, features, and functionality, and made sure it was up to the Magnus standards. The New Magnus Mobile App is now Live for your use in tracking student health information and being emergency prepared!

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July 26, 2018

Climate Change & Children's Health

Seasonal temperature variations and trends are visualized and depicted on NASA's "Blue Marble" image. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryUnpredictable seasons... natural disasters riddling the globe... stronger hurricane seasons. What is the underlying cause of all of these tragedies? Climate change. Over the next couple of months here on the Magnus Insights blog, we will be addressing significant issues you may notice at your school that are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, such as worsening asthma symptoms and a higher risk of heat stroke in adolescents.

But, for now, let’s get a broad idea of climate change, what it looks like, and why it matters so much to the health of our youth.  

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June 28, 2018

Six Facts You Should Know About Sports-Related Concussions

Athletes take on numerous risks each time they step onto the field, hop in the pool, or skatebrain onto the ice. One of the major risks is head injury. Regardless of whether an athlete participates in a contact sport or not, a sports-related concussion could happen to any athlete, at any time. That’s why each coach, school nurse, and athletic trainer should have the most up-to-date information on concussion diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

We have compiled a list of 6 facts you should know about sports-related concussions, and how schools can be better prepared during the sports season.

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June 27, 2018

Resistance Exercises Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression


sport_gym with weightsDepression doesn’t discriminate, based on what age or demographic you belong to. Children suffering from anxiety and depression disorders are harder to diagnose than adults suffering from the same conditions, because they may not be able to articulate how they are feeling as clearly. However, there are signs that parents and school health professionals can look out for. A student suffering from anxiety and/or depression may see a decline in their academic success at school. They may struggle to focus in class and seem withdrawn. Though anxious children may attempt to keep their discomfort hidden out of sight, the toll their worry takes, in terms of physical and emotional costs as well as interfering with social and academic functioning, is one that schools should not overlook. But, what can schools do to combat this?  

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May 29, 2018

The Impact of School Meal Programs

School meal programs have become a hot-button issue over the past few years. Is that because in 2017, the Department of Agriculture, which oversees school lunch programs, imposed a July 1st deadline for states to establish policies on how to treat children who cannot pay for lunch? Or is because the 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill included a waiver for schools to opt out of providing healthier meals for students? Maybe it’s even due the to the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act spurred by Michelle Obama. Whatever the reason, lately the issue has been getting a lot of publicity.
16 million American kids struggle with hunger each year, and, according to Children’s Hunger Alliance, hungry children are twice as likely to repeat a grade because undernourished children have difficulties with focusing in class. For many of these children, the meals they eat at school are the only ones they receive, making weekends and summers quite difficult. To help with this issue, many schools are looking for an alternative solution to feed their students. One that doesn't require neither the school nor the students to pay extra, but still provides the students with quality meals. But, where can a school go to find a solution like this? The community. There are so many reports of community members nationwide rallying and donating money to pay for unpaid lunch bills, and of organizations creating free programs that collect food items to donate to children in need!

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May 29, 2018

Five Fast Facts on Food Allergies

In the 10 years between 1997 and 2007, the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50%, and this statistic keeps climbing. It can become an overwhelming task for schools to manage student health and allergies. The following 5 fast facts can be the key to improving allergy action awareness for yourself, your colleagues, and your students.

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May 29, 2018

Magnus Health Recognizes National School Nurse Day

Since 1972, National School Nurse Appreciation Day has become a day to celebrate school nurses for all that they do and to provide a better understanding of the role they play in students’ education. National School Nurse Day is celebrated during the National Nurse Appreciation Week, which this year was held on May 6th-12th.

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May 29, 2018

Q1 2018 Employee of the Quarter - Kerri - Client Success Specialist

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Allow me to introduce Kerri, our first Employee of the Quarter for the year 2018. Kerri walks into the office everyday with a smile on her face. She works hard, is always willing to help others, and she makes sure to put her all into every task.

Kerri currently resides on the Client Success team, where she is a proactive problem-solver for our clients. She works to analyze how our clients are using the system, makes sure everyone is using Magnus to its full potential, and answers Admin User questions about the latest software features. Read on to learn more about Kerri!

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April 26, 2018

4 Things All Schools Should Know about the GDPR

**This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice.**
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The acronym GDPR has been floating around for a while now like an ominous cloud over any school that hosts international students from Europe. But, what exactly is the GDPR? It is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will go into effect May 25th, 2018. It is a new data privacy law that provides EU citizens with more protection and accessibility to their personal information, and will force schools to be transparent about how they manage private student information.

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April 26, 2018

Healthy Options Can Help Students Succeed Schoolwide

Are you celebrating the sixth annual Every Kid Healthy Week this week at your school? This annual observance was created to acknowledge school health and wellness achievements. This special week highlights the efforts schools are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and raise awareness about the benefits of providing students with healthier food choices. It is vital to focus on the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning because great health is the key to students succeeding academically!

According to Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action of Health Kids, "...the need to support health and wellness programs in schools remains a critical health and education issue. Working with thousands of schools and dozens of other organizations nationwide, we are collectively trying to help put kids on a healthy path so they can succeed academically and develop habits that will keep them healthy for a lifetime."

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April 26, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Leadership Team Continued

IanWe’re back with the last round of our Magnus Spotlight blog posts featuring our Leadership Team here at Magnus Health! Previously we learned that our CEO Brian Biddulph-Krentar loves soccer and working out, but cannot live without pizza... we met our Director of Marketing, Inese Hoover, a travel hockey Mom who loves the Chicago Blackhawks... and we introduced our newest Director, Dino Skerlos, who joined our downtown Raleigh office last August to manage the Sales team... when he’s not golfing.

Now let’s meet the final member of the Magnus Leadership Team that holds down the fort on the software side of our company. Our Director of Technology, Ian Panulla, is the man behind the scenes that keeps the Magnus system up and running. Ian comes from the CareFlow team with the acquisition, where he was the designer and creator of the CareFlow software. He is the architect behind the software, and he drinks more coffee than the rest of the office combined. 

Ian Panulla, Director of Technology

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March 29, 2018

How “Going Green” Helps Schools and Improves Their State Compliance Ratings

One of the biggest challenges schools face at the beginning of each school year is tracking down parents and students to collect all of the required health forms and enrollment documents. Families go out of town for the Summer and rarely check their email, and on the off chance that they do open their Inbox - they sometimes skip right over the emails from their student’s school. No one wants to deal with scheduling physicals, filling out medication forms, and figuring out whether or not it’s been 9 or 10 years since their child’s last Tdap vaccination. In June, many schools mail the required health forms to the parents who are then responsible for sending back the completed paperwork in August. So many school packets end up misplaced over the long summer months! This makes complying with state requirements difficult for schools.

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March 29, 2018

Athletic Trainer Appreciation Month

In honor of National Athletic Trainer month, Magnus would like to put the spotlight on all of the school Athletic Trainers out there! National Athletic Training Month is held every March in order to spread awareness about the valued work of the Athletic Trainers. They work hard to prevent athlete injuries as well as to treat them, and to make sure that the students recover and can get back on the field as quickly as possible.

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March 28, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Candice, Operations Coordinator

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Rounding out the Magnus Health Employee of the Quarter recipients for the year 2017, we’d like to recognize Candice, our Operations Coordinator. Candice is a jack of all trades. You can find her in all parts of the office lending a helping hand. She works closely with our Directors and Managers to keep the Magnus mission statement at the forefront of everything they do, while also coordinating Finance Operations and spearheading many other interdepartmental projects and meetings. Learn more about Candice from our conversation with her below!

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February 28, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Leadership Team

Not only does Magnus have valuable team members across all departments, but our Directors keep Magnus growing and improving each week. This month, we’ve chatted with the Dynamic Duo - our Directors of the Sales and Marketing teams, Inese Hoover and Dino Skerlos.

Inese, our Marketing Director, keeps the team busy, but organized. While spreading the word about Magnus through multiple campaign channels, and bringing in leads from new schools, she keeps the team on their toes with fresh ideas for generating new business.

Dino, our Director of Sales, works with the Account Executives to show prospective clients the value of implementing the Magnus solution at their schools. Dino has already helped Magnus grow significantly in the short time he has been with the team.

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February 23, 2018

Best Practices in Data Security at Magnus

**This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice.**


As a provider of the Student Health Record (SHR) solution for schools, our number one priority at MagnusHealth is the security of the Personal Health Information (PHI) that is collected and stored within our software. We are committed to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and security of the personal information about our current and prospective users. This is why we’ve implemented, and continue to enhance, a comprehensive privacy program. This program includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that are appropriate and applicable to our company, and ensure the safety of our users’ data.

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February 23, 2018

Best Practices for Using Parent Email Reminders to Ensure Form Compliance

It’s that time of the year again! Enrollment season is here and it is important for schools to establish an easy, streamlined experience for parents and guardians to submit their student’s health forms.The key to this is an efficient communication between the school staff and parents about what forms are required and when they are due. This can help avoid any confusion and frustration during this busy time of the year. A great tool to keep parents informed about their student’s enrollment requirements and the approaching deadlines are email reminders. An online Student Health Record (SHR) solution such as Magnus, can streamline the form collection process for schools and save staff valuable time. This blog post will cover best practices on using parent email reminders and how they are successfully utilized by Magnus client schools.

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January 30, 2018

Magnus Spotlight - Brian Biddulph-Krentar, CEO

Magnus Health - noun; MAG-nəs /helTH/

  1. A one-of-a-kind cloud-based computer software that is the most innovative way to collect, track, and manage school health information.
  2. A team of unique, hard-working individuals, who have a mutual passion to improve student health and safety so students can focus on learning.
  3. A magnificent place to work.

When you pass by the Magnus Health office in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, you would not know that inside, there is a group of people who are committed to ensuring safety in schools throughout the nation. You also would not be able to guess the color of some of the interior walls... Anyone? Anyone? C’mon, they are painted bright orange, of course!

Not only does Magnus consist of valuable team members across all departments, but our Directors and Managers keep Magnus growing and improving week-in and week-out.

Our leadership team is made up of five dedicated, passionate, and professional Directors. With the start of 2018, we’ve decided to highlight them each so not only our wonderful customers, but everyone in our industry, can get to know them!

We will kick off the Magnus Leadership spotlight with our CEO, Brian Biddulph-Krentar. Brian currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and travels to the Raleigh Headquarters at least twice a month. Brian has been in the healthcare industry for quite some time. Actually, we’ll let him speak for himself! 

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January 30, 2018

Security Risk Management: What Schools Need to Know Prior to Choosing an SHR Solution

Educational institutions collect various types of sensitive information from students and employees. For students, personal identifiable information (PII), health records and, sometimes, parent credit card information is collected and stored in addition to their school performance records. Higher educational systems may be involved in research that is considered confidential and proprietary. Hackers generally target organizations where they may get the most personal health information (PHI). Healthcare and education are a prime target not only because they have a vast collection of PHI records, but also because they are known to have a weaker defense mechanism. That is the very reason why it is so vital for schools to evaluate the security vendor of the available Student Health Record (SHR) solution prior to making their purchasing decision.
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Security is a process. It starts with identifying the sensitive information data set, its location, who should be authorized to access it, and how to best secure it based on the known threats. Security policies document these details and provide employees guidance on how to protect the private information. Then, it’s all about the execution and a life cycle of learning and improving.

Because schools are a common target for security breaches, it is vital for schools to have a detailed protocol in place. Following the set security processes that have been successfully implemented ensures that human error will not be the cause of a PHI leak or threat.

Schools deal with a variety of vendors and each vendor should be expected to have a security program in place. Just like the school itself, its vendors must protect the school’s data assets whether that’s from an external or internal threat. Here are some requirements schools should consider when selecting new SHR vendors:

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January 05, 2018

Concussions: The Real Impact They Have on Schools

Did you know that if a person has experienced a concussion in the past, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), they are 4x more likely to get another one at a later time? If you are a school nurse, an athletic trainer, or any staff member at a school, it is important to be educated on how to identify and manage concussion symptoms. So what is a concussion? It is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. 

brain.jpgAccording to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 
329,290 children under the age of 19 are treated annually in the Emergency Room for sports and recreational-related injuries and concussions.¹ 
Recognition and an appropriate response when these types of injuries first occur can help speed up the recovery process and prevent further injury.

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November 29, 2017

Mobile Emergency Access at your School: Why It’s So Important

Have you ever been in a situation where a student gets injured at a school function and you realize that you don’t have their vital health information readily available? On average, schools report 9 emergencies a year making it increasingly important to have mobile access to student health data while on and off campus. The most effective way to ensure that an injured or sick child receives the best care possible is by providing authorized staff mobile access to student health records. When minutes matter, a mobile emergency app gives you and emergency responders immediate access to vital health information.

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November 28, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Deidra

deidra 1.jpgOur Help Desk Manager Deidra has been named the Magnus Employee of the Quarter for Q3, 2017! This is a well deserved award for Deidra, as she has been on the Magnus team for many years and effectively manages a team of employees through the toughest season of the year: back to school time aka “Peak Season.” In preparation for the new school year, starting as early as June, phone calls and emails to the Magnus Help Desk increase dramatically in volume. Deidra and her team assist parents and college students with navigating the Magnus system to ensure they have a successful experience. They are ready to help and answer every end user question! The Help Desk department maintains a high customer satisfaction rating throughout this busy time, and Deidra is always happy to report the positive feedback her team receives about caller experience to the rest of the Magnus team!

Learn more about Deidra’s Magnus story below!

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November 28, 2017

Managing Diabetes & Epilepsy in School Aged Children

Did you know that November is Diabetes and Epilepsy Awareness Month? Many children in schools suffer from these two conditions. Getting diagnosed with either of these conditions can be extremely frightening, especially for children and their parents. The good news is that knowing how to manage the disease, and by being armed with the appropriate care information, allows children to continue on with their lives as normal as possible, while putting parents’ mind at ease.

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October 26, 2017

SIS vs. SHR: The Real Difference

Properly collecting, managing, and tracking student information is crucial for success in independent and public schools alike. It is vital that schools have quick access to all of the necessary and up-to-date information on their students. Most schools have a Student Information System (SIS) in place, but overlook the need for a Student Health Record (SHR) system.

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October 26, 2017

Student Health Records (SHR): Most Frequently Asked Questions

With today’s technology constantly evolving, it’s more important than ever for schools to have the best tools at hand to not only manage student health information, but to also keep it protected. Gone are the days of keeping health forms in binders tucked away in the nurse’s desk drawer. Now, the best tool for the job is a Student Health Record (SHR) software. SHR software is the digital version of the paper health record that contains a full account of a student’s health history. This can include allergy action plans, concussion documentation, immunization records, emergency information, and consent to treat forms.

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September 30, 2017

How to Convince the Decision Makers That Your School Needs a Student Health Record Software

Do you need help convincing the budget masters that an electronic Student Health Record (SHR) software is exactly what your school needs to have a successful school year? Many schools pay for training and certifications each year, but fall short on providing the physical tools needed for health and athletics staff to be successful.

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September 29, 2017

The 2017 Fall Magnus Roadshow has Kicked Off!

Magnus Health is coming to a city near you!

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If you have heard of Magnus Health before, you may have heard about our annual Road Show. It’s the time when our Magnus team hits the road and conducts Bootcamp training sessions for clients and Lunch and Learn events for prospective clients. Well, we have packed our bags, and are kicking off the 2017 Fall Road Show! This year, the Roadshow events will run through November and we really hope to see you along the way!

Magnus clients will get to see our newest product features first hand and get a refresher course on Magnus software - everything they need to know in order to make better student care a priority. Click here for the client Bootcamp schedule to see when we will be in a city near you!

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September 28, 2017

The Struggle with Compliance: Why Your School Did Not Have a 100% Form Compliance Rate by Day 1 of School


Most schools face the huge obstacle of collecting and managing all of the required student forms by the first day of school. Having vital, up-to-date information for each student is not only important for providing efficient student care, but it also helps schools to be prepared in the event of an emergency, and to reduce liability. Most requirements cover crucial, life-saving information such as allergies, medications, chronic health conditions, and emergency contacts. So why is it that so many schools struggle to collect all of their required forms by the first day of school? Here are some of the common issues schools face:

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August 30, 2017

How to Have the Most Successful School Year With Magnus

How time flies! As the new school year kicks off, we wanted to provide some useful tips and tricks on how to prepare for a successful school year! At Magnus, we help over 540 schools to start off the school year on the right foot, and keep them well prepared throughout the school year. For those of you who do not currently use Magnus, don’t worry! This post will provide plenty of tips on how to have your best school year for Magnus clients and non-clients alike.

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August 29, 2017

Getting to Know Our Partners

Magnus Health takes pride in its ability to be extremely versatile, adaptive, and intuitive. The Magnus team works hard everyday to understand exactly what client needs are and how best to help them. For years, Magnus has been working with various partners to make sure that customer needs are not only met, but exceeded. Currently, Magnus works with several great partners, all of which offer different added value to our clients. 

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August 29, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Paul

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Since 2013, Paul has been an invaluable member of the Magnus team, and he is our 2nd Employee of the Quarter recipient this year. Paul usually shows up to work early, ready to start his day! As our Systems Administrator, he is the man behind the scenes of Magnus, making sure all is well with every part of our software. Paul monitors those vital components of the software that we don’t always think about: the network, servers, internet speed, cloud storage... and the list goes on.

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July 28, 2017

How EMRs Have Transformed Student Enrollment

The progression of technology over the last decade has been unprecedented. Not long ago, cell phones were a rarity and wireless internet was just becoming a staple in American homes. Fast forward to today and schools have active Instagram accounts, and students check in at the nurse’s office with an iPad.

We’re not strangers to the technology conversation either... After almost 10 years of working directly with schools to help them bring their student health records online, we know that technology has enormous benefits, especially during the enrollment season. We’ve seen schools that we work with completely transform their enrollment process by bringing their health and signature-only forms online. So if you’re wondering how to make enrollment run more smoothly, then you came to the right place! Let’s talk about how Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can change the way you think of enrollment.

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July 28, 2017

Improve Form Collection by Understanding the Parent Experience

The summer should be measured by the number of hours you spend at the beach not the number of forms you have to fill out before school starts. Let's take an in-depth look at why schools should look at the parent experience as the key to improving the form collection process.

Karen is a mother from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her seven year old daughter Katie just began summer vacation and will be starting second grade in September. Mid-way through the summer, Katie was diagnosed with severe allergy-induced Asthma and was prescribed an albuterol inhaler for her to carry at all times. Naturally, Karen wanted to notify her daughter's school. She remembered Katie brought home papers at the end of the year that she could fill out regarding her new condition. Karen tracked down the huge pile of forms only to realize there was a notice that her daughter’s physical had expired! When she called the doctor, they were booked until the end of September, but the due date on the forms was the first day of school.

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June 30, 2017

Top 10 Tips To A Healthy Summer

School is officially out and three months of fun are here! Summers filled with endless relaxation and playtime are what children look forward to the most each year. However, it is important to keep in mind that safety is key, and practicing healthy habits are important for a child’s health. Keep the fun going while teaching kids healthy habits that will keep them safe all summer long!

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June 30, 2017

The Impact Electronic Student Medical Records Have On Schools

At the beginning of each school year, many schools struggle with collecting and processing student health records and various other forms. School nurses and administrators seek solutions to better manage this process, but deciding on the right solution has its own challenges. The solution that many schools are discovering is a web-based Student Medical Record (SMR).

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May 26, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Martika Hedgepeth


This year, we are starting something new at Magnus Health by recognizing an “Employee of the Quarter.” This person must be someone who demonstrates Magnus’ core values, which include: teamwork, positive energy, and focusing on what matters. At Magnus, we use the phrases “Make it Happen” and “Make it Better” constantly, to remind our team to not only be proactive and put forth a great effort, but to also be problem solvers, to think outside of the box, and to contribute to improving our company every day. This quarter, our company chose Martika Hedgepeth as the Employee of the Quarter. We sat down with Martika and chatted about what it takes to earn this title.

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May 26, 2017

Tired of Shuffling Through Paperwork All Summer?

When you think of Summer vacation, what do you think of? Are you thinking of relaxation and time off or are you thinking of all of the form preparation needed for the next school year? With Summer quickly approaching, re-enrollment season is right around the corner. For many nurses and administrators, this means these next few months will consist of trying to collect and track down student health forms in order to prepare for admissions and re-enrollment. This process is a very time-consuming task for the majority of schools. Don’t forget about the endless calls coming in on a daily basis from parents with questions about requirements, forms and compliance... Summer vacation that should be used to de-stress becomes one of the busiest times for both schools and parents!  

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May 26, 2017

Vendor Accreditation and Why It Matters to Schools

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New technologies, such as phone apps, online services, and personal smart devices, are being used by schools in ways that allow new data to be generated constantly about individual students and groups. This data can include anything from sports physicals to treatment notes for when they visit the nurse. Communications between schools, students, and parents are often facilitated, collected, and often stored by a third-party vendor, that is a company providing an outside service. Schools across the country are now seeking the services of third-parties to provide secure online platforms to manage student health information.

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April 27, 2017

The Annual Report is Back!

The 2016-17 Annual Report ‘Health Care and Athletics Trends in Independent Schools’ is now available for download!

Four years ago, Magnus decided to take all of the feedback we had received over the years about the lack of information on Independent Schools and began the journey to change that. In 2014, with the help of Health Staff professionals, we published our first Annual Research Report of Independent School Health Services. Since then, the report has helped to foster a nationwide, information sharing community to compare data and share best practices. The research that came out of the 2013-14 Annual Report was so beneficial that we decided to conduct further research with our next Research Questionnaire and  Magnus published our second Annual Report in 2015.

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April 27, 2017

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

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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December 02, 2016

Speed, speed and more speed!

Performance enhancements, code improvements and bug fixes...oh my. In our latest release on November 30, 2016, we've cleaned up and reproduced many sections within the back end of the Prescriptions section along with updates to the Medication Schedule making them cleaner, faster and more efficient!

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November 21, 2016

What's New at Magnus?

Seeing some new updates in your Magnus portal? On November 16th, Magnus Health launched a few new product enhancements that allow you to be more efficient while working in Magnus.

See What's New:

  • Access ‘Send Email’ from Student Medical Record.
  • Upgrades to ‘Send Email’ function & layout to send emails quicker.
  • General performance & speed enhancements allowing for less time between clicks!
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November 14, 2016

Immunization Changes Making Waves Across the Country

“Today in the United States, people rarely die from vaccine-preventable diseases. A way of achieving this was to have compulsory immunization requirements for school attendance” (Hedden et al., 2014).

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April 01, 2016

Magnus Launches Two New Product Features

Magnus Health is proud to announce the launch of two new product features!

Upload From Your Mobile Phone

Parents can now upload their documents directly to the website from their mobile devices, no app needed! Uploading is accessible directly from the web-browser. Say goodbye to those annoying “Please download the App from the App Store” notifications. Uploading a photo of your form is now so simple! We’ve broken it down into four easy steps:

1) Open the webpage

2) Snap a photo of your document

3) Upload it

4) Save it

Fill Out Forms Online

Tired of forms that you have to download, print, sign, scan, upload, and then wait for a response? Yeah, us too. With Magnus Health’s newly enhanced online forms feature, the process of filling out forms has been cut in half and is more streamlined than ever. Now, schools have the option to have users complete questions and provide information right from their computers via drop down menus, text boxes, radio buttons and more. This will reduce the amount of printing forms and wasting paper. Now the only time you need to print a form is if a physician’s signature is required.

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February 01, 2016

Announcement: Magnus Health Road Show 2016

We here at Magnus believe that the best part of working in schools is having the chance to improve student health care. The more we work with school nurses, coaches, and administrators, the more we realize the biggest concern is for their students health. From gathering and organizing the health forms, to making sure they are accessible when they are needed, Magnus Health is there to help you through the entire process.

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December 10, 2015

Concussions: The Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussions occur more frequently than reported, according to Dr. Clark Elliott (www.clarkelliott.com). Often times, people simply bump their heads, or have an unrecognized event in which there is only a short moment of confusion, or disruption of thought. As a concussion sufferer and author of “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back” Dr. Elliott knows first hand about living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

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October 19, 2015

Webinar Wednesdays: Become a Magnus Master

Magnus introduces the new Webinar Wednesdays: a weekly webinar series focused on teaching you the ins-and-outs of the Magnus student healthcare software. Maybe you want to learn more about treatment notes and templates… Or maybe you want to brush up on your knowledge of the Student Health Tracker.. Whatever it may be, let us help!

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July 15, 2015

Justine Fonte just added to the 2015 ISHC speaker lineup

I'm happy to announce a new speaker for the 2015 Independent School Health Conference! Justine Fonte, M.Ed, MPH will lead a breakout session on Friday afternoon entitled, The Authentic Self K-12: What sexuality and health education can be. During her presenation, Justine will discuss how to implement a comprehensive sexuality education program at your school. Get to know more about Justine below!

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July 09, 2015

Student medical record software leader Magnus Health acquires CareFlow

Acquisition Expands Health Software Offerings for K-12 Private Schools

Raleigh, N.C. (July 9, 2015) Today, Magnus Health, the leading provider of student medical record software and services, announced the acquisition of CareFlow, a Pennsylvania-based software company that serves K-12 private schools through its student health record software.

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July 01, 2015

Simplify state audits with SMR [Client Success Story]

Client Profile trinity-logo
  • School: Trinity School
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Type: Age 3 – Grade 6 Private Coed Day
  • Size: 640 students
  • Website: trinityatl.org

As is required for any school in Georgia, Trinity School routinely undergoes Public Health audits of their student immunization records. To accommodate the auditor, Nurse Debbie Bright used to make paper copies of the immunization records, divide them by grade level, and place them in a ring binder. That binder would then be given to the assessor to review page by page.

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June 16, 2015

Magnus Health help sessions for parents

Let me be honest with you, if you're new to Magnus, or if your students' parents are new to Magnus, they're going to have questions about how to enter their child's health information into the system. I cannot think this is brand new information to anyone. We've heard from many schools that the way to answer those questions, and to encourage parents to go ahead and enter the required data, is to hold a Magnus event for parents.

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June 15, 2015

Happy end of school year!

May we sign your yearbook? It's that time of year again, and many, if not all, schools are winding down to summer vacation. We'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our schools for a wonderful school year! We are of course, not bidding adieu to you, as you have access to your account, and us, all the year through. But, we know you work hard all year long for your students, and we want to send you off to summer with warm well-wishes! Consider this our yearbook signature!

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June 11, 2015

Top 5 questions parents ask the Magnus Help Desk

The Magnus Help Desk manages thousands of calls a week this time of year, and frequently they're answering the same questions over and over. We know you get similar questions from parents so here's a list of the top Q&A's we receive. Pass this list, along with the SPF 45+, to parents as they leave for the summer.
Read More
June 09, 2015

Only 5 seats left at the 2015 Independent School Health Conference!

I feel obligated to tell you, there are only 5 (FIVE) seats left at ISHC this July 29-31! After those five seats are filled, you can join a first come, first serve waiting list. So, if I were you, I'd register today!

For those who've reserved their seat under a "Book now, pay later" ticket type, not to worry - your seat is still secure through July 3rd. Remember though, if you don't purchase your ticket by July 3rd, we cannot garauntee your spot at ISHC.

For more on ISHC and the many reasons you should join us this July, keep reading...

Website_picI plan to inform you of not one, not two, not three, but seven (7) reasons you should attend the 2015 Independent School Health Conference. Now I could do that in a bulleted list. I could write you a heart-felt acrostic poem. I could ask you to re-read last week's blog on the subject. I could call you up on the phone and, assuming you're free to chat or you have room in your voicemail, tell you in intimate detail why you should find yourself in Raleigh, NC July 29-31.

But I won't do any of those things. Quite frankly I'm not a fan of lists, I'm no great poet, I do not like repeating myself, and the very idea of the telephone gives me nightmares. Instead, I'll allow this slideshow to do the talking.

Read More
June 08, 2015

How FERPA applies to school counselors

**This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice.** 

Read More
June 04, 2015

Save time with streamlined record collection [Client Success Story]

waringschool-copy-300x75Client Profile 
  • School:Waring School
  • Location: Beverly, MA
  • Type:K-12 Private Day School
  • Size: 150 students
  • Website: waringschool.org

When Waring School mailed required student health forms to parents each summer, those forms were returned to the school via traditional mail. Nurse Jan Lindsay then spent the two weeks prior to the start of school organizing piles of paperwork, making a list of those students with missing forms, and then contacting those students’ parents. “It involved a lot of chasing down of families via email. As the beginning of school approached, we then went to the phones,” Lindsay said.

DSC_03792Even with those efforts, there were some parents who waited until the very last day, when Waring School left for their annual camping trip in New Hampshire. “That was the worst – dealing with forms and medication instructions as we were trying to load up the vans and get ourselves to camp,” Lindsay said. Each year, these same issues resurfaced and the receptionist frequently had to assist in making phone calls as well, making it difficult to tally just how much time the cumbersome process consumed.

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June 03, 2015

Summer sports and concussion consideration resources

Summer sports are here. They are beautiful things but they inherently come with risks. No surprise, sustaining a concussion is one of those risks. We've done a large amount of work on concussions in the past, and this blog post bundles all of that work into one location so you can easily and quickly get yourself up to speed on the latest and greatest developments. Get informed and head back to the field/gym/track/etc. Ready, set, go.

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June 02, 2015

3 must-haves for 100% health form compliance

number_100_percentThe beauty of zero tolerance, as it relates to compliance, is that it's entirely enforceable, and deals more with enforcing action by the parents before the start of school, than student behavior on a daily basis during the school year. In essence, a zero tolerance health form compliance policy mandates that all required health information be submitted prior to the start of school, and in the event that anything is missing, the student is denied entry to school, athletics, or any school-related trip. That's right, a true zero tolerance approach demands 100% compliance!

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May 29, 2015

May wrap-up

May came along and just as quickly, it's nearly completely gone. Here's what we've been up to this month.

At a Glance

At Magnus HQ

Announcing 2015 ISHC speakers


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May 28, 2015

April Chew and Mona Shattell join the 2015 ISHC lineup

I'm excited to announce new speakers for the 2015 Independent School Health Conference! April Chew, MS, RN and Mona Shattell, PhD, RN, FAAN will be our Friday keynote speakers! During the session, April and Mona will detail their research on School Nurses' Beliefs and Interventions for Childhood Obesity. Get to know these wonderful ladies in more detail below!

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May 26, 2015

UPDATE: 2015 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services

UPDATE: We have great news all around! The 2015 Annual Research Questionnaire has been a booming success, and due to input from many of you, we are extending the deadline until May 29, 2015. That's this Friday! Start your questionnaire, or finish the one you've already started and make sure your school is counted. At present, more than 1,000 people have participated. Help us raise that number even higher!

Originally published April 30, 2015

The 2013-14 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services was the first of its kind, and it allowed independent schools to see how they measure up to other schools similar to their own. We heard from near and far that this research was invaluable, so we're doing it again. The 2015 Research Questionnaire is open and we're encouraging all independent schools to participate.

Created with health staff, for health staff, this questionnaire aims to connect the dots between what is desired and what is lacking. In order to do that, we need the participation of as many schools as possible. The questionnaire is designed to collect school-wide data, therefore only one submission per school is recommended.

Over the next three weeks, the questionnaire will be open to all independent school health professionals. By participating, not only are you contributing to groundbreaking research, you are developing much demanded benchmarks. In addition, you're helping create a nationwide community, to which comparison data and results are available annually. Completing the 30 minute questionnaire (60 multiple choice questions) provides you the opportunity to share your perspective and contribute to the 2015 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services.

Now, if you're saying to yourself, "But why, Kathryn? Why should I do this questionnaire?" I'll give you five good reasons right now.

Read More
May 22, 2015

New leadership at Magnus Health

I am honored and excited to join the Magnus Health team as the new Chief Executive Officer, and I would also like to introduce you to Snow Roberts, our new Chief Operating Officer. We plan to continue the Magnus mission of better student care and look forward to getting to know our clients, partners, and the community. Below are brief summaries of our backgrounds, and we both hope to see you at the Independent School Health Conference this summer!

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May 20, 2015

2015 Independent School Health Conference Keynote Speaker Announced!

You might have heard of a little thing called the Independent School Health Conference. We're pretty excited about it, and to add to that excitement, we're happy to announce the ISHC 2015 headlining keynote speaker is Miguel G. Marshall, M.A., Ed.D.! Miguel has long been immersed in the independent school environment, and along with his brand new research, he brings insight from his own experiences as a student and employee of independent schools.

Read More
May 18, 2015

Exercise options in independent schools

Net_AssetsImagine my delight when I sat down to read the May/June 2015 issue of Net Assets, and I came upon an article, "Exercising Their Options" which features none other than one of our beloved clients, Providence Day School. The article focuses on how independent schools are increasing the opportunity to exercise, and the different ways students can exercise during the school day. Compared to students in past decades, today's children have less strength and balance and underdeveloped motor skills, so these new opportunities are very important.

Providence Day School is combating these issues with high-tech devices like bluetooth-enabled monitors, as well as low-tech exercises like rope and rock climbing. They've also created an inside and outside facility for the transitional kindergarten students with items that are designed to stimulate imagination. For instance, outside the kids play with bamboo, ropes, and fabric, and inside they can find yarn, blocks, instruments, and paint. The idea behind all of it is to engage students in the varying levels of exercise that will force them to develop their physical fitness and motor skills.

Read More
May 15, 2015

These 5 simple steps can make your school more "green"


Protecting the environment isn't just for conservationists anymore. Now that information about global climate change is readily available to us all, it's easy for each person to get involved and go green. It's so easy that I'm challenging students and schools to be at the center of green efforts.

The reason is simple: Students hold the key to the future of our environment, and schools hold the key to student education and awareness. Not to mention, schools use a lot of resources! From printing off hundreds of test papers to using energy to light up a whole gymnasium (or two), there are several ways for schools to educate students on environmentally-friendly habits, and to implement a few habits on the school-level, too.

It may seem like a big responsibility, but I promise it's not impossible to fulfill. All it takes is a little elbow grease! The best place to start is with these five steps to making your school more green.

Read More
May 12, 2015

National Nurses Week comes to a close

Today marks the end of National Nurses Week, but if Mother's Day taught us anything this year, it's that you can continue to thank those near and dear to you, even after the official holiday ends. So, in the spirit of continuing our grattitude, and helping others express theirs, here are four pictures you can send to any nurse, to say thank you. Conveniently, they're created at the perfect size for Facebook, too. Send them, print them, post them, do whatever feels right, but don't miss the opportunity to tell your school nurse, or the nurses in hospitals, clinics, and physicians offices THANK YOU.

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May 12, 2015

Uploading health forms for students just got easier

Magnus users, I'll be short and sweet. With a simple click of the button, and a process no different than in days past, you can upload and combine multiple health forms for a student's requirement. Plus, you get to preview the final document before attaching it to the requirement. Check out the shots below and see for yourself.

Read More
May 08, 2015

SMR user login enhancements [Updated feature]

Just last week I was trying to purchase online tickets to a concert. I was moments away from having the digital tickets in my metaphorical hands when I was stopped by a blurry and confusing captcha. A captchas, or "the most frustrating combinations of letters and numbers known to man" is the little box of text that you're asked to type out to confirm you are indeed a human. As wonderful as a captcha is for determining whether an internet user is actually human or not, it can truthfully be quite annoying.


Why do I get so annoyed by captchas? Most likely because I know that I'm not a robot, but yet it takes me three or four tries to convince my own computer that I'm not a robot. Trying to decipher a random, warped, set of letters and numbers is the last thing I want to be doing when I'm in the middle of an important task, and I know I'm not alone.

That's why I'm happy to unveil Magnus Health's new user login process! As of today, if you forget your username or password, you no longer have to answer a difficult captcha in order to retrieve it. Instead, all you have to do is check off a box that says you're not a robot (which I'm trusting you aren't...). Read on for more details, plus learn about the other updates we made to the SMR user login page.

Read More
May 07, 2015

School emergency teams and supplies

emergency_checklist_croppedHow many, and what types of teams should be in a school's emergency plan? Well, as with so many things, the answer varies because every school population and community is a bit different. However, Chris Joffe of Joffe Emergency Services outlined a list of teams that every school should have in place.

Read More
May 06, 2015

Say 'thank you' to your school nurse

Today kicks off National Nurse Week, and today is National School Nurse Day. On behalf of everyone here at Magnus, I'd like to say THANK YOU to every school nurse. We applaud your work, dedication, and selfless commitment to your students. We encourage everyone - administration, teachers, staff, parents, and students -  to take a moment and express your gratitude. School nurses aren't the highest paid, most recognized group of people, and recognition goes a long way. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking.

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May 05, 2015

Protecting your nursing license, from a military academy perspective [Client Success Story]

NurseTrentPicClient Profile 
  • Name: Trent Inman
  • Job Title: Registered Nurse
  • School: Oak Ridge Military Academy
  • Location: Oak Ridge, NC
  • Type: Grades 7-12 Private, Co-ed military academy
  • Size: 90 students
  • Website: oakridgemilitary.com


When Trent Inman first joined Oak Ridge Military Academy, he was stepping into the unknown. He didn’t have a military background, instead, he’d come from a cardio surgery step-down unit in a hospital. He went from treating very sick patients to treating cadets with ordinary illnesses to injuries incurred because of physical training. “It was different for me because the cadets would get in trouble for something, and their discipline was to do extra PT, and then they’d come to me because they’d have huge blisters and other injuries, and that type of approach was creating more work for me.”

Read More
April 30, 2015

April wrap-up

April just might be the perfect month. It's filled with sunny days and cool, breezy nights. Even better, you can feel the excitement of summer's fast-approaching days in the air. We're feeling that same excitement, because we're gearing up for one of our busiest yet most exciting seasons. As schools wind down for summer break, we're charging full steam ahead.

Take a look at what we've been up to!

At a Glance

Read More
April 30, 2015

2015 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services

The 2013-14 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services was the first of its kind, and it allowed independent schools to see how they measure up to other schools similar to their own. We heard from near and far that this research was invaluable, so we're doing it again. The 2015 Research Questionnaire is open and we're encouraging all independent schools to participate.

Created with health staff, for health staff, this questionnaire aims to connect the dots between what is desired and what is lacking. In order to do that, we need the participation of as many schools as possible. The questionnaire is designed to collect school-wide data, therefore only one submission per school is recommended.

Over the next three weeks, the questionnaire will be open to all independent school health professionals. By participating, not only are you contributing to groundbreaking research, you are developing much demanded benchmarks. In addition, you're helping create a nationwide community, to which comparison data and results are available annually. Completing the 30 minute questionnaire (60 multiple choice questions) provides you the opportunity to share your perspective and contribute to the 2015 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services.

Now, if you're saying to yourself, "But why, Kathryn? Why should I do this questionnaire?" I'll give you five good reasons right now.

Read More
April 29, 2015

Keeping the books [Employee Spotlight]

Sam_Yaworski-718052-editedThere's a vital, but often unseen world in business that most of us can't understand no matter how hard we try. It involves long numbers, decimals, spreadsheets, and complex formulas, and it usually makes my head hurt.

That special and scary world is Finance, and we're lucky enough to have a stellar Finance Team at Magnus Health who keeps us on track and makes sure that all the numbers (quite literally) add up.

One member of that team is Sam Yaworski, our Financial Analyst who manages a lot of nitty gritty tasks like invoices and closing the books. Her day-to-day may not be glamorous to you and me, but for someone who loves spreadsheets and organization, Sam is right at home.

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April 28, 2015

Protecting your school from risk

Last week we wrapped up our spring expert webinar series with a 360° view of independent school risks. Guest expert Martin Kelly, President of ISM Insurance Inc., presented on the topic, and now you can get a taste of what he covered.

Independent schools are subject to contractual law and, as such, have liability exposure in a number of areas, including employment practices and lawsuits brought by parents because of a failure to provide a safe environment.

In this webinar, Martin examined these and other areas of risk, such as crisis planning, HR practices, facilities, trips, use of volunteers, bullying and misconduct, acceptable use polices, and more. Watch a recording of the webinar now!

Read More
April 23, 2015

Magnus for your athletic trainers and coaches

When we speak with school health departments, we're asked on a daily basis how our product can work for the athletics department as well. The good news is, the very same product that can be customized for the school nurse and counselor can also be customized for the athletic trainer and coaches. Here's how it works.

Customized treatment notes

Does your athletic trainer need to chart an injury? Specify what is injured? Note which muscle was strained or ligament was torn? Indicate which sport and/or activity caused the injury? We understand the needs for athletic trainers are different than for nurses, and that's why we've granted the ability to customize a treatment note to your specific needs. It's as simple as editing a template and adding, changing, removing any fields as you see necessary.

Take a look at the brief screencast below and see just one way you could format your athletic treatment notes. Keep in mind, two things. 1) This is only a sample, you have the freedom and capability to customize your treatment notes as you see fit. 2) When you purchase the Health Services suite, we will create and customize these templates for you.

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April 22, 2015

Why you should be spending more time outside


Being outdoors is one of my favorite ways to spend a block of free time. When I'm feeling extra stressed out or bogged down by a long day, it's as if the sun always knows how to relieve my worries. It really is a magical thing.

But I'm not just a crazy sunshine addict. The science is real, and it says that spending time outside really does make you happier, no matter how much you actually love being in nature.

Don't believe me? We're about to take a look at a few facts that prove you should be spending more time outside.

Read More
April 21, 2015

Top 11 ways to use SMR groups

groups-1Groups are an integral part of using Magnus SMR to the fullest. It's easy to think of a couple scenarios when you'd need them - teams and clubs, for example. But we encourage clients to think outside of the box when it comes to groups. At the root, groups do in fact, group students. But if you dig a little deeper, they segment students in a way that allows you to use your privileges so that the appropriate persons have access to the information they need, and only that information.

This can also allow you to review a subset of student documents at a single time. Perhaps you need to review just the international student population for a specific insurance form. Or maybe you need to apply a specific requirement to only a certain group of students. SMR groups will allow you to do both of those things. Also keep in mind that students can belong to multiple groups at any given time, so you can sort your students in any number of ways to meet your needs.

Consider using the student groups below in your account to better organize and equip yourself and your school staff.

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April 20, 2015

7 Reasons to attend the 2015 Independent School Health Conference

Website_picAs the title of this blog post might suggest, I plan to inform you of not one, not two, not three, but seven (7) reasons you should attend the 2015 Independent School Health Conference. Now I could do that in a bulleted list. I could write you a heart-felt acrostic poem. I could ask you to re-read last week's blog on the subject. I could call you up on the phone and, assuming you're free to chat or you have room in your voicemail, tell you in intimate detail why you should find yourself in Raleigh, NC July 29-31.

But I won't do any of those things. Quite frankly I'm not a fan of lists, I'm no great poet, I do not like repeating myself, and the very idea of the telephone gives me nightmares. Instead, I'll allow this slideshow to do the talking.

Read More
April 17, 2015

Magnus Health, Veracross integration

Every spring I feel the need to do a complete technology purge. The constant ding of texts, emails and app updates can become overwhelming. I dream of running away to a remote state park campground where there’s no electricity, computers, phones or traffic. But then my high-maintenance side kicks in and says, “Hello? What about your espresso maker, iPod and the modern miracle called toaster pastries? What about the bugs?!” I am simply not cut out for camping. Technology means different things to different people but it’s main purpose is to make our lives easier. I love easy. (See aforementioned toaster pastries.) That’s one of the reasons I’m happy to announce the new Magnus Health single-sign-on integration with Veracross.

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April 15, 2015

The surprising effects of caffeine on students and teens


I'm one of the odd balls of the world. I don't drink coffee, soda, or even tea. Essentially, my caffeine consumption hovers at zero grams per day - unless there's an exceptionally good piece of dark chocolate calling my name. But even a whole bar of dark chocolate doesn't amount to the same level of caffeine found in a single cup of coffee.

Being a foreigner to the concept of caffeine, I've always been fascinated at how prevalent the drug (yes, caffeine is technically a drug) is in our everyday lives. With side effects including nervousness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and increased blood pressure, I wonder why nearly 75% of teens consume caffeine on a daily basis. Is it because caffeinated drinks taste good, or is it because teens need the extra energy boost?

It's not a simple answer, that's for sure. But we're about to do some hard digging into the subject of caffeine and students. And better yet, you're about to learn three drug-free alternatives to caffeine that students, or even you, can start using to keep energy levels up.

Read More
April 14, 2015

First ever conference just for Independent School Health Professionals

I've been holding in a rather enormous secret for some time now. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can now tell you everything. 

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April 09, 2015

School nurses benefit students and society to the tune of $98 million

nurse_with_boarding_school_studentThe North Carolina state-wide goal for school nurse to student ratio is 1 to 750. In reality, NC public schools average 1 nurse to every 1,200 students. According to the Department of Health and Human Services' Annual School Health Services Report, the Wake County (where Magnus is located) ratio is 1 nurse to every 2,476 students.

As a company working with school nurses (both public and private) every day, we know how valuable and vital the presence of a school nurse is to students, parents, teachers, staff, and administration. Therefore we know these numbers are disturbing, and directly contradict our company-wide belief in better care. We also know we're not the only people with this mind-set, and that cutting school health services to save money is not the way to save money (or care for children) in the long run.

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April 08, 2015

A 360° View of Independent School Risk (Protecting your school)

We're wrapping up our spring webinar series with a 360° view of independent school risks, presented by guest expert Martin Kelly, President of ISM Insurance Inc.

Independent schools are subject to contractual law and, as such, have liability exposure in a number of areas, including employment practices and lawsuits brought by parents because of a failure to provide a safe environment.

In this webinar, Martin examines these and other areas of risk, such as crisis planning, HR practices, facilities, trips, use of volunteers, bullying and misconduct, acceptable use polices, and more.

Read More
April 07, 2015

How often should you do school emergency drills?

Ever wonder what emergency drills your school should be doing? Ever wonder how those drills should impact your school emergency plan? Ever wonder how often you should be drilling your emergency response plans? I'm happy to tell you, thanks to Chris Joffe, CEO of Joffe Emergency Services, I have answers for your burning questions.

The five most basic school emergency drills are: fire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, and lockdown. Many schools know and execute these drills based on their geographic location.

There are then five more advanced drills: shelter in place, secure campus, active shooter, fallen aircraft, and sudden outbreak of contagious disease. These drills might not be executed nearly as often. For example, in a webinar we hosted with Joffe Emergency Services, 0% of the webinar attendees had ever drilled for fallen aircraft. That led us to ask, how often should school emergency drills, basic and advanced, be practed? Chris Joffe provided us with the guidelines below.

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April 01, 2015

Simple parent experience and 100% compliance [Client Success Story]

KathyFinneyClient Profile 
  • Name: Kathy Finney
  • Job Title: Associate Director of Communications
  • School: Norfolk Academy
  • Location: Norfolk, VA
  • Type: K-12 Private
  • Size: 1,200 students
  • Website: norfolkacademy.org

Kathy Finney has worked as an administrator at Norfolk Academy for 20 years. In that time, she has seen the importance of data grow from necessary business information to a strategic communications tool. Having worked with all of the data-dependent departments that help our institutions function and grow, Kathy has an unrivaled understanding of best practices of data collection and sharing across campus. 

Norfolk Academy struggled with collecting health and immunization information from parents each year. When they moved to Magnus to solve that problem, “we were trying to find a solution to make things easy for parents and for us,” said Kathy Finney, Associate Director of Communications. When Norfolk Academy initially launched Magnus, it was after they’d already collected all the information from parents. So, "there was confusion as to why we were asking for information that had already been submitted. We got off to a rocky start,” Finney said, but with a few lessons learned and alterations made, parents are catching on, and Finney and her team have seen the results in 100% compliance.

So how did they make things easy on parents and get 100% compliance?

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March 31, 2015

Breaking news: Magnus supports student photos

leahdowdIt's safe to say we've been asked more than just a couple times if and when Magnus would support student photos. I'm happy to tell you the answer is yes, and the time is now. The new feature is announced in the video below. But in case you don't have 2 minutes and 42 seconds to watch the whole video, skip on ahead and read the somewhat less entertaining recap.

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March 30, 2015

March wrap-up

Welcome back! As we all get back into the swing of things after Spring Break, let's take a minute to bask in the awesomeness that was March. We saw dabbles of warm weather, released exciting software updates (have you seen the student photo feature?), and behind the scenes, we're still busy coordinating the 2014-2015 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services. Let's dive in!

At a Glance

  • 29 Magnus employees bowled their hearts out during our Spring Teambuilding Day.
  • We celebrated Pi Day with real, delicious pie and a surprise math test (yikes!).
  • Guest presenter Karen Gregory joined us for her second guest webinar, HIPAA and FERPA in a School Setting.
Read More
March 27, 2015

Magnus 911 Enhancements [Updated feature]

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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March 26, 2015

Stocking your student snack store with healthy options

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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March 25, 2015

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

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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March 24, 2015

100% health form compliance for pre-season athletics

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: www.sms.edu

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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March 17, 2015

Learning about yourself and your team

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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March 13, 2015

Print blank forms [New feature]

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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March 12, 2015

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

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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March 11, 2015

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

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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March 10, 2015

Understanding automated email reminders

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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March 05, 2015

Risk vs. Reward: The Magnus journey for me and you


That was the email that started my Magnus journey close to seven years ago. I would officially sign on board about three weeks later.

I think this same message translates into what we are offering schools that join the Magnus family. I would word it like this: Considering software for better student care at your school? You might think there is risk, but we know it is very rewarding.

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March 04, 2015

Breaking news: New access to emergency data on Magnus Mobile app

It is with great pleasure that I present to you two things.

1. Magnus Mobile app updates

2. Magnus News

Both are explained in the video below. But in case you don't have 3 minutes and 15 seconds to watch the whole video, skip on ahead and read the somewhat less entertaining recaps.

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March 03, 2015

NBOA 2015 Recap: 7 Questions Business Officers Should Ask Themselves

If you're a business officer, you have a lot on your mind. From budgets and audits to delegating tasks across departments, there's likely no department you don't have contact with, except one: the health center. 

The missing link between the independent school business office and its school health center isn't new - in fact, health centers often feel like an island within their school. But this trend doesn't have to be permanent, nor should it. That's why we're using data from the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services to show why business officers should be concerned about their health center. The result is a list of seven questions every independent school business officer should ask themselves on a daily basis. With these questions, business officers can be better prepared to manage risk, liability, and emergencies at their school.

Allen Cobb, Magnus Health CPO, and Wendy Barnhart, Director of Business and Finance at The Westminster Schools, recently presented these seven questions at the National Business Officers Association Annual Meeting. You can get a recap of that presentation by watching the video below, plus we've compiled all seven questions (plus extra data) right here. 

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February 27, 2015

February wrap-up

Ah, February. Sandwiched between holidays and springtime, it can be a bit dreary. But we've been keeping ourselves busy and creating our own cheer by pushing out new software updates, recording client training videos, and hosting guest expert webinars. And if that wasn't enough, we also found time to relax and celebrate Valentine's day with each other by bringing in heart-healthy snacks named after famous couples (Elvis and Priscilla's peanut butter and banana graham crackers was a personal favorite). We had fun during February, and we sure hope you did, too.

At a Glance

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February 27, 2015

Forms requiring physician signature

We love Electronically Signed Documents, and we love helping schools switch traditional printed forms over to a secure customized online form that never needs to be printed. But as swell as ESD’s are, some schools (and state laws) still require a healthcare professional to sign paper forms. Over-the-counter medication forms and often action plans could require a scrawled “Dr. Jane Smith, MD” across the bottom to be accepted. So we’ve added a simple label that tells parents which blank forms need to go with them to see Dr. Jane.

In truth by the end of the summer, my back to school reality is dashing out the door to see Dr. Jane with an armful of papers and if I’m lucky, a giant iced coffee. There are quite a few Magnus moms and dads who fight the same back to school paperwork battle. So when one of the top requests from our parents was to create a clear way to see which forms need to be signed by a doctor, we were all ears. School nurses chimed in that this was a frustrating issue they also heard from parents, so really, this new feature was win-win.

So for parents (like me) who are flying out the door like Elphaba’s monkeys on the way to appointments, now they can easily see which forms they need to take with them to the doctor.

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February 25, 2015

Preparing for weather emergencies and increasing communication [Client Success Story]

PortsmouthAbbeyLogoClient Profile 
  • Name: Pam Gorman
  • Job Title: Director of Health Services
  • School: Portsmouth Abbey School
  • Location: Portsmouth, RI
  • Type: Catholic Boarding & Day Grades 9-12
  • Size: 360 students
  • Website: portsmouthabbey.org

Screen_Shot_2015-02-24_at_12.17.09_PMWhen Pam Gorman, Director of Health Services, began working at Portsmouth Abbey 30 years ago, she could track all student medications on a single sheet of paper. But, as state requirements became more strict, and the frequency of student health conditions increased, Portsmouth Abbey realized the need for a new system to track and manage medical information.

Gorman and her team initially had reservations about switching to a web-based system, but after implementation and becoming acquainted with Magnus, everyone was able to embrace the paperless environment. “I learned that [the process] is very simple. If I can do it, the only excuse that a parent would have is that they do not have a computer,” Gorman said.

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February 24, 2015

Ten facts you should know about sport-related concussions

10_facts_concussionsAthletes take on numerous risks each time they step on the field, hop in the pool, or skate onto the ice. One of those risks is head injuries. Regardless of whether or not an athlete participates in contact sports, a sport-related concussion (SRC) could happen to almost any athlete, at any time. That's why each coach, school nurse, and athletic trainer should have the most recent information on concussion diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

That's also why we took notes from our guest expert Missy Fraser, MS, ATC, from the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center, and compiled this list of ten facts you should know about sport-related concussions.

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February 23, 2015

Lessons learned from the 2015 Academy Awards

I'm not going to pretend that The Oscars has an enormous amount in common with school health. But I will argue, there are lessons to be learned and/or reiterated from the glamorous affair - and none of them are about fashion.


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February 20, 2015

How to add a Magnus Health login link to your school's website

At Magnus, we spend a lot of time thinking of ways to make schools' and parents' lives simple. One of our favorite tools to accomplish that goal is our easy-to-use parent portal, MyMagnus. When parents need to fill out or update their child(ren)'s health information, they can do so by signing in to their secure Magnus Health account via MyMagnus.com.

To make logging in even easier for parents, we recommend putting a link on your school's website (if you are not already using one of our software integrations). By adding a link to your website that directs parents to log in to their Magnus Health account, you save parents time and reduce the number of phone calls to your school's health and technology departments.

But enough about how wonderful it is. Let's get started with our three steps to add a Magnus Health login link to your school's website.

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February 17, 2015

Tips for meeting immunization requirements

With all of the recent news attention that vaccines have been getting, it would be remiss not to discuss the challenges around meeting immunization requirements in a school setting. With mandates that vary from one state to the next, schools constantly struggle to collect all of the necessary documentation for each of their students. Schools are required to show proof that their students are either up-to-date on immunizations or have a documented medical or religious exemption. Some states will also accept a personal belief or philosophical exemption.child_vaccine_immunization

But let’s save the debate on whether or not to immunize for another time, and instead talk about ways to meet your state’s requirements. Achieving compliance is no small task. It may involve sending reminder letters in the mail, making numerous phone calls, and pulling kids out of class until all of their requirements are met.

Here are a few tips to help get the job done:

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February 13, 2015

How your environment affects productivity and learning


Last year's Magnus Academy attendees got a special treat when they came to visit us in Raleigh, NC. They received an all-access pass to Magnus HQ! From our bright orange walls to the holiday lights that hung around until late July, our clients saw our office in all of its glory - and all of its distractions.

They saw the gong that our Client Services team rings each time we implement a new school, and they listened to pop music blaring from behind our Sales Team's desks. Sometimes I wonder how the Magnus team gets so much work done with an abundance of distractions - but then I remember that most of us grew up in environments where multitasking was a revered skill.

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February 12, 2015

How to help students prep for a test

Although I enjoyed school, I can't say that my study habits or test preparation skills were quite up to par. More often than not, I'd spend the night before a big test cramming as much into my overtired brain as possible, then I'd regurgitate it the next day and hope for the best. Now, I'm not saying this blog is going to change the fact that students have always, and will continue to procrastinate, but maybe you can use these tips to help encourage students to better prepare for the big tests coming their way.


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February 11, 2015

6 things school nurses and Valentine's Day have in common

When I think about Valentine's Day, I will admit my first thought is about the candy that goes on sale the day after. Chocolate and candied hearts abound. It's a happy thought. But this year, I decided to dig a little deeper, and what I found is that school nurses and Valentine's Day have quite a bit in common - six big items in fact.

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February 10, 2015

Parents submit health information easily, and on time [Client Success Story]

HALogo100Client Profile 
  • Name: Cheryl Tardif
  • Job Title: Student Health Center Director
  • School: Hebron Academy
  • Location: Hebron, ME
  • Type: Boarding & Day School, Grades 6-12
  • Size: 250 students
  • Website: hebronacademy.org

Hebron Academy’s Student Health Center Director, Cheryl Tardif, is upfront about her most dreaded task as a school nurse - “The most tedious part of a school nursing job is obtaining and managing health records.” For Tardif and her team, the process began every August prior to the new school year, and “the major problem we faced was receiving incomplete records from parents.” For each of the 250 students at Hebron Academy, five to seven pages of health records are required (1,250-1,750 total records), but many parents would return only a portion of those pages.
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February 06, 2015

How to chart student visits with multiple school nurses

The structure of each school's health center varies quite a bit. Some schools share a nurse with neighboring schools, while others may have three nurses regularly on staff. (Curious what the trends are? You can see them in the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services.) 

nurse_team_smaller_croppedWhichever your school's situation may be, keeping student health information secure is a priority when multiple staff members need access to the information. Plus, knowing which nurse or counselor charted a student visit is necessary for maintaining visibility within your health center. It may sound difficult to maintain this level of security and visibility, but the steps below are truly simple. Follow them, and you'll be on your way to charting student visits with multiple school nurses.

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February 05, 2015

What sandwiches and software have in common

bigstock-Sub-Sandwich-72526534To those of you reading this blog who want to know more about Magnus, I’m issuing an open invitation to have lunch. There’s no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal. I love to eat, but my one rule is that we can’t eat boring food.  To me a boring sandwich is criminal. You know the kind I’m talking about, a mushy square of slimy boiled ham and yellow plastic wrapped cheese with a swipe of mayo. Ugh. It may just be my Italian New Jersey roots talking, but I’d jazz that ham sandwich up with some thin salami, a little provolone, arugula, tomato, and roasted peppers in olive oil with garlic and oregano on thick sliced toasted artisan bread. Now that’s delicious! (Can we add anchovies?) Food, like medical records, can be so mundane and boring, but they’re both essential.  Properly documented medical records save lives, help nurses keep students healthy and frankly are required by law. I’m reminded of Roz from Monster’s Inc. “You forgot to file your paperwork.” How do I deal with the boring factor? It’s really simple. I make a food analogy.

When I approach product management and student medical records, I want to make a thick juicy Italian sandwich and not the shrink-wrapped gas station fare. The fun part is melding all the tasty feature requests into something that can make your jobs easier, keep your students safer and manage student health information efficiently. As a mom, and an Irish-Italian mom at that, I love a healthy, well-fed family. I also like a team that plays well together and builds good software on time. The tricky part is that just like your family or your school, not everyone likes the same things or has the same schedule. Sound familiar?

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February 04, 2015

Janet's Law supported by new CPR requirement for high school students

New Jersey became the 19th state to pass a law requiring high school students to learn CPR and how to use defibrillators in order to graduate. The law takes effect for the graduating class of 2019, and supports Janet's Law - existing legislation requiring schools to have an AED on school property. Both laws were put in place to save lives.

For details on the new law, check out these resources: 

In total, 20 states have with similar CPR legislation, including: Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware (most recent), New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, and Iowa.

Find out where your state stands on CPR legislation in this American Heart Association interactive map.


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February 03, 2015

Is an end to peanut allergy in sight?

Peanut_AllergyFood allergies. We've talked about them, you've talked about them, and the scientific community has certainly been studying them. For the amount of people in world that are affected by food allergies - including 6 million children - it's no surprise that allergies reach front page news each week. And recently there's been even more buzz about peanut allergies in particular. Why? Because there could in fact be a cure.

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January 30, 2015

Upcoming expert webinar: Traumatic brain injuries & recent research

I'm happy to let you in on a bit of a secret: we have some really, really good webinars coming your way. Not just any webinars, guest expert webinars. A full lineup will be announced soon, but what I can tell you here and now, is that February 17, from 2-3 PM Eastern, guest expert Missy Fraser will present on traumatic brain injuries and recent research. Missy will speak from her own experiences and research at The Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, and the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes.

During this webinar, Missy will answer the following questions:

  • What are the effects of cognitive and physical rehabilitation on Return to Play (RTP)? 
  • Head Impact Sensors: What's out there? How can you use them? Are they all they're cracked up to be?
  • Long-term impact: Can sport-related head impacts result in long-term cognitive, physical, or emotional changes?

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January 30, 2015

January wrap-up

It's been a busy month here at Magnus HQ. We've been hosting webinars, showcasing client success stories, chatting about K-12 technology, and even spending a few spare moments volunteering in our community. There's a good chance you may not have caught it all as it happened, which is why we've got a quick January recap below. Let's get to it!

At a Glance

  • Magnus Health SMR reached more than 1.1 million users
  • Allen Cobb, Chief Product Officer of Magnus Health, was selected as a presenter for the NBOA 2015 Annual Meeting in February.
  • We launched the first full month of client training classes.
  • Chas Scarantino, CEO of Magnus Health, joined SchoolMessenger for a webinar about student health emergencies and hosted another on re-enrollment best practices.
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January 28, 2015

Creating a sense of community at boarding schools


We're not all serious talk about student health information and school health forms here at Magnus. We like to learn about everything school related, including the unique world of boarding schools. So, recently I asked an online community of boarding school staff members what their favorite part of working at a boarding school is. The feedback was overwhelming.

Directors of Operations, Deans, Administrative Assistants, Directors of Admissions, and Educators all rushed to share their stories of working at boarding schools and what their experiences mean to them. The one theme that each person shared: A sense of community.

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January 27, 2015

Simplifying and improving processes for international students [Client Success Story]

DebBondHeadShotClient Profile 
  • Name: Debra Bond
  • Job Title: Student Health Center Director
  • School: The Cheshire Academy
  • Location: Cheshire, CT
  • Type: Grade 8 - PG, Coed College Preparatory Boarding & Day School
  • Size: 400 students (163 international, 260 boarders)
  • Website: cheshireacademy.org

Debra Bond, MSN, PPCNP-BC, APRN has been the Director of the Cheshire Academy Richmond Center since 2004 and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Academy since 2001.  As the Director and Nurse Practitioner, she assesses, diagnoses and manages minor episodic illnesses and injuries and helps manage and coordinate care for students with chronic illnesses, with emphasis in health promotion and disease prevention.  She works with a team of health professionals and faculty to provide primary and episodic healthcare for 400 domestic and international boarding and day students, including those with a variety of chronic illnesses. This team helps students attain and maintain their optimal level of health and wellness, by addressing their physical, emotional and social health needs.

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January 23, 2015

Make browser bookmarks work for you

school_open_book_croppedMy mother is an elementary school media specialist, and she always taught me never to dog-ear a book. As a result, I own a number of bookmarks. Sure, they masquerade as other things - receipts, wrapping paper, socks - but their real purpose in life, the reason they were put on this Earth, is to function as cutting-edge bookmarks. Why? Because there is nothing more frustrating than re-reading something 12 times, or being in the middle of what can only be described as the greatest love story mankind has ever been privy to (thank you, Nicholas Sparks), and losing your place because a child needs attention, or you fall asleep and the book falls off the bed. You see, these are real issues, and bookmarks fix them. Such a small thing, but what a big invention.

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January 22, 2015

K-12 Educational technology: What's the right fit for your school?


Flipped classrooms. Bring Your Own Device days. Smart Boards. iPads. If you recognize any one of these concepts, then you know how essential technology has become in K-12 schools. Gone are the days of shying away from virtual classes and student laptops. Now, schools and teachers embrace technology as a resource for investigative learning. Now, educational technology is a concept of the present and the future.

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January 21, 2015

School liability and student health information Q&A

Chas-Scarantino-landing-pageTo limit your school’s liability risks, you must protect students from all kinds of safety threats. It’s important to not only be prepared for the obvious and established threats, but also for the emerging threats that could catch you off-guard. One of those emerging threats relates to the management of student health information. To dig a little deeper into this topic, we did a brief Q&A with our CEO, Chas Scarantino.

Q: What types of student health information are schools managing today?

A: Schools have to manage any medical information required for healthcare and treatment, concussions, enrollment, or attendance purposes. Data on immunizations, sports physical data, consent to dispense prescription or over the counter medication, consent to treat, action plans, and health history are just a few of the many types of health information that schools may be managing. Nearly all of this information is private information, and as such, it presents liability for a school if it is handled incorrectly.

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January 20, 2015

Giving back: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service


If you've been following us for a while, you know that we like to spend time volunteering in the community - not for good karma points, but because we really do enjoy it. We've made arts and crafts with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County, we've held dodgeball tournaments to benefit local school health services, and this year, we decided to use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as another opportunity to volunteer our time.

Thanks to the United Way and their Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, finding volunteer opportunities was easy. The hard part was deciding which volunteer project to be a part of. We decided on gardening, then got ready to throw on torn jeans and old tennis shoes. "Gardening" is a loose term, though. In all actuality we were trailblazers with shovels.

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January 16, 2015

On the Hunt for Quality [Employee Spotlight]

john_krahnert_circleHave you ever wondered how software goes from zero to a finished, working product? I know I do. It's such a mysterious and magical process! Sometimes I wonder if we have Keebler Elves working behind the scenes at Magnus Health. But then I remember that we just have a talented team of software engineers that turn ideas into a working reality. Our engineers are basically human 3-D printers when you think about it.

But after our engineers (or Keebler Elves) successfully build a new feature for school health centers, there's still work to be done. This is where John Krahnert comes in. He helps make sure that each newly created software feature is up to par. How? We'll discuss that in just a minute. But first, I'm more intrigued to find out how a reporter/editor-turned-flight-instructor found his way to Quality Assurance at a software startup.

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January 15, 2015

Education technology: can e-learning days replace snow days?

Technology has made its way into every facet of education - the front office, the health office, classrooms, athletics - and now it appears education technology can help prevent lost instructional time on snow days, too. While the concept of e-learning has been around for some time, only recently has it become a way to alleviate the school calendar headaches that come along with inclement weather-related closings.

Snow day snowman

According to the Education Commision of the States, laws vary from state to state on the minimum number of instructional days that students are required to have per year, but most require 180. In the midst of a particularly harsh winter in 2013-14, many schools and districts were forced to find creative ways to keep students on track to hit that number. Policies that allowed for e-learning days were the solution adopted in several areas of the country to minimize the impact of inclement weather.

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January 14, 2015

Adding faculty emergency information to Magnus [Client Success Story]

Client Profile 
  • Name: Ashley McCauley
  • Job Title: Health and Wellness Director
  • School: The Westminster School
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Type: K-12 Private, Day School
  • Size: 1,856 students
  • Website: westminster.net

Prior to joining Westminster as the Director of Health & Wellness, Ashley worked at Scottish Rite Hospital, where she served as a registered nurse in the Aflac Blood Disorder and Cancer Center. Prior to working at Scottish Rite, she was a nurse in pediatric hematology-oncology in South Bend, IN, and her hometown of Greenville, SC. Ashley received her nursing degree from the Medical College of Georgia.

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January 13, 2015

Re-enrollment today: How electronic forms transform the process

updated_ESD-146524-editedThe progression of technology over the last fifteen years is incredible. Not long ago, cell phones were a rarity and wireless internet was just becoming a staple in American homes. Fast forward to today and schools have active Twitter accounts while students use iPads to check into the school nurse's office.

We're no strangers to the technology conversation, either. After more than eight years of working directly with schools to help them bring their student health records online, we know that technology has enormous benefits, especially during re-enrollment.

We've seen schools that we work with transform their re-enrollment process by bringing their health and signature-only forms online. So if you're wondering how to make re-enrollment run more smoothly, then you came here at a good time. Let's talk about how electronic forms can change the way you think of re-enrollment.

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January 08, 2015

Student peer-counseling: How it can be successful

teen_friends_smallerA quick Google search for "student peer-counseling" returns roughly one million results. There's a lot of information out there, and a lot of schools are already employing peer-counseling programs with successful results. But, the idea of having students counseling other students can create some understandable hesitation. However, according to nearly every piece of research, and an actual licensed school counselor I questioned at length, the key is to use peer-counseling in the appropriate situations, under the guidance and tutelage of an adult trained to handle the more serious issues.

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January 07, 2015

Working at Magnus just feels right

If you are like me, you always dread the question, “Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?” I used to feel that anything less than a clearly packaged response would be a reflection of my failure at life’s planning. Truth is, I’ve come to embrace the way my internal guiding compass works.

East coast bound all my life, when I decided to trek across the country to Texas for grad school, I just knew what I wanted to study and that I wanted to do it at one of the best institutions in the world. When I chose to study abroad in Cuba, it was totally the unknown that drew me there. I’m driven by a larger purpose and then finding my role to further that purpose...rhyme or reason not always required. In both endeavors, I was consumed with personal fulfillment and growth that was unimaginable; it just felt right to make those decisions.

In my time here at Magnus, I realized that to deliver the best answer to that age old question, I needed to not only focus on communicating my future professional growth, but moreso how I wish to feel about it. Lo and behold, I’ve found my muse. February 2015 will mark three years working here at Magnus. I don’t expect any longevity awards with this milestone but for a start up, not unlike high school/college, that seniority is nothing to balk at!

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January 06, 2015

New Year's resolutions at school


New Year's resolutions: Overrated or inspiring? For those of us who make resolution lists longer than Tom Clancy novels, they just might be overrated. But, when correctly planned and thoughtfully pursued, it's true that resolutions can bring about real change - and inspire others to do the same.

That's why New Year's resolutions at school are so powerful. When anyone - a student or staff member - takes on positive resolutions, their change can inspire the entire community. But what kind of resolutions should school staff members be making? How can they inspire students to have a productive and fun year? We propose using these six New Year's resolutions that are perfect for schools.

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December 17, 2014

The reality of school nurse-to-student ratios in independent schools

AnnualReport2014-thumb-400px_1-1In a previous blog, we covered new research for independent school nurses and health services, and we gave an overview of the 2013-14 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services. Now, it's time to dig a little deeper and look at the staff and facilities that make school health services possible.

To segment and analyze data, we asked respondents a series of questions focused on each school’s health center staff and facilities. Each school knows that type of information on their own services, but how do they compare to other schools? The resulting data allows schools to see how they measure up in these areas, and allows for easier comparison with characteristically similar schools among other data points. So, let's get to the good stuff.

Nearly all schools (89%) reported having some type of nurse on staff, but just 18% have a full-time RN on staff, and another 18% have a part-time RN on staff. Fifty-four schools (36%) have more than one nurse on staff, and 36 schools (23.8%) have a full- or part-time doctor on staff. Of the respondents that have a full-time or part-time doctor on staff, 85% take boarding students. 

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December 16, 2014

16 Health guidelines for students & staff traveling internationally

International_Travel_AbroadTo prepare for international travel with students and staff takes quite a bit of time, and I don't think I overstep my bounds when I say keeping everyone alive and healthy are the main goals. Ebola and polio have dominated the headlines in recent months, but it's no secret that health concerns exist everywhere, not just in high risk areas of the world.

As with many great and wonderful things in life, preparation is key, as is revising any existing policies and procedures. To assist you in those efforts, below are some resources and tips gathered from around the web, geared toward traveling abroad with students and staff.

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December 11, 2014

5 Ways for school nurses to save time

misc_10_minute_clock_smallerWe all know that time is valuable. And in the world of runny noses, broken arms, and chronic diseases, time matters even more. School nurses are in a constant race for time, and we know that. That's why we're sharing five ways for school nurses to save valuable clock ticks on a daily basis. Some of these tips may require a little extra time to set up or put in place, but after they are established, life will be a breeze. So let's get started!
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December 10, 2014

TABS 2014 Recap: Guidelines to success in school health services


Last week we had the opportunity to present to an audience of boarding school professionals at the TABS 2014 Annual Conference. It was a fantastic experience to say the least, and we were grateful to be part of the event.

Presenting at the event was Allen Cobb, Chief Product Officer at Magnus Health, with commentary by Dr. Adrianna Bravo, Medical Director at Episcopal High School. Allen brought with him new research from the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services, along with guidelines to success in school health services. The presentation, "The State of the Boarding School Health Center" was the first of its kind, focusing on health center management in boarding schools. If you didn't get a chance to see the presentation, don't worry. We're about to share the key takeaways with you right here.

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December 04, 2014

Concussion prevention and response: High school winter sports

concussion_manAs high school winter sport athletes are bundling up to train through the coldest months of the year there is one topic in the back of parents' and coaches' minds: Concussions. And while statistics and news surrounding the lasting effects of concussions are usually referenced in football, concussion safety matters in every sport - especially winter sports such as ice hockey, basketball, and wrestling. The fact of the matter is that concussions can happen to any athlete, at any time, and they actually affect athletes in winter sports more than any other season.

That's why we've provided four steps to approaching concussions during high school winter sports so everyone can stay as safe as possible. While the focus here is on preventing concussions, it's quite possible that a TBI (traumatic brain injury) may still occur which is why concussion treatment techniques are included below. By following medical guidelines for concussion prevention, diagnoses, and treatment, you can be a part of the growing movement to reduce concussions in sports everywhere.

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December 02, 2014

Key statistics in boarding school health care

nurse_with_boarding_school_studentOne of the biggest questions we've received when talking to independent schools about the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services is: "What information is applicable to boarding schools?". It's a good question to ask, because not all independent schools are the same. For example, boarding schools are responsible for student care 24/7, which differs from their day school counterparts. It's these increased hours of care that mean boarding schools prepare differently for student health concerns - and the proof is here.

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November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving "thank you" to school nurses


Ever heard of the saying, "I get by with a little help from my friends"? For students these days, that saying couldn't be more true. As they wander a hectic maze of mentally and physically draining activities - including early morning classes, after-school sports practices, peer pressure, and increasing chronic illness - it's no wonder why teens and children always seem tired. It's because they are! But luckily, they get by with a little help from a few unconventional friends. And this time of year, we're extra thankful for those friends.

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November 20, 2014

Integrating your student information system with Magnus Health

tech_laptop,_typing_on_mac_4_smaller_cropThe way you collect, update, and manage student information is critical to effectively managing an independent or private school. In order to make the process efficient and streamlined, many schools utilize a student information system (SIS). But because student information systems can't cover every need, they often integrate with systems that can provide a concentrated focus. For example, health and health center needs. Even student information systems that provide a “health option” often find integration a better option for schools seeking a health center solution. 

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November 13, 2014

The Finalsite - Magnus Health software integration

finalsite_logo_and_magnus_gearThere's been quite a bit of talk about our independent school software integrations lately, and for good reason. As more schools look to reduce their carbon footprint and increase data security, it only makes sense to take student health information paperless. And the whole processes is even easier when your school's Student Information System and/or website works together with your school's Student Medical Record software.

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November 12, 2014

The WhippleHill - Magnus Health software integration

Screen_Shot_2014-11-12_at_10.43.41_AMTechnology has done wonders for informational organization and security at independent schools. The old ways of filing student information into cabinets have transformed into online record-keeping via Student Information Systems and Student Medical Records. But as wonderful as these robust technologies may be, wouldn't it be even more wonderful if they worked in harmony? Wouldn't it be a life saver if you could enter information into one school software portal, and that same information appeared in another? The answer is a resounding "yes." 

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November 06, 2014

Join other SMR users for Magnus training (and fun) at Academy 2015

Academy_CapIf the first Magnus Academy is any indication, a lot of Magnus school nurses and other staff are going to have a great time in Raleigh next July. We're planning Academy 2015 like it's our job, and we're going to make it even better than last year! We've taken the feedback from last year's attendees, and we're doing our very best to make all their suggestions happen. So, it is with great confidence that I tell you, Academy 2015 is going to be bigger, have more training opportunities, more sessions, more chances to meet and work with Magnus staff in person, and there may even be a surprise (or two).

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November 05, 2014

The Who and How of independent school health services research

AnnualReport2014-thumb-400px_1-1In an earlier blog, New research for independent school nurses and health services, we gave an overview of the 2013-14 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services, but the research and annual report wouldn't exist without the people who created it and the people who participated in it. So, without further ado, I present to you, the Who and the How of the annual report.

With advice, input, and direction from an advisory panel of distinguished independent school nurses, the Magnus Health marketing and product teams designed the annual research questionnaire. The panel of six members allowed us to identify and hone in on the topics most important to school health professionals so the information gathered would be as useful as possible. Read More
October 30, 2014

Senior Systems - Magnus Health school software integration

Simplifying processes is never a bad thing. Neither is easing the burden on parents or decreasing time spent on redundant administrative tasks. So the Senior Systems, Magnus Health integration, which accomplishes all these tasks, can only be a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. Senior Systems and Magnus Health have partnered to offer Single Sign-On (SSO) for parents and an automated data transfer integration, which will save school administrators time by streamlining the information update and account creation processes.

The SSO process requires that schools use both My Backpack and Web Services. With those pieces in place, parents can use their My BackPack username and password when logging into Magnus. Schools must create parents and students in the Magnus system before the parent can successfully login. There are various methods of doing that, but we recommend using Auto Roster Import to make it as seamless as possible.

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October 23, 2014

New research for independent school nurses and health services

AnnualReport2014-thumb-400px_1-1We work with school nurses every day and we heard from many of them that they had a desire for information and resources about independent school health services, but the research simply didn't exist. So we set out to change that. Together with a panel of six independent school health professionals, we developed the 2013-14 Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services. And now, we're happy to report, the results are in, analyzed, and available to you in the 2013-14 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services.

It's a great read, but let's face it, 32 pages is a lot of info. So, I've distilled it here so you can have a bird's-eye view of the information in 10 minutes or less. Read the short version here for surface details, and download the full version to read when you have a few more minutes on-hand.

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October 15, 2014

4 Tips for getting faster answers from Magnus Health support

When you reach out to our Client Services team for help, you know we are going to assist you as quickly and thoroughly as humanly possible.

But did you know there are a few things you can do to help us help you even faster and more accurately? Here are four things that our savviest customers do when reaching out to Magnus Client Services.

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October 09, 2014

5 Action plan templates for schools

5_sample_action_plans_edited-917753-editedAction plans are the first step to understanding, and being prepared for, complex student health needs. They document known health conditions, provide treatment guidelines, and keep everyone's minds a little more at ease. 

The goal of an action plan is to provide school nurses and administrators with the necessary information to treat a student for a condition they may have - this includes allergies, diabetes, seizures, and more. In fact, action plans are so vital that we included them in our list of the seven essential components of a student health file

Now, join us as we provide you with five action plan templates for schools that you can use to better understand your students' health needs. Distribute these forms to parents before the beginning of the year, or better yet, utilize conditional questions so that parents aren't burdened with unnecessary paperwork. The bonus for Magnus Health SMR customers is that your action plans are digitally distributed to parents (using conditional questions if you choose) - meaning everything is already set!

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October 02, 2014

2nd Annual Dodgeball Charity Challenge was a success!

Saturday was a comfortable 79 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze. All I needed was some sunscreen and four hours of dodgeball. I got both at the 2nd Annual Raleigh International Dodgeball Charity Challenge.

We were competing against an NCSU football game, a motor cycle rally, and four other festivals in surrounding areas, but those things didn't stop us. Saturday, from 10-2, top notch dodgeball was on display, and Bandwidth claimed the title, all in an effort to raise awareness and money for Wake County school health services. Our mission: Identify children with health needs that have gone unidentified due to lack of access to care, and ensure they receive the care they so badly need.

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September 24, 2014

Take Magnus for a test drive

If you're already a Magnus customer, be sure to contact Client Services for one-on-one assistance using MyMagnus and Magnus911.

One of my favorite Beach Boys songs is Wouldn't It Be Nice. Every time I see or hear about something I'd like to have or experience, I sing to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice..." I know I'm not alone in wishful thinking because we frequently come across folks who think how nice it would be to test the Magnus product before making a purchasing decision. Well, we've got you covered. It's easy to take a test drive of both the parent's experience, as well as the Magnus emergency tools. Here's how it all works.

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September 17, 2014

Magnus Health Road Show 2014: We're bringing SMR to you

One of the best parts about working with schools is getting to know all of the people who make a school so great. From the school nurse to the football coach, and everyone in between (including you!), we talk to some pretty incredible people. And even though your job descriptions may differ, one thing you all have in common is that you do what you do for your students.


That's why we want to make your job a little bit easier. We want to help you look after your students in a more comprehensive, but uncomplicated way. There's no better way to accomplish that task than for us to bring ourselves to you for a day of training and learning!

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September 11, 2014

Making the first impression [Employee Spotlight]

Emily-Williams-new-landing-pageIn a world of 140-character Tweets, automated phone calls, and scripted conversations, it's sometimes hard to stumble upon genuine interactions. You wonder if you're talking to a person or a machine, and if you're actually being heard. That's why it's a relief to meet people like Emily Williams, a Magnus Health Account Executive.

Emily gets what it means to be human - to hold two-way conversations, to laugh, and to be a little quirky. As one of the first people you may ever talk to at Magnus, she'll make sure your first impression of us is, well... human. And if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet, read on and say hello.

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September 10, 2014

Back to school [Guest Post]

So many behavioral things happen in our country that signal the start of the school year - commercials, news stories, advertisements. Perhaps your school starts at a different time or even continues year round. Still your life is somewhat impacted by the event we call “back to school”. For school staff, including school nurses, this is both a new beginning and a series of stress-filled, very long, work days. I now know that tasks required of the general population of public school nurses differ significantly from those of private school nurses. Thanks to my attendance at the Magnus Academy this summer, I met dozens of you, willing to share your stories with me. Thank you. I look forward to learning more from you about the unique issues you face in private schools and the creative solutions you’ve accomplished. welcome_back_to_school

A few years into my practice as a school nurse, I asked a seasoned school nurse what I was doing wrong in September. She listened carefully and grinned wider, the longer I talked. “I just can’t seem to get organized,” I’d said, “and every day I feel as if I’ve taken ten steps backward instead of three forward. How can I make September go more smoothly for myself, my students and the staff?” I implored.

When she replied, it was with kindness and care in her voice. “September will never go well. You must start each day fresh, confident in your ability to prioritize, to organize and to move ahead. Make a plan and then deviate from it whenever you really need to. Reschedule what issues can wait. Never turn away a frightened child or a frantic parent. Never minimize a staff members concerns. Always remember your purpose, your value and your importance. Before you know it, the snow will fall and you’ll realize everything that needed to be done, was accomplished. And next fall it will start all over.”

From my own experiences, I’ve put together a small arsenal of strategies that helped me through September. I hope you can take some of these tips and they help you as you head back to school.

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September 05, 2014

Treatment notes and online student medical records

Charts. Notes. Treatments. Screenings. Logs. Reports. Visits. Whatever you call them (I prefer treatment notes) the documentation you make on student visits and treatment is important. Check that, very important.Chart

Every time a student is treated at the health center, a record needs to be in place, not only for the sake of protecting the health care provider, and the school, but more importantly so that the student has a complete health history. With a full student health history, providers can look at the total picture of health, observe trends, accurately note when something occurred, when a shot was given, or simply note that the student is a frequent flier to the health center.

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September 04, 2014

A note from the CEO: Identifying students with health needs

The ratio goal for school nurses to students is 1 to 750. In Wake County, we are well short of that with a current ratio of 1 nurse for every 2,400 kids. These nurses are tasked with the significant responsibility of identifying and developing care plans for every student with an identified issue within the first 30 days of school. In that same 30 days, faculty and staff must be trained as well. These tasks consume the first month of the year. The remainder of the year is spent managing these students, constantly evaluating their plans, and identifying new students. Oh, and did I mention these nurses make house calls too?

Over the next three years, the Wake County Human Services Board of Commissioners has committed to employ 40 new nurses at Wake County Schools. These new nurses, along with the current staff, will be deployed across Wake County with a focus on the schools with the highest need (identified health issues). This is called an acuity model, and it is a great start, but there is a problem.

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August 28, 2014

3 steps to getting student health forms in on time

It's the beginning of a fresh new school year. Parents are rushing to the store to pick up backpacks and washable markers, while students are texting their friends to find out if they're in the same World History class. The last thing on anyone's mind is making sure all of their student health forms are filled out and submitted to the school.

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August 19, 2014

Communicating to parents why you require student health information

You have to communicate with parents. You know it. They know it. It's not always fun, but it is necessary. You communicate with them about everything, and you do it throughout the year, so it's easy to see how some things can fall through the cracks or simply be ignored by parents.

But, health information cannot be ignored. You have to have the information on the student to properly and completely fulfill your duties as caregiver of the student while they are at school. And that's exactly what we encourage you to tell parents. megaphone

We've found that when school administration and health services explain not just what they're requiring, but why they're requiring it, the collection and enforcement headaches are alleviated. During the school year, students spend a significant portion of each day in the care of school staff. That time increases dramatically when you factor in sports. And with boarding schools, the school is the primary caregiver all the time.

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August 13, 2014

5 things we all learned at Magnus Academy

smaller_for_blogMagnus Academy 2014 will live in history books as the event that started it all. For the very first time, we hosted two and half thrilling days of training for Magnus customers, with a splash (or two, or three) of fun. We laughed, we cheered, we learned, and most importantly, we connected. And, for anyone who wasn't able to attend our first Magnus Academy, don't worry. This is your chance to see what all of the fuss was about.

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August 06, 2014

Top 10 tech tips for school nurses using Magnus SMR

Have some tech questions and want a quick, concise answer? We thought so. That's why we put together these 10 tech tips to address the most frequent questions we receive from Magnus clients. The beauty is, they benefit the non-Magnus user as well. In fact, my gut tells me that after putting the tips into practice, everyone will be giving them a thumbs up.


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July 30, 2014

Zero tolerance is your friend

What comes to mind when you hear "zero tolerance"? Drugs? Weapons? Dress code? I'd like to suggest that zero tolerance has a rightful place in health form compliance as well.

The beauty of zero tolerance, as it relates to compliance, is that it's entirely enforceable, and deals more with enforcing action by the parents before the start of school, than student behavior on a daily basis during the school year. In essence, a zero tolerance health form compliance policy mandates that all required health information be submitted prior to the start of school, and in the event that anything is missing, the student is denied entry to school, athletics, or any school-related trip. 

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July 24, 2014

How to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster

emergency_checklist_croppedIn the past we've written blogs and research papers about the many things schools must consider when it comes to preparing for an emergency or natural disaster. One stone left unturned (at least in great detail) is the necessity to continually prepare students for what they need to know and do in an emergency. This goes beyond crouching under desks or calmly filing out of a building. Students, particularly young ones, can benefit from understanding why they're expected to behave in a certain way, instead of just blindly following an adult's lead. I'm not suggesting providing them with gorey, unnecessary details, but some education on the subject can be helpful to everyone involved. So, without further ado, I present to you several resources you can use to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster.

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July 17, 2014

Holding down the Help Desk [Employee Spotlight]

Jordan-MatthewsIt’s rush time. And by “rush time,” I mean grab your ponchos, because it’s raining phone calls at Magnus HQ. Just last week our Help Desk received over 900 calls. Compared to the number of phone calls you and I receive each day (probably less than five, unless it’s your birthday), that’s an overwhelming number. It's an ambitious task to manage all of these calls, and we've been graced by the presence of Jordan Matthews, Help Desk Manager extraordinaire, to do just that. She's our secret weapon when it comes to keeping parents and students happy, and she does it all with the perfect mix of spunk and cheer.

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July 10, 2014

4 ways to invest in student safety (without ever spending a dime)


Budgets are a sensitive, and stressful, topic in the world of schools. Just about everything comes with a price - from campus security systems to additional staff members. That's why budgeting is a difficult task for the business office. The business office must analyze return on investment for each and every purchase, to ensure it is the right decision for the school. The good news is that there are ways to improve school environments, and to put everyone's minds at ease, without ever worrying about ROI. How? By trying these four ways to invest in student safety. The best part is they are totally and completely free.

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July 02, 2014

Managing Type-1 Diabetes without a school nurse

health_heart_stethoscope_smallerIf you own a computer or a TV, you've heard about recent school nurse shortages. We've heard about them, too, and it's worrisome. School should be a safe place - a place where students can test their chops in the spring musical, or harness their inner math whiz. It shouldn't be a place for worrying about administering your own insulin, and that's why it's imperative for schools to be able to manage serious student health needs, with or without a full-time school nurse.

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June 24, 2014

School security: Protecting student information in a digital age

security_locked_computer_smaller-1In today's digital age, it's common for schools to use technology for everyday tasks, student management, or classroom activities - it just make life easier. But as wonderful as technology is, it also brings up new concerns about protecting student information. So how can you make smart tech decisions? How can you combine ease of use with student safety? The answer starts with the unsung hero of the school: The IT guy, or gal.

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June 18, 2014

Update: Dodgeball meets school nurses


Not too long ago, I wrote a post about our annual charity event, the Raleigh International Dodgeball Charity Challenge, and announced our new initiative. Now, I'm back with more details. First off, it's September 27th, 2014, and you need to be there. Even if you're across the country, you should book a flight to join us. It's. That. Much. Fun.

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June 12, 2014

Walk a summer vacation in your students' shoes

footprint_2Summer vacation is finally here, and while all of your students bask in the glory of beach vacations, summer learning experiences, and lazy days at the pool, one thing is for certain: They aren’t thinking about the next school year. I dare say, they aren’t even thinking about next week. And you know what? Neither should you.

This summer, instead of stressing out about professional development, school leadership conferences, or staying up to date on the newest education technology, I challenge you to do something different. I challenge you to walk a mile (or rather, a summer) in your students’ shoes.

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June 04, 2014

Use Treatment Note Insights to calculate time spent with students

How are you spending your time? How much is dedicated to medication administration? Minor health complaints? Injuries and concussions? Your time is valuable and it's important that you're able to determine exactly how it's spent. Perhaps you need to hire another nurse for the health center, but how do you prove that? Treatment Note Insights help put your time into an easily digestable format that you can use for your own reference, or to show administration and others the time you spend with students, and the tasks and student health complaints that occupy that time.

All Magnus customers have had access to Insights for quite some time, but it can be easy to forget this capability simply because it's not a vital part of student care. However, it reflects and reports on student care and at the end of the day/week/month/year that is important information.

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June 03, 2014

Remote access broadens SMR benefits [Client Success Story]

Client Profile Rona_Dickman

  • Name: Rona Dickman
  • Title: Nurse
  • School: Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School
  • Location: Livingston, NJ
  • Type: Co-educational Yeshiva day school
  • Size: 751 students
  • Website: jkha.org

Rona Dickman has served as a school nurse at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy for the past seven years, addressing injuries and illnesses for students in grades pre-K through 12. She also sees students with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, and severe food allergies, and performs screens for height/weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing and scoliosis, as well as ensures all students are up-to-date with their immunizations. She enjoys working together with the students and parents to ensure the students’ optimal health in school.

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May 27, 2014

School health concerns: Depression prevention

Students are incredible. They are capable of making the Dean’s List four years in a row, breaking world records while still taking classes (yes, I’m talking about you, Missy Franklin), volunteering with their local communities every weekend, and maintaining social lives through it all. But what if I told you these feats of excellence could all come to a screeching halt due to one obstacle? Moreover, what if I told you that school staff members can help students from hitting this obstacle in the first place?

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May 22, 2014

Responding to student emergencies with Magnus Mobile and Magnus911 [Client Success Story]

Client Profile Will_Everett

  • Name: Will Everett
  • Title: Athletic Trainer
  • School: Newton Country Day School
  • Location: Newton, MA
  • Type: Grades 5-12 Private, Catholic school for girls
  • Size: 420 students
  • Website: newtoncountryday.org

Will Everett has worked as a certified and licensed Athletic Trainer since 2001 at both Emerson College and Newton Country Day School. At Newton he teaches Anatomy to juniors and seniors, assists the Athletic Director, serves as a moderator for the Peer Education Committee, and is a high school student advisor. This year he has been working on a committee with other faculty and staff members at Newton to incorporate a Wellness curriculum for the high school students. As an American Red Cross instructor, Everett also teaches First Aid and CPR/AED courses within the Newton community. With his teenage daughter, he delivers food twice a month for the Food for Families pantry at the Sanger Center in Quincy, MA.

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May 15, 2014

Sports injury tracking: Involving the whole school matters

The phrase "injury tracking" has been buzzing around the internet for a while now - in relation to concussions, bone fractures, and many other student athlete injuries. Why? Because athletic trainers and coaches want to provide better care for their athletes, which includes improving the way athletics staff monitor and track injuries. Now think about this: If a trainer or coach wants to improve how he or she is tracking injuries and monitoring athlete recovery, wouldn't it make sense to involve nurses and teachers in the process, too? The answer is absolutely.

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May 13, 2014

Developing SMR [Employee Spotlight]

Dan-LombardiThere’s a special place at Magnus for all of our tech-savvy developers and IT folks, and that’s the upstairs realm (literally, they all work upstairs). If you’re brave enough to enter, you’ll find some of the brightest men and women around, all working tirelessly to make Magnus Health SMR the best school health software possible for staff, students, and parents.

Dan Lombardi is no exception to this rule. He’s one of those special tech-savvy developers, and every time a parent or student logs into their Magnus account to fill out a Vital Health Record, they are directly interacting with one of Dan’s projects. Pretty neat, right?

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May 07, 2014

And the 2014 ASHE Award recipients are...

For the third year in a row, we're celebrating National School Nurses Week by honoring some very special school health professionals with the Achievement in School Health Excellence (ASHE) Award. From over 200 nominations, 10 finalists were selected, and based off of the people's vote, we're pleased to announce the two ASHE Award winners and eight finalists. Without further ado, the winners of the 2014 ASHE Award are Jackie Baker, of King's Way Christian Schools, and Debra Bond, of Cheshire Academy. Both recipients will receive a $1,500 grant for their health center, and a personalized plaque. Keep reading to see the glowing nominations submitted for each of these fantastic women by their peers and colleagues. ASHE_check,_awards

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May 01, 2014

My eight years at Magnus

This month marks Magnus’ eighth birthday, and my eight year anniversary here. To celebrate both, I thought I would try to put into words what the experience has meant to me. First of all, just thinking about eight years is tough because it is the longest I have ever done anything - longer than any other job, longer than my college education, longer than I have known my wife. Can a single experience or concept define the last eight years? Is it my first employee, our first school, our 100th school, or our 900,000th user? I think I’ve narrowed it down to one common thread – the people. Some are employees and some are clients, but all have shaped my journey, and the Magnus journey. 

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April 29, 2014

Student health awareness: Youth violence

child_health_depressed_abused_smallI think the vast majority of us can agree that youth violence is serious and harmful. There's nothing controversial in that statement, and if we watch the news, read the paper, go to the movies, use social media, or work with youth on a regular basis, it doesn't take long to see youth violence in action. It varies in scale and includes hitting, slapping, and bullying, all of which have the potential to leave larger emotional scars than physical. And then there's the darker side of youth violence like robbery and battery. And if you want to go even darker, add weapons and homicide to the mix.

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April 24, 2014

Thorough and efficient documentation with Check In [Client Success Story]

Client Profile

  • Name: Kris Sabel
  • Kris_Sabel_headshotTitle: Middle and Upper School Nurse
  • School: Latin School of Chicago
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Type: Pre-K-12 Private, Coed, Day School
  • Size: 1,110 students
  • Website: latinschool.org
Kris Sabel, RN, BSN, MA, has 22 years of professional nursing experience with a diverse career that includes critical care nursing, college teaching, community health nursing, professional sport team nursing, policy development, and more. Kris entered the world of private school nursing in 2008 and immersed herself in improving the standard of care delivered in schools to align with nursing law and best practice. She earned recognition for her advocacy in passing the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. Kris' interests include medical policy writing, nursing research, and improving the safety and resources available to LGTBQ students. 

Prior to becoming a Magnus Health customer, Kris, like many nurses, documented student visits on paper. The downside to that was that she did not have time to take very thorough notes. It was also nearly impossible to keep the notes private when the health center was busy and she was caring for multiple students at a time. “Thorough and accurate documentation is a huge priority for nurses,” Kris explained, “it is our safety net, should legal instances arise. When a school is sued, it is often related to a medical issue. According to nursing law, no documention means that no interventions were provided.”

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April 17, 2014

School nurse liability: 7 Must-know legal facts

admin_justice_scales_smaller_croppedRecently, the National Assoctiation of School Nurses (NASN) published the results from their Annual School Nurse survey. In it, data showed that school nurses are eager to learn more about legal issues and how they affect school nurses. So, we did a little bit of research and came up with the top seven must-know legal facts for school nurses. Without further adieu, here they are...

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April 15, 2014

The increasing responsibility of school nurses [Guest Post]

It is estimated that one out of every 100 students has epilepsy and that 75% of all cases are diagnosed during adolescence (Plan for Nationwide Action on Epilepsy, Vol. 1. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare). Although epilepsy is not a disease, nor a mental disorder, it is a chronic health disorder caused by temporary disruptions of electrical impulses in the brain that result in seizures. There are many types of seizures, from staring spells to tonic-clonic, which frequently involve convulsive movements and loss of consciousness. nurse_harriett_at_computer_small

However, this article’s intent is not to focus on what epilepsy is, nor how it is treated. My goal is to discuss the increasing role of the school nurse and others in how best to handle the increasing number of students diagnosed with a seizure disorder. This is of particular importance when the student’s private prescribing physician specifies the use of the DIASTAT to be administered at the time or soon after a student experiences a seizure.

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April 09, 2014

Annual Research Questionnaire of Independent School Health Services

Over the years we've heard many school health services professionals say they'd like to compare their own health center to others of similar size, budget, employees, etc. The problem is, that information hasn't been available. So we set out to change that. We're excited, and think you will be too! misc_jump_for_joy_small_cropped

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April 08, 2014

Advocating for clients [Employee Spotlight]

Nina-Gervase-314Shouldn't everyone have an advocate? We think so. Meet Nina Gervase, the Magnus Health Client Account Advocate. Her job is exactly what it sounds like: advocating for our clients' needs - from setting schools up with new SMR features, to creating solutions for tricky situations. Whatever a client's needs may be, Nina has their back. She's so dedicated, in fact, that she played a critical role in developing our new client Training Site. (More on that below.)

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April 02, 2014

New and updated Magnus services and features

The first quarter of 2014 has come to an end, and hopefully with it, all the cold, snow, and ice. As we look forward to the second quarter, and embrace the 70+ degree temperatures, let's take a look back at all the Magnus activity over the last several months.


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March 27, 2014

Cell phone use at school: Which policy should you use?


Before we even begin, let’s all take a deep breath. Cell phone use is a hot-button topic, and most educators have a strong opinion about what students should and should not do with their cell phones while on school grounds. Believe me when I say I don’t want to start any fights. Besides, violence isn’t the answer, right? So while we all sing "kumbayah" together, let's take a look at the three main approaches to student cell phone use, and why schools use, or refuse to use, them.

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March 26, 2014

Auto Roster Import

We get really excited when new SMR features make school staff lives easier. If it just so happens that the same feature also makes our own lives easier, you certainly won’t hear us complain. Our newest feature, Auto Roster Import (ARI) checks both of those boxes. Auto_Roster_Import_131x140

ARI functions much like its name sounds – it automates the school roster import process. Convenient, right? It really is. It’s quick and easy, and allows schools to create a CSV file, or export it from a third party, and import that roster information into Magnus, thereby updating names, contact information, and more. The beauty is that schools have the ability to sync data and update information en masse whenever they’d like. Have a big group of new students you’d like to add to the system? ARI can handle that. Want to update cell phone numbers or emails every month? Week? Day? Done, done, and done.

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March 20, 2014

The impact of generic vs. brand name medications [Guest Post]

I am a school nurse, and it’s very common to hear people in and out of the medical profession say generic medication is “the same” as the brand name equivalent. Although I’d never researched this issue before, I started investigating generic verses brand name medications when one of my staff member’s blood pressure went sky high after changing to a generic. health_pills_and_drugs_and_medicine_small

I came across an article written by Dr. Tod Cooperman, MD, “What You Need to Know About Generic Drugs” and found some interesting and upsetting statistics. As a nurse, I think it’s important that we’re all educated consumers and should be aware of discrepancies. Here’s what I found. Later I’ll explain why these findings are so upsetting to me as a school nurse.

  • Eight percent of drugs we take in the US are now generic versions of the brand name medication.
  • Generic drugs are required to provide 80% to 125% bioavailability to your bloodstream.
  • Generics can contain very different other binders and fillers than their brand name counterpart, which can impact how fast or slow the active ingredient is released into the blood stream, especially in extended-release forms of the medications.
  • The FDA requires that the package inserts for generic drugs show the same data as the brand name drug. However, this isn’t always true and that information is not always released.
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March 18, 2014

Announcing this year's charitable initiative


Maybe you've heard of the Raleigh International Dodgeball Charity Challenge - it's kind of a big deal. OR, maybe you haven't - after all, the event is less than a year old. Either way, I'm here to tell you this fall we will hold The Second Annual Raleigh International Dodgeball Charity Challenge, and it is in fact a very big deal.

Last year we held the tournament, and spent over 1,000 hours volunteering, all in support of the Wake County Boys and Girls Clubs. All proceeds from fundraising througout the year, and at the tournament went toward the Clubs' biggest need - transportation. With the more than $27,000 we raised, they were able to overhaul their entire fleet of buses, giving the club kids reliable transportation to events vital to their development.

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March 13, 2014

Coach bullying: Why it happens, and why it's not okay

sport_coach_yelling_smallerI planned to write about coach bullying over a month ago. The fact that just yesterday a prominent NCAA women's basketball coach was accused by former players of bullying and emotional abuse, is nothing more than a timely coincidence. Accusations against Boston University's Kelly Greenberg arose after four players quit over the course of the last year - that's 30% of the team. Two of those players gave up $60,000-a-year scholarships. I'll let you interpret the severity of the situation based off of those numbers.

But this isn't about Greenberg or Boston University, or even last year's headlining bully coach, Mike Rice at Rutgers. This is about the fact that coach bullying isn't specific to collegiate or professional athletics - it's present in youth, club, middle, and high school athletics too. Although there isn't a lot of research on the subject, according to one study, "45% of the children surveyed said adults had called them names, yelled at them, and insulted them while they played sports. Even more disturbing, more than 17% reported that an adult had hit, kicked, and slapped them while participating in sports."

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March 11, 2014

The reality of food allergies [Guest Post]

"Food allergies." What?! I knew that allergies ran in my family, because I grew up with them, but allergic to food? And not just one food group, but four major food groups, and others too?

A feeling of helplessness and fear came over me when my son Daniel, my third child, was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies at the age of ten months old. The realization that my child could die from eating food was a shock, despite knowing another child with food allergies from the on-site medical day care where I worked as a pediatric occupational therapist and director. Thus began the eye-opening journey of education (mine and others'), label reading, revised cooking, and fear for every new situation that occurred.

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March 06, 2014

It's National Nutrition Month, and we're serious about it

When you work for a company called Magnus Health, you tend to feel obligated to crank out a blog post each March in celebration of National Nutrition Month. I did it last year, I'm doing it this year, and if history tells us anything, I'll do it again in 2015. The good news is, a reminder blog once a year about the importance of nutrition will never be overkill. The better news is, I may have a surprise at the end of this blog.heart_veggies

National Nutrition Month is sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and "is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits." These are solid goals for everyone, especially children and teens. This year's theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" because research found taste to be more influential in food purchasing behavior than nutritional value. Those foods people enjoy are more likely to be consumed, regardless of social, emotional, or health factors, so this year's theme is right on point.

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March 04, 2014

6 Myths about re-enrollment

What if I told you re-enrollment could be easier? What if I said you don't have to be buried by paperwork this year? That's exactly what these six myth-busting tips are designed to do: make your life less complicated, and shrink the ever-growing pile of forms sitting on your desk. When you discover the truth behind these myths, you'll not only be amazed, but you'll also breathe a long sigh of relief.

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February 27, 2014

Food allergies: Why they are increasing and how it affects schools

Food allergies on the riseTake a quick look down the aisle of any grocery store and you're sure to see gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and soy-free snacks from left to right. Open up a restaurant menu and many of the same allergy-free options are offered. Maybe you've even had a conversation with a neighbor who just adopted a gluten-free diet. With all of this increased allergy awareness, are we facing an allergy epidemic? Is the age of food allergies truly upon us?

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February 26, 2014

Standardized charting with Treatment Notes [Client Success Story]

Client Profile

  • Name: Marcy Kwitny
  • Title: Director of Health Services
  • School: Polytechnic School
  • Location: Pasadena, CA
  • Type: K-12 Private, Coed, Day School
  • Size: 861 students
  • Website: polytechnic.org
Marcy Kwitny, R.N. arrived at Poly in 2003, after working as a school nurse for nine years in Calabasas. Prior to joining the Poly staff, she was a pediatric nurse for 10 years. As the only health professional in a community of educators, Kwitny sees her role as that of ambassador—the bridge between the healthcare community and the school.

Making the switch from paper to electronic records can be a daunting task, but we work with many school nurses who feel it’s well worth the challenge. Marcy Kwitny, the Director of Health Services at Polytechnic School in California, felt that the switch was necessary and inevitable. “To be in school nursing during this age of technology makes me always think about what I can do better,” Marcy explained. At a school that is “extremely forward thinking in terms of academics” she wanted to maintain a similar high standard for the health office. “I’m always trying to learn and I’m always trying to put the students first,” she added. 

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February 20, 2014

Student athletes and overcoming asthma

Amy Van Dyken, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Peter Vanderkaay all have something in common, and it’s not just their glistening Olympic gold medals. While they will forever be remembered on the world stage for their athletic feats and dedication, there’s one thing that nearly held them all back from greatness, and that's asthma. These athletes (and hundreds of others) are a testament to how asthma can affect an athlete, but not bring them down.

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February 18, 2014

Implementing SMR: What to expect

What do I need to do to prepare? Who should be involved in the implementation? What will my parents see? What’s my job in the process? What’s Magnus’ job? How long will it take? When should I implement? How do I roll this out to parents? 

Don’t worry. We know you have a lot of questions, and we’re here to answer each and every one. 

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February 13, 2014

The 7 essential components of a student health file

We’ve worked with schools for years to consolidate health forms and collect the information necessary to complete a student’s medical record prior to attending school. Some schools collect the bare minimum and some go way beyond. We’ve found a happy middle ground of seven must-haves - the 7 essential components of a student health file. There’s certainly nothing wrong with collecting additional information, but with these items on file, you can be confident you have the necessary records for a student to safely begin school. check-list-web-500x500

  • Consent to treat: The parent, guardian, and/or eligible student should provide you with a signed consent to treat for regular visits and/or emergency events. It’s a best practice to require this form for each and every student.

  • Health history: Nearly everyone is familiar with a health history - you know, the pages and pages of paperwork you fill out every time you go to the doctor’s office. A full health history on file for each student ensures you’re aware of past health situations that could be pertinent to current medical treatment.

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February 11, 2014

Doughnuts and Valentine's Day? Yes, please!

Dear Magnus Insights Reader,

Friday is Valentine’s Day, but some of us at Magnus got in on the love-fest early. This past weekend, several folks represented Magnus at the 10th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge (K2C). It’s not exactly a Valentine’s Day celebration, but it is a very lovable cause that benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. If you’re not familiar with the K2C, allow me to explain. It involves a 2.5 mile run (walk, crawl, etc.) through downtown Raleigh to a Krispy Kreme store, consumption of 12 doughnuts (2400 calories), and a 2.5 mile run back. All in an hour. The Krispy Kreme Challenge website describes it as a “test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude.” I affectionately refer to it as Gluttony for Good.

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February 06, 2014

Children's Dental Health Month

boy-kid-anxiety-biting-nails-worry-shutterstock_157209992_smaller_croppedWhat’s every kid’s least favorite part of getting ready for bed? No, it’s not checking for monsters in the closet, and it’s not turning off their favorite television show (although that can be a difficult battle, too). Hands down, every child’s least favorite part of the evening routine is brushing their teeth. Why? It’s actually a simple answer.

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February 05, 2014

Electronically Signed Documents

Why make things more difficult than necessary? There’s no point in that, and it only wastes time and money, both of which I value quite a bit. That’s why I mandated the development of one of our most efficent student health form capabilities yet. Actually, that part is a lie – I didn’t mandate anything. Yet.

But, the rest of that is real, and it’s going to make the lives of school nurses and health staff much more pleasant. So, without even further ado, let’s get to the good stuff…ESD

Electronically Signed Documents. I don’t mean digital authorization. This isn’t hypothetical. It isn’t a dream. This is real.

Literally, a student's form never has to be printed in order to be signed. Schools can elect to use Electronically Signed Documents, and transition many of their forms – consent to treat, field trip permission slips, OTC medications, and more – thereby eliminating the need for parents to ever print a form. The school can determine exactly what the form says, and the parent/guardian needs merely to type their name in the document and submit it (after reading it thoroughly of course).

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February 04, 2014

Teens, sleep, and social media [Guest Post]

Sleep. It's something most of us ironically daydream about more often than actually get.  We are all guilty of it at one time or another; deterring Mr. Sandman for a few more minutes of Facetime. Or perhaps another necessary Facebook post or response. We push ourselves to stay awake and tell ourselves that just a few more minutes on the phone or our tablet in the dark won't do any harm.  But that's where we are wrong. 

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January 30, 2014

23 of our favorite health resources

We spend a large chunk of time doing research here at Magnus, and as a result, we’ve come across resources that are particularly informative. We thought they might be useful to you as well, so we’re going to pass them along. If we’ve left any of your favorites off the list, please share the wealth by leaving us a note in the comment section.


  1. The Office of Non-public education (federal)
  2. U.S. Department of Education
  3. Joint Guidance on the Application of FERPA & HIPAA to Student Health Records
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  7. StopBullying.gov
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January 28, 2014

5 Health tools for parents

goalsFrom tips to help students stop procrastinating, to advice on how to host a healthy classroom celebration, we’ve explored how schools and students can put their best feet forward this year, all while under the helpful watch of the school nurse. Now, the last puzzle piece to our Health Tool Kits is for the parents, whose duties leave them exhausted at the end of nearly every day. It's time to turn the tables and take care of the people who take care of everyone else.

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January 23, 2014

7 Ways to Say "Thank You" to School Health Staff

Thank_you-1National School Nurses' Week isn't until May, but there's no sense in waiting four months to honor the people who make themselves available to students and staff the whole year through. 

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January 22, 2014

Mind tricks to help you choose the right college [Guest Post]

For many high school students, senior year is an exciting time: after all the classes, tests, and extra-curricular activities, the time has almost come for the next big step: college!

There is, however, one part of being a senior that causes a lot of stress for students: choosing the right university.

Selecting a college can be daunting. Not only is the choice important – higher education is the key to a long and satisfying career – but it also reflects the first big life decision that a young person makes, and that can bring added anxiety. 

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January 21, 2014

5 Health tools for the everyday student

We’ve covered how teachers and school nurses can implement easy tricks to stay healthy and earn an A+ on their school’s health report card. Now, it’s time to focus on the very students we’re all looking out for - the students who say they are invincible to illness, can run a marathon off of 3 hours of sleep and a bag of potato chips, and won’t start an elaborate science fair project until the day before it’s due. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and now it’s time for an intervention (without the reality tv show contract).

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January 16, 2014

What does the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act mean?

In 2011 Adrian Peterson, a rather well-known Pro-Bowler and Minnesota Vikings running back, ate a couple bowls of gumbo and 15 minutes later, his eyes began to itch, his throat began to close, and he could barely breathe. He was experiencing anaphylactic shock. Thankfully, the team trainer quickly arrived and injected Peterson with an EpiPen. After being rushed to the hospital, it was determined that Peterson has a shellfish allergy.   
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January 14, 2014

5 Health tools for the classroom

Healthy studentWe’re back again! Recently I told you about 5 Health tools for school nurses, but nurses aren’t the only ones who care about health, and they’re certainly not the only ones who can positively influence student wellness. So for this round of our Health Tool Kits, we’re going to talk about how a healthy school year can also begin in the classroom.

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January 07, 2014

5 Health tools for school nurses

School nurses use technology to improve efficiency and knowledgeI promised another blog post, and I don’t like to break promises. Welcome to the first Health Tool Kit, brought to you from your friends (and partners in health) at Magnus! We’re going to start off with nurses, because they’re the bread to our butter, the peanut butter to our jelly, and the orange to our office walls. I'm serious, we love orange.

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December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Oh what a year! It’s been a busy one here at Magnus, and certainly for you too. I sat down and tried to succinctly communicate some of our highlights, but the list kept growing. So, I’ve selected some of our very favorite moments. It just so happens, something fantastic happened every single month. Admittedly some items are less serious than others, but they all tickled us pink.

  • January: We produced our ASHE Award video to kick off the 2013 nominations. 
  • February: We doubled our number of employees. 
  • March: We began volunteering daily at the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • April: We moved to a new office – it’s nearly three times the size of our old one.
  • May: We announced Nancy Weida and Sister Mary Brenda as the 2013 ASHE Award recipients.
  • June: We launched our app, Magnus Mobile, and announced the Magnus Health Why – We believe in better care.
  • July: We went on a Boston Duck Tour with new and old friends at the WhippleHill User Conference.
  • August: We held the first ever Magnus Cobbler Wars – we all won that day. 
  • September: We kicked off the Magnus Road Show and held customer boot camps in nine cities throughout the fall.
  • October: We were named one of the Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and we hosted the Inaugural RDU International Dodgeball Charity Challenge, benefitting the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • November: We reached 750,000 users.
  • December: We had our first ever photo booth at our holiday party. We also confessed why we love Magnus.
  • All year long: We released new software nine out of 12 months – all requiring zero install for the customer.
Tell us, what happened for you this year? What made 2013 an especially busy, crazy, successful, and/or memorable year for you? teambuilding
Above, the Blue Barracudas capture victory on our most recent teambuilding day. A fantastic event, and it didn't even make the top 12 list!
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December 26, 2013

2014 ASHE Award time!

It’s that time again, and no, I don’t mean the holidays. I am of course referring to the one and only, the beautiful, the rare, the elusive, the bright and shiny, the ASHE Award, for Achievement in School Health Excellence! This marks the third year we’ve awarded a school nurse, athletic trainer, or other health staff member, highlighting their contributions and accomplishments in school health. Past winners each received a grant for their school health center, as well as a personalized plaque. ASHE-Award_small

Students, teachers, and administrators alike depend on school nurses and health staff for everyday and emergency care, so take this opportunity to show your support. We’ll open for nominations January 6th and voting will decide the winners and finalists, which we’ll announce during National Nurses Week in May. Check out our ASHE Award page for all the rules and details. 

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December 19, 2013

Coaching an athlete on the importance of physical and mental health [Guest Post]

The “10,000 hour rule” is a rule proposed by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. It suggests that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill such as playing the piano, chess or playing a sport, such as swimming. Today, adolescent athletes are working longer and harder than ever before to get the competitive edge. But it is not always fun and games when training an elite athlete. At some point, most elite athletes struggle with a setback, whether it be a physical injury or a mental roadblock. Coaches must make sure certain actions are taken before these roadblocks can occur. Swimmer1_smaller

Coaches need to be conscious of the physical stress their athletes may experience. They must always educate the athletes on proper technique and the importance of alerting a coach when something doesn’t feel right. I have coached athletes that push through the pain and brush it off, not alerting the coaches to the issue. They are afraid, perhaps, of taking time off or having to tone down their training. On the other hand, I have coached athletes who alert their coach when they experience aches and pains. Coaches need to educate and remind their athletes to have a free flowing stream of communication in regards to any aches or pains that occur. If this does not happen, the swimmer can hit rock bottom and will be unable to train on a daily basis. The physical damage may have already been done to a point of no repair. Physical injury can be preventable, but it also will be inevitable at some point. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that athletes know that it is okay to talk to their coach about how they feel.

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December 18, 2013

Social media leakage before school shootings [Guest Post]

Warning: Videos within this post contain violent and/or disturbing material and may be upsetting to some audiences.

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December 17, 2013

A Happy (and Healthy) New Year

Enjoy the holidays with active family timeLeading up to the holidays, it’s easy to find yourself getting more and more relaxed. Homework, work, extra responsibilities, and even self-care fall to the wayside, and all the eggnog, sugar cookies, and lack of sleep add up, making you feel sluggish and championed by the season. But as the weather gets colder and another year approaches, this is the time when it’s most important to look after your health. Why? Because setting the stage with healthy habits now, during the most demanding season, means next year is sure to be a success.

That’s why, starting in January, I’ll be writing a series of Health Tool Kits to help everyone –teachers, nurses, students, and parents – ease into a new year. These kits will have tips for living and feeling well, and developing a healthy school atmosphere. We’re not going to call them New Year’s resolutions, though, mostly because 88% of all New Year’s resolutions fail (let’s be honest, we’ve all been a part of that statistic), but also because we approach things a little differently here at Magnus. We believe improving is a part of every single day, and we want to share that philosophy. One of our conference rooms is even named “improve” – that’s how serious we are about it.

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December 12, 2013

Resources to comply with TX Meningitis laws

Thanks to Nina Gervase, Client Account Advocate, for this blog on resources to comply with TX meningitis law updates. Immunizations

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December 10, 2013

The proof is here: Reminders work!

The American Journal of Public Health recently published the results of a collaborative study between the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Community Health. Under investigation was the responsiveness of parents having their child(ren) immunized for H1N1 when sent a reminder, verses without a reminder. Researchers targeted those parents of high risk children due to other chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes.Communication

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December 03, 2013

EduTalk Radio Series: The College Lift

The college admission process can be one of the most stressful times a student ever encounters. It’s full of uncertainty with the student’s future education, career, and life depending on one fateful envelope in the mail.

Boarding schools teach students how to succeed in college through real-life experiences.Maybe that’s a little over-dramatic, or maybe it’s not. Either way, post-secondary education is a major concern and students will do nearly anything to make sure they are admitted to a top college or university. So what is the best way to be prepared for college admissions and to ensure a spot at the school of your choice? Larry Jacobs, the host of EduTalk Radio, speaks with Peter Upham, Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), in a two-part installment to learn more about how boarding schools developed into the legacy that they are today, and how they can give students the extra “umph” needed for college admissions and for a successful college career.

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November 27, 2013

When there’s a ‘louse in the house’ [Guest Post]

I am so tired of being ‘politically correct’ – at least when it comes to individual school board decisions on what [condition/disease] would warrant exclusion from school. I’m talking LICE!lice

I raised two girls, who loved having long hair, in the public school system. At the time, I was not yet a practicing school nurse, and the time and expense I personally encountered for several years was truly a big deal. Not only did I spend hours at night combing out nits and shampooing with toxic solutions over and over, we even arranged for our house to be “bombed” by professionals, whose mission it was to execute whatever arachnid-like creature had taken up residence, while we stayed at a hotel for a week. Between the lice bombing and hotel stay, I had a five grand headache. Oh, and both girls got lice again.

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November 26, 2013

EduTalk Radio Series: Records & Accessibility

Questions are essential in life. Who, what, when, where, how, and why can lead to a new discovery, new information, or even a better quality of life. For us at Magnus, asking “why” is at the core our motives. Why do we do what we do? Because we believe in better care. We believe in keeping students safe and healthy.

Chas_ScarantinoLarry Jacobs from EduTalk Radio discusses Magnus Health, student healthcare, and how records stay safe and accessible with his guests, Dr. Adrianna Bravo, Medical Director at Episcopal High School (a Magnus client) in Alexandria, VA, and Chas Scarantino, CEO of Magnus Health.

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November 21, 2013

Why admissions offices care about student health information

I don’t like surprises, and I go to great efforts to avoid them. But some surprises are unavoidable – for example I was surprised to find a significant portion of the school contacts our sales team engages with are admissions directors and counselors. Thankfully this surprise has not caused me to lose any sleep as I become quite cranky when I lose sleep. However, this surprise did spur me to dig deeper into my understanding of an admissions office, and how student health information plays a part in the role of an admissions officer.


While perusing the ISACS website, I found a list of Director of Admission responsibilities. They included:

  • To oversee the program of admissions of new students to the school.
  • To present the school to prospective students and parents, which includes systematic and efficient handling of applications and communication with candidates and their parents; interviews with candidates and their parents; arrangements for admissions testing; securing of necessary student credentials; and communicating final decisions to the appropriate individuals.
  • To oversee the admission office, creation of the admissions budget, and appropriate admissions and marketing materials, mailings and publications.
  • To organize and administer, with the head of school, the Financial Aid Committee, the program for scholarships and financial aid.
  • To evaluate continually and redesign where appropriate all aspects of the admissions and marketing program with the goal of maintaining a capacity enrollment of qualified students and a wait-list of qualified applicants which consist of at least 10% of the maximum class size for each grade.
  • To manage the re-enrollment of current students for the succeeding year.
  • To oversee the network of parents, former parents and alumni to assist in the admissions program.
  • To keep relevant statistics on all aspects of the admission and re-enrollment program.
  • To represent the school at various gatherings and conferences.
  • To perform other duties as assigned by the head of school.
  • To support the school and its leadership.

And that’s when I had to judge myself a little (a lot) for not considering that the reason admissions offices care about health information is in the title itself – admissions. It’s fairly important that admitted students supply schools with health information and conditions. That was sarcasm, it’s actually very important that schools have those details on file. Any department dealing with the enrollment and re-enrollment of students each year will have to address student health information. They’ll have to communicate to parents what is required, how to submit it, and the status of that submission before the student is allowed admission to the school.

Those three items – communication, submission, and status updates – make up a process that may seem simple, but can become something of a bear to handle, and not one of those cute baby Panda Bears that sneezes and causes the world to stop and “awww.” When that process becomes more of an angry Polar Bear fighting for territory and the last seal in sight, the issues impact the admissions office and then spread to the parent experience as well. As we all know, once parents begin talking to one another, and to prospective students’ parents, word spreads quickly. May I suggest, it spreads like wildfire?

The goal for any school is for processes to go as smoothly as possible, so that when word does spread, it reflects well on the school. Thus, the conversations we frequently have with admissions officers about streamlining student health information processes, and easing the burden on all involved, should come as no surprise to me.

And hopefully by now, my over-use of nature metaphors comes as no surprise to you. Honestly though, they make me happier than a pig in mud.

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November 19, 2013

EduTalk Radio Series: School Nursing Today

School nurses are responsible for far more than headaches nowadays, as allergies and chronic diseases are on the rise. School nursing has, to say the least, evolved over the years to keep up with ever-changing student needs. From administering aspirin and allowing a student to lie down on a stiff cot, to managing epinephrine injectors and daily prescription medications, a school nurse is tasked with handling many variables, and each day is unpredictable. It’s a demanding job that not everyone understands, and Larry Jacobs, host of EduTalk Radio gets an honest perspective of what it means to be a school nurse today.

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November 14, 2013

SIS and SMR: What's the difference?

We’ve long said a student medical record (SMR) is not the same as a student information system (SIS). We’ve even integrated with a number of SIS platforms because the software is not the same, the focus is not the same, and the end result is not the same. Still, it may prove helpful to consider the features and functionality of both.

check list
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November 12, 2013

Janet's Law: Implications for School Nurse responsibilities [Guest Post]

Due to the fact that each year approximately 220,000 persons die from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), schools all over the United States are writing and enacting policies to increase SCA survival rate with strategies that will deliver defibrillation earlier than an EMS system. defibrillator

In New Jersey, the bill ensuring that all public schools, which include any of the grades kindergarten through grade 12, make available an automated external defibrillator (AED) on school property is designated "Janet’s Law." This nomenclature is in memory of a student who died of SCA following a cheerleading practice in New Jersey.

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November 07, 2013

EduTalk Radio Series: Independent Schools & the Financial Landscape

Financial futures can be found in technologySchools and money are two subjects that, when combined, create quite a buzz. There are program budgets, teacher salaries, and student expenses all to be taken into consideration, and to be honest, it’s tough to manage. Every type of school has to make smart (and difficult) decisions, which is what Larry Jacobs, the host of EduTalk Radio, explores with Jeff Shields, CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA). Their focus: independent schools and the financial future.

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November 05, 2013

The beauty of a green health center and school

Collecting, tracking, storing, and managing health information online is all well and good. SMR improves communication, compliance, efficiency and emergency preparedness, and that’s all just peachy. But there’s this too – SMR allows health centers to go green.

Going green isn’t just about being trendy – although it is trendy, and people seemingly throw the phrase around at the drop of a hat. But it’s more than that. Going green is about doing our part to take care of the earth, the world around us, and improve our lives, neighbors’ lives, and the lives of generations to come. Not to mention, hugging a tree can be fun, and who doesn’t want to preserve the ability to have fun for future generations? 

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October 30, 2013

The Intersection of FERPA and HIPAA: Which Rule Applies? (Part 3) [Guest Post]

This is part 3 of a 3-part series by guest author, Karen Gregory.

In the last two posts we have reviewed how FERPA, and at limited times HIPAA, apply to student records. This last post will review the basic precepts of how the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules protect health information.

The HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, which are part of The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act, outline protections for specific health information in verbal, written, and electronic format.

Computer security

The Privacy Rule establishes certain patient rights of access and the ability of the patient to direct how their health information may be used or disclosed. Additionally the Privacy Rule describes how protected health information may be utilized to provide healthcare services.

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October 23, 2013

Communicating student health information with parents/guardians

Recently, I came across a school nursing forum discussing sharing student health information and treatment information with parents. For students under 18 years old, parents and/or guardians might want or need to see this information, and they have a right to do so. So what do school health staff do?

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October 17, 2013

The Intersection of FERPA and HIPAA: Which Rule Applies? (Part 2) [Guest Post]

This is part 2 of a 3-part series by guest author, Karen Gregory.

In the last post the players, FERPA and HIPAA were defined, but are there times when student records may fall under HIPAA, or are there times when an institution must comply with both FERPA and HIPAA?

As a quick review, FERPA, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. HIPAA or The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act, which is another Federal law, is multifaceted and sets standards for protection and sharing of individually identifiable health information often referred to as protected health information.

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October 16, 2013

Schools without an RN must minimize risk

If your school doesn’t have a nurse, you’re not alone. But you likely already knew that. According to a National Association of School Nurses (NASN) report, over 58% of U.S. schools do not have a full-time RN, and over 25% do not have a full-time OR part-time RN. With numbers like these, the reality is that untrained school administrators, teachers, and staff are being tasked with student healthcare. The problem with that is clear – they’re untrained. They’re unprepared to deal with high intensity health situations, unqualified to speak with students dealing with pregnancy or suicidal thoughts, and they’re losing time they should be able to allocate to teaching, lesson preparations, and professional development.

school nurse
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October 09, 2013

Update: Magnus does dodgeball

“Ben Stiller would have been proud,” Trish LaPaglia said with a laugh. She was of course referring to the 2004 Stiller film, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”, and this past weekend’s RDU International Dodgeball Charity Challenge. The inaugural RDUIDCC event was a bit of an underdog, as is any event in its first year. But when it was all said and done, everything turned out just wonderfully.

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October 03, 2013

Off to Haiti...again! [Guest Post]

Even though I was disappointed last summer that I could not go back to Haiti to assist in running a Medical Clinic in Leogane (epi-enter of the 2010 earthquake) due to breast cancer treatments, a part of me realized that I was not up for the challenge like I had been eight times before!

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October 02, 2013

Introverted students

By now, school is well underway for nearly every school and student across the country. By now, teachers and school staff likely have a fairly good read on their students, and who is an extrovert, and who is an introvert. There’s been a lot in the news this year about introverts and extroverts, and the pros and cons of each. Most school settings are a great environment for extroverts, with things like group activities and class participation coming very naturally. That’s not unlike the real world, and it’s true that students have to be prepared for the real world, whether their natural instinct is aligned with that or not. However, it is also important to note that introverts are armed with strengths as well, and instead of trying to turn introverts into extroverts, we must value their strengths, and help them develop.Introverts

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September 26, 2013

The Intersection of FERPA and HIPAA (Part 1) [Guest Post]

This is part 1 of a 3-part series by guest author, Karen Gregory.

This week marks an important date in the healthcare community: required compliance with recently published HIPAA Omnibus Rules. But, do these updates impact the protection of, or access to, student health records? This is part one of a two part series on the relationship between FERPA and HIPAA in the educational system.

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September 24, 2013

Bullying, and its impact on everyone involved

I was bullied occasionally as a teen. Not physically, not horrifically, and not repetitively by groups of people. But, I was bullied enough to leave a mark that, at the time, made me extremely self conscious and defensive, and today, makes me hyper aware of any bullying I see - in children or adults. I say adults because let's face it, it happens. Thankfully, I'm one of millions who go on to lead perfectly normal, productive lives. But as we've seen time and time again, not every bullying victim is so lucky.

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September 19, 2013

The Magnus Health Why

When we meet new people, one of the first questions that arises is, “What do you do?” What. What. What. Where and with whom often come up as well. But the frequently ignored question is, “Why?” Why do we go to work each day? Why do we work at a certain company? Why that job? Why with those people? Why did we make those choices? 


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September 17, 2013

Upcoming webinar: Keeping campers safe

Keeping campers safe – not only is it a part of every camp’s mission, it’s a necessity. I wrote previously on preparing for injuries and allergies in an effort to protect campers. But another aspect of keeping campers safe is administering medication if and when needed. But with an increasing number of medications and complexity of needs among camp populations, the entire process is becoming more complicated. Medications include prescriptions as well as over the counter drugs, so how do camp nurses and health staff keep campers safe with so many campers, medications, variables, and specific administration requirements?camp medication

I had the same question, so I called on Nurse Alice Kimble. As a camp nurse, she has the knowledge and experience to provide insight on keeping campers safe, and to discuss the changes over the years that have added to the complexity of medications and administration.

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September 12, 2013

Upcoming SMR software features!

I’ve been told, “Nobody likes a tease.” I don’t believe it. Every movie trailer is a tease, every dust jacket is a tease, and every time I walk down the ice cream aisle, it is most certainly a tease. But there are worse things in the world. Perhaps you’ve read/watched the news lately?

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September 10, 2013

Explaining the School Nurse role [Guest Post]

Not everyone is the parent of school aged children and yet, all of us were the children of parents when we were in school. Whether its three year olds in all day pre-school or college teens far from home, students need their registered nurses.

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September 04, 2013

National Preparedness Month: Get Involved

Just a few days ago, President Obama proclaimed September 2013 as National Preparedness Month. The National Preparedness Goal, highlighted during September, was officially announced in 2011, and remains the same today:

Flat Stanley and Stella
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August 29, 2013

Students and parents are ready to go digital

Even with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, iPhones, Androids, tablets, phablets (I promise that’s a word), iPads, iPad minis, Nooks, Kindles, and all other things technical, social and/or media that infiltrate our daily lives – even with all of that, some still think parents and students might not be ready to take their health information and forms digital.

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August 27, 2013

Helping children cope with trauma and disaster [Guest Post]

Disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or even terrorist attacks and violent crimes can be petrifying for kids and teens. Children may relate with what they see on the news to themselves and their lives. Could something like this happen to me?  The very thoughts are traumatizing.Coping with trauma and disaster

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August 21, 2013

Health & safety essential to camp mission

I hear it again and again – no two camps are identical. I get it, it makes sense. But there is one thing all camps share – the desire to promote and protect their mission. Whether explicitly laid out, or implied, that mission likely includes something along the lines of keeping campers healthy and safe. Even back in 1861 when The Gunnery Camp was founded, I’m willing to betCamp that health and safety were a concern – they had to be with activities including hiking, boating, fishing, and trapping. Yes, trapping. (Something tells me this camp wasn’t for the faint of heart or stomach.) 

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August 15, 2013

Corralling Your Adolescent [Guest Post]

Corralling: To drive into; to arrange; to take control; to gather; to confine; to form

We often hear the phrase, “Were you raised in a barn?!” Well yes, actually they were. Our 11 beautiful and unique horses at CORRAL Riding Academy are our most prized therapeutic resources. Parents, teachers, probation officers, and counselors, often bring us girls who are emotionally responding and behaving as if they were “raised in a barn.” How do we respond? We let them join our herd.Amy Gressler

Our program focuses on developing and increasing emotional intelligence among our girls while improving functioning in all areas of life. We utilize a horsemanship style known as Natural Horsemanship and apply this technique to “our herd,” the girls. This style tends to go against many instincts of our girls, as well as their parents. In the end, we find it works best in “corralling” our girls.

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August 14, 2013

New SMR module: Check In…it’s everything you’ve ever wanted

Man oh man oh man do I have news for you. Check In...It’s alive! Already, school health centers all over the nation, and abroad, are utilizing the long anticipated Check In module, and the perks that come with it.Check in

Imagine you’re caring for one student when 20 others come piling into your office, complaining of this and that. Okay, maybe there aren’t 20, but either way, they need your attention. They’re obviously not in need of urgent care, and you’re in the middle of helping another student, so what do you do? You instruct them to check themselves in, using the Magnus Health Check In module. You don’t have to turn your attention away from the current student. You don’t have to interrupt your already hectic day with extra paperwork. And it’s easy. Win-win-win.

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August 13, 2013

Magnus Health sponsors charity dodgeball tournament

RALEIGH, NC (August 13, 2013) - Magnus Health has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County this year to support its outstanding mission – and to buy them a bus. In addition to volunteering in the day to day club operations, Magnus Health is sponsoring the RDU International Dodgeball Charity Challenge (RDUIDCC) October 5th, with all proceeds going toward purchasing the bus. Boys and Girls Club thumbnail

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August 06, 2013

Student immunizations and the start of school

Newsflash! It’s August. That means three things. First, you have roughly four and a half months, give or take a few days, to complete your winter holiday shopping. Second, it’s National Immunization Awareness Month. Third, for some students around the country, school is just around the corner – literally for some, figuratively for most.NIAM Logo

That shrill cry you hear in the distance is the cumulative plea of children’s hearts, begging for summer to last just a little bit longer. Or maybe it’s the plea of children yearning to return to school and escape the torment of their annoying older/younger siblings. Either way, summer is nearly over.

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July 30, 2013

Using Magnus911 to aid in campus safety

Protecting students and staff is critical to the mission of any school, college, or university. That’s why safety plans and procedures are in place, and why campus security officials and personnel work constantly to improve those plans. While on campus attacks are certainly attention-grabbing, officials work tirelessly to prepare for other events as well, including natural disasters, epidemics, and individual attacks. It’s important we recognize safety Safety Firstpersonnel, not just for guiding us through horrific events, but also for their efforts, detailed in the US Department of Education Action Guide for Emergency Management at Institutions of Higher Education, spent preventing, mitigating, preparing and responding to emergencies.

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July 24, 2013

Preventable injuries among children and teens

We’ve all heard about it. The royal baby, His Royal Highness, George Alexander Louis, Prince of Cambridge, arrived just two days ago. I don’t know them personally, but I feel confident that Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, have spent every moment since the birth ensuring the future King of England’s health and safety. In that regard, the rest of us aren’t unlike royalty. SafeKids ImagineWe may be peasants, yet we love our kids just the same, and we’ll go to great lengths to protect them. We can’t do that every second of every day, and it’s unrealistic to think we can. Children and teens are injured regularly, and a scrape of the knee or a bruised hand won’t likely ruin a life. But we can make choices, educate ourselves, children, and parents, and work together to prevent as many injuries as possible. Simple things like putting on a helmet when biking or wearing a seatbelt (or creating a human shield from paparazzi), can mean the difference in a healthy life, and serious injury or death.

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July 17, 2013

Update: Texas bacterial meningitis legislation

I admit, we have a habit of writing about Texas bacterial meningitis legislation and meningitis form updates. We even wrote an action plan about it. And there's nothing stopping me from doing it again. TX bacterial meningitis legislation is changing, so let’s make sure we have all the facts in order. S.B. 62, which takes effect October 1, 2013, Immunizationsimpacts entering students enrolling in public or private or independent institutions of higher education in Texas on or after January 1, 2014.

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July 10, 2013

Even principals should care about student health information

Principals, heads of school, and headmasters (moving forward I'll just use the term principal) don’t need to concern themselves with student health information, right? Wrong. They do because they should have oversight of everything that happens in the school and with students. Principals are responsible for setting the tone, vision, and expectations of their school. Part of that is establishing what is important, and the most important thing (despite what testing may convey), is the well-being of students. After that comes academistudent medical recordc performance and all the other things that are, rightfully so, very important. But first and foremost is student well-being.

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June 27, 2013

When the school nurse gets sick [Guest Post]

I KNEW something was wrong. After all, I am a nurse. I felt it, and saw it. Within seconds, my life changed. It was a kick in the gut, and I felt my veins fill with ice water. Mammograms, ultrasounds, CORE biopsies, cancer staging, Oncotyping, and sentinel Nodes….this was my new vocabulary. What I wouldn’t do for someone asking me about the weather. Breast Cancer? Shock, disbelief, fear, chaos, and confusion all kicked in, along with the unspoken, yet powerful side effect of grief. Guest Author Pam Barnes

The ever-dreaded word “SURVIVOR” was going to be incorporated not only into my vocabulary, but into my life. After experiencing all Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief, and becoming swiftly religious and prolifically literary within three weeks, I understood that “Survivor” is not exclusive, because cancer is not exclusive. What, in my mind, was reserved for someone else became my fate. However, knowing and learning what the word “survivor” really means helped me, and can benefit everyone. I learned what I already knew: I must fight. I am a woman, wife, mother, and school nurse. Cancer isn’t always that horrible, but there’s much to be done, and priorities need to be set. I can do this. I am happy and smart, and I will survive.

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June 26, 2013

RN Record Review saves time for school nurses

We've upgraded and enhanced RN Record Review! Our new Document Compliance Assistant service manages all of your record review needs.

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June 19, 2013

Delivering health info in emergencies: Allergic reactions

If you’re employed by a school system in any capacity and you don’t frequently hear of food allergies, you’re most likely alone. Completely alone. Because food allergies are everywhere, and certainly more so than in the past. According to the CDC, “the prevalence of food allergies increased from 3.4% in 1997–1999 to 5.1% in 2009–2011,” among children aged 0–17 years. In addition, the CDC notes that the school environment is of particular concern, as “studies show that 16%–18% of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions to accidental ingestion of food allergens while in school.”Allergies

So with allergies on the rise, and accidental ingestion a possibility, we have no choice but to be prepared to react. We have to know those students with allergies, and prepare to treat them, while at the same time, remaining alert to signs that other students may develop or react to unknown allergies. Food allergy awareness is part of the preparation, but not only must you know which students have allergies, you must also know the severity of the reaction and how to treat it order to adequately protect them. A child mildly reacting to ingesting an apple is an entirely different scenario than a child being rushed to the ER because they came into contact with peanuts.

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June 18, 2013

Be our guest blogger, and reach over 4,000 subscribers!

Much like the kitchen staff in Beauty and the Beast, we'd like you to be our guest! Guest blogger, that is.

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June 12, 2013

Delivering health info in emergencies: Sports injuries

Outside of headlining sports stories (e.g. the NBA playoffs and the MLB steroid debacle, to name a couple of current topics), it’s difficult to find a sports issue more widely discussed in the news than concussions. With concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), literally anyone, of any age, and any skill level can be impacted. But, it’s young children and teens that consistently come up as those who need to be protected the most. When putting safety protocols in place, we often think of football and other high contact sports. While we certainly cannot ignore those sports, we have to take heed of the injuries that can occur across the full breadth of school sports offerings.

A recent NY Times article discusses cycling as the leading cause of TBI, with nearly double the number of cycling cases as football cases, across all age groups. TBI is a frightening acronym, but let’s not forget the minor injuries that can occur too. Student athletes and coaches accept the possibility of injury the moment they put on the uniform or practice gear, but that doesn’t mean injury prevention and reaction are regularly discussed at practice and games. In fact, many student athletes probably believe they will never be the one to be injured, and that’s why preparation is our job. From a sprained ankle or scraped knee, to a dislocated shoulder or concussion, every student put in our care deserves the best protection we can provide them, and that means more than adequately preparing for sports injuries of all shapes, sizes, and severities.

Magnus911 Login
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June 11, 2013

SMR permissions allow schools to navigate tricky terrain

Social media is full of lessons for eager learners. I’ve learned a number of things recently:

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June 05, 2013

Delivering health information in emergencies: Natural disasters

Magnus911 4
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June 04, 2013

It's Magnus Mobile. You're gonna love it.

It’s been a long time coming. Okay, fine, a really long time coming. There’s an app for everything, and now there’s an app for us. Introducing, Magnus Mobile!Magnus Mobile

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May 29, 2013

Delivering health info in emergencies: Campus attacks

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May 22, 2013

Sleep is a beautiful thing

Sleeping is my favorite activity. It is ridiculously fun. Young people love to sleep too. Since we both love to sleep, I can safely assume I’m still extremely hip and down with the latest trends. Never mind that I’m tempted to attend the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees concerts this summer. Never mind that just looking at energy drinks gives me heart palpitations. Never mind that neon colored clothing makes me want to have a heated discussion with the fashion gurus who seem not to care if their neon choices make my eyes bleed. And certainly never mind that I’m just now watching Harlem Shake videos on YouTube. Forget all of that. Because I love sleeping, and that makes me uber cool. Just ask the kids.

Sleep Cycle
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May 15, 2013

SMR Collaborates with Pearson’s PowerSchool

BREAKING NEWS: I can officially disclose to you that we have collaborated with the K-12 Technology group of Pearson, the global leader in education and learning technology. SMR and PowerSchool will officially be working together!Magnus Pearson Integration

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May 08, 2013

Second Annual ASHE Award Recipients Announced!

National Nurses Week began Monday, and today is National School Nurse Day. This day and week are all about honoring nurses, and the manner in which they impact lives every day. According to Linda Davis, President of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), says, “NASN celebrates all school nurses for positively influencing the health and well-being of students nationally and globally through the many roles [they] fulfill.” This is precisely what we aim to do with the ASHE Award, for Achievement in School Health Excellence.2013 ASHE Award

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May 06, 2013

Assistive technology for special needs students [Guest Post]

I’ve been a School Nurse for 18 years. Before that, a teacher of Autistic Students for eight years. Believe me, I know the challenges for students with any kind of special need, both in a classroom as well as the school nurse’s office.  

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April 24, 2013

Magnus911: Your go-to tool for emergencies

Allergic reaction, broken limb, natural disaster, manmade event, or any number of other occurrences. They’re all disruptive, unwelcome events. But, they happen. C’est la vie. That’s why we created Magnus911Magnus911

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April 17, 2013

Magnus Health SMR & Silverpoint Integration

I’ve been given the go ahead to tell you something. Don’t worry, there’s no need to keep it a secret. I’m happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Silverpoint. That’s right, a Magnus Health, Silverpoint integration. Magnus Silverpoint Integration

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April 10, 2013

Coming soon to SMR! Student Immunization tracking

Student Immunization tracking is now live. Find out how it benefits your school.

Learn about immunization tracking

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April 03, 2013

Magnus Health moves to larger office space in downtown Raleigh

New Magnus office
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March 27, 2013

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury Awareness

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March 20, 2013

Health Information Professionals Week is here

We’re in the midst March, but more importantly, we’re also in the midst of the 24th Annual Health Information Professionals (HIPA) Week. According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), “HIP Week is a great opportunity for professionals to showcase the benefits of their profession, working collectively to deliver quality healthcare through quality information.”HIP Week

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March 19, 2013

Tennessee aims to eliminate bacterial meningitis in higher education

September 10, 2012, Middle Tennessee State University freshman, Jacob Nunley, died at age 18 of bacterial meningitis. A meningococcal vaccination was not required, so Nunley did not receive it. As a result, his death is spurring a new legislative movement in Tennessee.Bacterial Meningitis

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March 13, 2013

Identifying and managing risks in schools

RISK. When applied to schools, risk is a dirty, four lettered word. It’s not like taking a risk where there’s a big payoff or tremendous upside. Risk at a school is just that – risk. And ignoring or failing to prepare for or minimize that risk can end horribly, proving costly for the school.Risk management chart

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March 06, 2013

The wait is over...National Nutrition Month is here!

We’re six days into National Nutrition Month (NNM). Did you even know March is National Nutrition Month? (I didn't.) Have you done anything this month to alter your own diet and improve your own nutrition? (Sort of.) How about helping others do the same? (Nope.) I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

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February 27, 2013

Mouth guards, oral-facial injuries, and student athletes

When I played softball, I didn’t wear a mouth guard. One line drive to the face made me regret that decision.Oral-facial injury

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February 19, 2013

School health center cost concerns for business officers


We've addressed some important health center considerations for business officers, but what about costs? Every component of a school costs money. It doesn’t matter if the costs are associated with buildings, books, teachers, insurance, or liability protection - every piece adds up. Then, it’s up to business officers to determine and manage the accompanying budgets.

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February 13, 2013

Are video games part of the physical education solution?

Are all students at your school reaching the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day? Probably not. So what do we do? How do we get kids and teens interested in physical activity so they both enjoy it and make it a part of their everyday life? How do we boost student health at school?physical education

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February 06, 2013

Visualize the costs of your school health center

Do you know how much your health center costs? From daily operations, to summer mailings, to time and liability…do you really know? If yes, feel free to close this window now. Roi_Calculator_tile

If no, you’re in luck because we created a health center ROI calculator to help you determine those costs. Once you’ve accessed the calculator, you can enter the number of students at your school, then use the drop down menus to answer the remaining questions. Each time you answer a question, associated costs and their explanations will display. 

The process takes only a few minutes, and when completed, you can visualize the costs pertaining to infrastructure and materials, time expenditures, and liability exposure. You can then adjust your answers and see that taking action can minimize costs in these areas.

Download your calculator



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January 23, 2013

Sleepy student athletes more prone to injury

I don’t think it’s a surprise to any of us that adolescents who are well rested are significantly more pleasant to be around. And it’s not exactly a well-kept secret that the recommended amount of nightly sleep is at least eight hours. But when there’s that pesky thing called school, in addition to “having a life” and extracurriculars, it’s really a surprise children and teens find time to sleep at all – except on Saturday mornings. 

Tired Athlete
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January 17, 2013

UPDATE: Whooping cough epidemic

Whooping cough is at it again this year.  We blogged about the epidemic last year, and now Iowa is taking action.

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January 16, 2013

SMR at work

Improving processes is great. Increasing security is wonderful. Reducing liability is practically a fun house. But until you can put a product in action, promised benefits remain arbitrary. So when Cape Fear Academy (CFA) implemented our SMR(student medical record) for their school health center, Business Officer Shana Barclay set about measuring the tangible and intangible promised outcomes.

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January 09, 2013

Re-enrollment…it’s that time again

Midway through the school year, and we’re already looking to next year. Lots to be done, and re-enrollment is a no small part of that. We deal with re-enrollment each year, and our focus is making that process as simple and painless as possible. There are many moving pieces to track, and information to distribute, then collect and compile, to ensure all students are compliant for the next school year. Often identical forms are completed again and again for the new school year, and other times, forms that don’t apply are sent to students anyway. It’s a headache; one we specialize in mitigating.

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January 03, 2013

Addressing obesity and diabetes in schools

On December 26th, a date I usually associate with exiting a food induced stupor, CNN published an article revealing the number of obese young children is declining. Admittedly the decline is slight, but it is a decline just the same. And that is a good thing. With the health issues that go along with obesity, including diabetes, we need to work to continue this trend among youth.

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December 18, 2012

Tobacco use prevention in teens and children

We all know tobacco use is bad for our health. We’ve heard it over and over, again. And we’ve told our children the same thing. Still, children and teens are curious about it, and many will at the very least, try it. And that’s why it is important to take every precaution to protect our youth from the harmful effects of tobacco usage.  Announcer

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December 12, 2012

Dental traumas in schools

ToothWhen a student loses a tooth at school, the event can be quick, easy, and painless. After all, children, particularly elementary aged, are losing teeth all the time, and rarely are the events anything more than mundane. But when the events turn traumatic, “the school nurse must act simultaneously to relieve that child’s pain, minimize the panic of a traumatic incident and most important, prevent the loss of a tooth,” noted Chamois Beal Lopez, author of “What a Student Loses a Tooth at School” in the November issue of School Nurse News. Many times if a tooth is knocked out at school, the proper reactions by the nurse and other faculty can mean saving the tooth.

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December 04, 2012

School nurses and their many roles & responsibilities

nurse notes web 500x500 resized 600

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November 27, 2012

Health records & survey show increase in vaccinations

The numbers are back and the verdict is in: 2011 showed an increase in vaccinations among adolescents over 2010 (CDC National & State Vaccination Coverage). Statistics were collected using phone surveys to households with adolescents, ages 13-17, and by contacting health care providers when appropriate.

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November 13, 2012

Safety in schools

Student safety. We talk about it all the time. From disaster preparedness to health emergency preparedness, the safety of students is paramount. Using experiences our clients have encountered, we’ve addressed the topic of safety several times in our blog over the past few months, but now we want to take a broader look, from the Centers of Disease Control recommendations. The CDC points out the risks and ways that everyone - parents, students, teachers, and community members - can work together to keep students safe.

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November 09, 2012

Magnus Health at BHS Career Expo

Yesterday we joined other local businesses, colleges, and professional services at the Broughton High School 2012 Fall Career Expo. What a fun opportunity to connect with local teens and speak with them about possible career paths. Some students were clear on what their future might hold, but not surprisingly, many more resembled deer caught in the headlights when talking about a possible career. I was the same way, so I was certainly able to empathize.

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November 06, 2012

Flu Season: Helpful resources to get prepared

Each year, influenza (flu) is a big topic of discussion for all age groups.   For the unlucky ones who suffer from the flu, it is bigger than just a discussion.  That’s why it is recommended that everyone six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year.”  The vaccination protects against the three most common flu viruses, as determined by experts from Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other institutions.

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November 01, 2012

Health legislation in Texas: TACRAO breakout session

Our CEO, Chas Scarantino, will be speaking at the 91st annual Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (TACRAO) Conference in Dallas next week.  The conference runs November 4th-7th and our session about Texas House Bill 300, and Senate Bill 1107 will be November 6th

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October 25, 2012

Preparing for emergencies when traveling abroad

Every day, schools face the question of how to be best prepared for a student medical emergency. In addition to events at home, schools must also be prepared for unforeseen disasters or emergencies when students travel off campus. The March/April 2012 issue of Net Assets, published by NBOA, addresses risk management in general, and planning abroad in the article, Travel Safe: Crisis Planning for Overseas Programs

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October 23, 2012

Emergency strikes. What happens next?

In case of an active shooter, fire, flood, lockdown, or earthquake, what is your school’s exit and release plan? Many schools have outdated policies that fail to account for well- (or ill-) intentioned parents, guardians, or familial friends who may use an emergency to gain unauthorized custody of your students. Not updating or rehearsing your exit and release plans can result in chaotic on-scene accountability problems and lasting legal headaches.  Now is the time to start planning ahead. 

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October 16, 2012

Texas House Bill 300

Texas House Bill 300, which says school offices collecting health information are now HIPAA covered entities, went into effect last month.  Schools receiving federal funding, and thus are FERPA covered entities, are exempt from H.B. 300.  However, private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities not covered under FERPA are subject to H.B. 300 requirements, and must be prepared to abide by the new regulations.

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October 11, 2012

Consent forms: To treat or not to treat?

When someone is suffering, the majority of people instinctively want to help in some way. But it’s not always such an easy decision. In many schools, protocol requires written consent to treat or to administer medications. If the proper forms are not on file for a student, schools are following protocol and not treating the student. Just last month, a student suffering from an asthma attack at a Fort Worth school was not given medication because signed paperwork was not on file. As a result, the child was taken to the hospital instead of treated on site, and required further hospital visits the following week.

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October 03, 2012

Disaster Preparation – Remember the Small Things

Through the years of running a business, I’ve learned to constantly reevaluate our disaster plan and strategy. One great way to do this is to gather with co-workers and discuss different scenarios and how they might play out. This role-playing exercise is a fantastic way to uncover weaknesses in the armor of even the best-laid plans.

Prepare for Disasters - Large and Small
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September 26, 2012

Remaining HIPAA-compliant in an Emergency

Being HIPAA compliant means protecting student health information, but it also means the information needs to be available for student care.  SMR protects both the security and integrity of the information during a natural disaster, as the information is in a digital environment, unexposed to the event.  SMR also makes the information available when the school is able to resume operations.

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September 20, 2012

Magnus Health Announces Partnership with Joffe Emergency Services

Schools that utilize online student medical record software benefit from the flexibility and accessibility that it offers to the school, parents, and students alike. This convenience becomes even more essential during emergencies. Ask anyone who has been through a natural disaster, or any other unforeseen emergency – access to the right information, when and where you need it, is critical.

Joffe Emergency Services Logo
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September 18, 2012

National Preparedness Month - Pandemics in Schools

September is National Preparedness Month. Excellent timing, as we’re focusing on emergency preparedness and recovery. Emergencies and disasters can come in any form, any size, and at any time. From allergic reactions to natural disasters, man-made emergencies to health epidemics, schools absolutely must be prepared to react and recover. For the moment, I’ll focus in on pandemic preparedness, as research shows it has typically been overlooked.

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September 13, 2012

Software for School Nurses - New & Improved!

nurse_tech_ipad_(2)_smaller_croppedEvery day, we receive valuable feedback from our customers to make SMR (the leading software for school nurses) even better. When that feedback translates into awesome new features, we just can't help spreading the word! Listening to clients is our tried and true formula to developing a product that maximizes efficiency and satisfies customers. Once those new features become available, we want make sure that our clients are reaping the full benefits of their own requests. Take a look at the latest improvements below:

New Features

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September 06, 2012

Magnus Health Takes Part in United Way CEO Sleepout

I’m homeless...but just for the night. Tonight I will be sleeping on the streets of Durham to raise money for the homeless and those living under the poverty line in the CEO Sleepout, sponsored by United Way. I became involved after Matt Williamson of Windsor Circle made a passionate pitch to a group of CEOs to participate, and now 26 of us are hitting the streets.

United Way CEO Sleepout
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August 28, 2012

Magnus Health SMR, WhippleHill Podium Integration

The Magnus Health, WhippleHill partnership and integration has changed the way nurses and administrators navigate school health software.  Integration provides an easier, more streamlined approach, benefiting schools and parents alike.  Over the past year, Magnus Health has successfully performed numerous installs with WhippleHill schools and has several more slated for 2012.  Phase I of the integration provided single sign-on (SSO) as well as account provisioning, saving time for all parties involved. 

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August 21, 2012

Sports Physical Compliance

Where does your school store incoming student health forms? Before students can participate in sports, they have to submit a physical examination form, but then what? Does that form go to the nurse? The front office? The coach? Are multiple copies made and stored in a folder that’s kept on the bench or sideline, where others could access the information?

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August 14, 2012

Concussion Legislation and School Sports

Some fall sports have already gotten underway, while others will soon follow suit. With any sport comes a degree of risk, so it’s important for schools to monitor new developments in legislation regarding student-athlete health. Concussion awareness and education top the list of frequently discussed topics for athletics. Not too long ago, we even chimed in on the subject with a research paper

Regulations around concussion management are constantly changing. Most recently, a new bill took effect in Nassau County, New York. In July, the “Concussion Management and Awareness Act” became law. Aiming to prevent concussions that could lead to more traumatic brain injuries, the “law requires coaches, physical education teachers and other appropriate school personnel to be trained about the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries and the importance of proper medical treatment.” 

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August 07, 2012

National Immunization Awareness Month

August has arrived, which means school will soon be underway again. With the tax-free weekend just behind us, no doubt many parents and students are already in the midst of school preparations. In the rush to buy pencils and paper, and the ever-coveted Justin Bieber notebook, don’t forget the importance of immunizations.

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July 31, 2012

Food allergy iPhone app

Food allergies are now, and will for the foreseeable future be, a constant in our schools. Since they pop up multiple times each year, we’ll blog about them multiple times too. In April, we blogged about food allergy awareness, and recently, we found an app that may prove helpful for those with allergies. 

Fooducate App
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July 27, 2012

Celebrating the Olympic Games

In celebration of the opening of the London Olympic games and to show our USA spirit, our office agreed to wear red, white, and blue today, and participate in our own Magnus Olympic Games. Anything goes, with one limitation – no spandex – a rule for an employee that will remain nameless.

Throughout the day, the following Olympic feats will be broadcast live on Magnus TV, the unofficial network of the 2012 Olympic games:

8am EDT: Bryan performs the high jump and brews outstanding coffee while answering calls.

Magnus Olympics resized 600
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July 26, 2012

Texas Meningitis Requirement: Objection Forms

As of April 25, 2012, a second objection form was created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Below are the guidelines provided by the THECB, as well as a few scenarios to explain when each of the forms should be used: 

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July 24, 2012

Magnus geeks volunteer at Kramden Institute

Magnus Health employees spent this past Saturday working alongside student and community volunteers at the Kramden Institute Geek-A-Thon® in Durham, NC.  Kramden, a nonprofit organization, works to “empower hardworking, economically disadvantaged students…by collecting, refurbishing, and reusing donated computers…”  With over 11,000 computers refurbished since 2003, 1,798 so far in 2012, and a goal of 2,500 by year end, Kramden proudly calls themselves geeks.  Most Wednesday nights, and frequently on weekends, geeks gather and work on donated computers in an effort to bridge the digital divide.  The Geek-A-Thon® event was set up in assembly line style, with stations including everything from cleaning to hardware replacement to software testing…and all with the tunes of the 80s and 90s blaring, and a side of free coffee. 

Teri, Rob, and Trish proudly display their new geek shirts
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July 17, 2012

School Health Forms and Parent Frustration

It's that time of year - schools are distributing summer mailers and collecting information for fall enrollment. Parents are up to their eyeballs in paperwork and venting their frustrations to anyone who will listen. “I think I have carpel tunnel from filling out all of these forms for school! Video/photo release, internet release, ESL info, residency info, volunteer release, transportation release, food permission release, child custody release, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! 9 years in the same school district, I shouldn’t have to fill this out every single year unless there’s been a change to the info! What a waste of time and paper!” said Gretchen Smith, mother of four.

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July 10, 2012

Disaster Preparation and Recovery

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July 03, 2012

New Approach to TB Testing in LA County

As of July 1, 2012, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health discontinued the previously required universal tuberculosis (TB) testing for students entering grades K-12.  It has been replaced with a universal screening and targeted testing approach. The new screening is now incorporated into the required physical exam for rising first graders.  Universal TB Screening is a risk-based assessment, and allows physicians to screen only those students who meet one of the risk factors identified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

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June 26, 2012

The Risky Business of Health Records

We've always enjoyed attending events put on by the National Business Officers Association and the 2012 Business Officers Institute was no exception. Last week, Allen Cobb, our COO, co-presented with Barbara Sabatini, Technology Coordinator at Cape Fear Academy, on "The Risky Business of Health Records."  In case you missed it, below is a brief recap of the presentation:

Anyone who has ever collected and managed student health information for a school knows the burden that comes with ensuring compliance - confirming that each student has submitted all required information and that the information is then handled in accordance with federal regulations. Security of confidential health records is essential, therefore only a limited number of employees should have access, and only when necessary. While protection is key, it's also critical that immediate access is possible during and after an emergency or disaster. Finally, communication between parents/guardians, the school, and the student is essential to ensure optimum care, and allow the school to provide notifications regarding new health requirements, schedule changes, outbreaks, etc.

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June 22, 2012

Length of Storage for Student Medical Records

Did you know that your school could be responsible for storing student medical records for years beyond graduation? Are you aware that you can be held responsible for the safe-keeping of those records?

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June 19, 2012

Upcoming TABS Risk Management Presentation

Magnus Health CEO, Chas Scarantino, is speaking at the upcoming TABS Risk Management Conference, Friday June 22, 2012.  Chas is co-presenting with Jessica Sepke of Saint Mary’s School on the topic of Sensitive Data:  Secure Transmission and Storage.  Keep reading for a teaser of the presentation…

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June 12, 2012

National Men's Health Month

June is National Men’s Health Month, and each week leading up to, and including Father’s Day, is celebrated as Men’s Health Week.  This June 11-17, let’s bring attention to preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among the men and boys in our lives.

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June 07, 2012

2012 Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure

This Saturday, June 9, the Magnus team will take part in the 2012 Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure.   Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader in the breast cancer movement.  With a focus on “working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures,” the foundation has invested more than $1.9 billion since 1982.

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June 05, 2012

National CPR and AED Awareness Week

Established in 2007, National CPR and AED Awareness week is June 1-7 of each year.  According to the American Red Cross, 25 percent of Americans have been in a situation where someone needed CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).  If you were one of those people, would you know how to react? 

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May 29, 2012

Asthma Awareness Month

May has been a busy month at Magnus with National Nurses Week, National School Nurse Day, the ASHE Award announcement, and the introduction of our new Provider Program.  But, we don’t want to leave May without recognizing it as Asthma Awareness Month

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May 22, 2012

Introducing our new Provider Program

Magnus Health’s primary focus is streamlining the collection and secure storage of student health information. Starting this summer, we’re hoping to make the process even easier for schools, students, and parents by inviting healthcare providers to participate in our new Provider Program

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May 17, 2012

The Results of the Inaugural ASHE Award

The moment we've all been waiting for has finally arrived...our CEO, Chas Scarantino, just surprised our 2012 ASHE Award recipient during a school-wide assembly at a Florida independent school!

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May 15, 2012

Whooping Cough Epidemic

Whooping cough, or pertussis, has taken Washington State by storm this spring, with 1,284 confirmed cases to date. This number is up from 128 cases last year, and likely lower than reality, given the expense of testing to confirm verses simply treating symptoms immediately. A recent New York Times article discusses the epidemic and reasons behind it, including an easy opt-out policy for childhood immunizations. The opt-out policy led to a greater number of underimmunized students. Now, tougher regulations are being put in place in an effort to control the outbreak, including a new implementation plan for Tdap vaccine.

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May 09, 2012

National School Nurse Day

Since 2003, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated the Wednesday of every National Nurses Week as National School Nurse Day. That means that today, May 9, is a day of celebration and recognition of our school nurses! Nurses play a huge part in educating students, staff, and parents. They handle day-to-day care, medical emergencies, and serve as an example of health-conscious living. Nurses rarely have the luxury of an off-day because illness and injury don't observe holidays, so let's all take this opportunity to celebrate our nurses today!

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May 07, 2012

National Nurses Week 2012

National Nurses Week is here! Hopefully our nurses already know how much we appreciate them throughout the year, but let’s give them some extra special attention this week, May 6-12. Regardless of their role in a hospital, doctor’s office, school, or clinic, nurses "educate, counsel, advocate, and lead" and deserve a week of recognition for their hard work. Magnus Health's inaugural ASHE Award aims to do just that. Online voting for the ten finalists closed last night, and this Wednesday (School Nurse Day), we will honor our very first recipient for his or her Achievement in School Health Excellence. Stay tuned for the results!

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May 01, 2012

No news, not good news

When forms don’t apply to certain students – like asthma or allergy action plans - many students and parents simply ignore the forms.  For the minority of students who deal with specific conditions, completing the forms is a yearly habit.  To the majority of students, the forms are wasted paper.  But, does a student or parent ignoring the form really mean they don’t have a condition?  Can you be certain that the stack of forms you have in the diabetes or food allergy folders are exhaustive?  Are you sure there aren’t a few students with a condition who simply didn’t submit their paperwork?

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April 24, 2012

Action Plans: Are you ready?

We hope we know what to do in an emergency, but do we really?  When we come face to face with a student unable to breathe, having a seizure, or throat closing due to a food allergy, we should immediately spring to action instead of panic.  We should know immediately what steps to take to help the student, and save their life in some cases.  This is why action plans are critical in school environments, and it is important that everyone know how to respond, not just the school nurse.  Action plans detail response procedures, ensuring that students receive immediate and appropriate care, thereby protecting the student and the school.

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April 17, 2012

Student Athlete Pre-participation Physical Exams

Most schools require pre-participation physical exams (PPE) in order for students to participate in athletics.  In a past issue of the National Federation of State High School Associations’ High School Today Dr. Michael Koester addresses PPEs in “The Pre-participation Physical Exam.”  According to the article, the objectives of a PPE are:

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April 13, 2012

Food Allergy Awareness

Food Allergy Awareness Week is approaching and serves as a nice reminder of the many student allergies in our schools.  With food allergies becoming more prevalent among students, particularly peanut allergies, schools are trying to address the growing concern for students, parents, and schools alike.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the school environment is of particular concern, as “Studies show that 16%–18% of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions to accidental ingestion of food allergens while in school.” 

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December 01, 2011

Partnership with Concussion Vital Signs

Because we work with schools on a daily basis, we understand the importance of staying informed about changes in regulation that can greatly impact school policy and procedure. In recent months, nearly every state in the U.S. has instituted laws regarding concussion education and proper procedure following a student head injury. While each state’s laws are different, the fact remains that liability for sports-related concussions ultimately rests with any school and their staff.

In the interest of providing our customers with the tools needed to protect against this financial liability, we’ve partnered with a company called Concussion Vital Signs. Through this partnership, Magnus Health customers are eligible for a free 90-day trial of their concussion assessment tools.

The Concussion Vital Signs platform has been widely used in clinical trials to collect important information for assessing, monitoring, and managing concussions. Baseline and post-injury testing in particular are very useful for athletic trainers and clinicians to make informed return-to-play decisions. Click here to view samples of Concussion Vital Signs’ easy-to-read reports.

If you'd like to learn more about this partner offer and how Concussion Vital Signs and SMR can minimize your school’s risk, contact our sales team today!
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November 09, 2011

Important Considerations for the Business Officer

In our litigious society, it is becoming increasingly more important for school administrators to understand the potential risk associated with student health information. You may already have precautionary measures in place to prevent confidential records from getting into the wrong hands; however, there are still two very important questions to ask yourself:
  • Are hard copies of student health forms being stored in filing cabinets at my school?
  • Are duplicate copies of these forms being used for field trips or off-campus sporting events?
If the answer to either of those questions was "yes,"
  • Can you really be certain that only the appropriate people at your school have access to this confidential information?
  • In the event that your student health forms are lost, stolen, or destroyed, do you have a recovery plan?
If your school nurse is utilizing traditional database software to track student health information, you probably answered "no" to the second set of questions. What your school needs is a system that can eliminate paper forms altogether so that you can lock down your student health information to remain FERPA- and HIPAA-compliant.
  • Click here to learn how Magnus Health SMR can do that for you.
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October 21, 2011

Avoiding Costly Lawsuits

Earlier this month in California, new legislation was passed (Assembly Bill No. 25) that requires a concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed by a student athlete and his or her parent or guardian before attending practice or a competition. The law also states that the form has to be filled out and signed each year that a student plans to participate in school athletics. More than 30 states already have similar laws regarding youth concussions and it is likely that there will be a national protocol for handling these types of injuries as early as 2013.

These changes in legislation are likely the result of the increase in youth brain injuries over the past several years, as well as some very costly lawsuits surrounding concussions in particular. In a case from Missouri, dating back to 2005: "Failure by high school administrators and football coaches to pull an injured player off the field resulted in permanent brain injury for a 14 year old freshman and ultimately a $3M settlement after suit was filed." Read the full article here.

Attention: athletic directors and coaches...don't let this happen to you!

While the laws vary slightly from state-to-state, the fact remains that liability for sports-related student injuries ultimately rests with any school and their staff. Magnus Health can not only help with the collection and review of the required forms, but can also reduce your school’s risk surrounding this liability and numerous other areas in which your school might be vulnerable.

If you’d like to learn more about how Magnus Health’s student medical record (SMR) can assist with your school’s compliance to these state laws and other regulations, sign up for a brief product demonstration here.
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October 14, 2011

Texas State Law Mandating the Meningitis Vaccine

The Facts:
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July 27, 2011

Electronic vs. Automated

“We are already automated.” This is a comment that keeps coming up in my conversations with different schools health centers. When I dig further, what they are really saying is that they are electronic, which means they have a database managing their health information. There are several differences between having an automated system like Magnus Health Student Medical Record and an electronic medical record system.

One subtle automation is product updates. Because our system is web based, all you need is an internet portal to gain access to our suite of tools. With Magnus Health there is no software to install. There are no maintenance contracts and all upgrades are included in our fee. This means when we roll out new features they automatically are received by all.

Where the rubber meets the road of automation is data entry. Magnus Health SMR interfaces directly with the student/parent. All the data entered into our SMR is put there from the student/parent directly. Additionally, Magnus Health SMR lets the student, parent, or doctor’s office fax their medical documentation directly to their account. Our automated computer system identifies the student by the imbedded bar code, scans the document and places it safely in that individuals file. This is all done without human intervention. All of your school’s student medical information that is collected is organized for quick and easy review by the school nurse at their convenience. For an entirely automated process; Magnus Health offers document review by our licensed registered nurses.

Henry Ford’s introduction of the moving assembly line automated automobile production. This automation increased efficiency and significantly lowered the amount of time it required to build an automobile, thus lowering costs. What Ford’s assembly line did for automobile production, Magnus Health SMR can do for the collection and processing of your schools health and medical information.
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July 08, 2011

Conditional Requirements

Collecting, tracking and managing forms for students might not be quite as daunting of a chore if all students needed the same forms, but this just isn’t the case. Every class, every grade has a student or group of students with special requirements and those requirements need to be collected in such a way that these students are separated from the general population and easily accessed in the event of an incident or emergency.

In my conversations with school nurses, I find that one of their biggest concerns and frustrations is ensuring that this vital information is not only collected systematically, but that it is accessible when it is needed.

The great news is that Magnus Health SMR is built specifically to manage these very situations. Your students with diabetes, asthma, allergy treatment plans or medication authorizations are prompted to complete and submit these forms. Once they are collected, they are automatically grouped together for easy referencing and access. This is true of literally any form you collect from students and parents. It is a virtually effortless process on the part of your health center, and you and your parents have the additional peace of mind of knowing that this critical information is no more than a few clicks away no matter when or where it is needed.
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June 24, 2011

School Health Software: The beauty of a web-based vital health record

tech_laptop,_typing_on_mac_4_smallerEvery year, schools collect health history and emergency contact information, and almost every year the information remains the same. Parents are required to complete form after form with information that was provided to the school the previous year. Wouldn’t it be great cimply the whole process by completing the forms online? Wouldn't it be even better if parents can log in and simply update/verify the information every year thereafter?

That is the beauty and benefit of a web-based Vital Health Record (VHR). Parents use the VHR to complete student health forms the first year their child enters the school. Before the beginning of each school year from then on, the parent would simply be required to log on to their student’s account, update/verify that the information is still correct and make any necessary changes online – no paperwork gets sent to the school. Imagine how happy parents will be when they no longer have to reinvent the wheel year after year. Imagine how happy the school will be to save on printing and paper costs. Imagine the efficiency for both the parents and the school in reviewing and updating the information.

VHR ensures that all information gathered is comprehensive: no questions can be left unanswered. Schools will no longer be left to assume that an allergy does not exist if the question is left blank - the VHR requires users to select a “yes” or “no” answer. If a “yes” is chosen, the parent will immediately be prompted to provide more information. In the example of a “yes” to an allergy, a parent would instantly need to select: type of allergy, severity, reaction, date of last reaction, whether or not an Epi Pen is needed and a place for the parent to type notes. This attention to detail is carried throughout the VHR. With matters as important as our children’s health, we want to be sure that we are as thorough and specific as possible.

Don't wait for another year of forms to pile up. We're here to help you make the transition to web-based school health software, and it begins with your free product demonstration.
Reserve my free demo
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June 09, 2011

Be Prepared For Emergencies

“Be Prepared”. That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts of America. "Be prepared for what?" Someone once asked Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. "Why, for any old thing." said Baden-Powell.

It would be impossible to be prepared for “any old thing” that happens at our schools. However, the Magnus 911 feature included in our student medical record program will allow you to be prepared in the event of a medical emergency. This cutting edge technology will allow you to quickly and effectively communicate with an injured student’s emergency contacts as well as send that student’s medical records ahead to the treating facility.

This chain of communication can be instituted simply by accessing Magnus911 by computer or smart phone, and typing in the student’s 16 digit emergency ID number. Once in the Magnus911 feature, you can enter the fax number or email address of the emergency facility where you would like the student’s health records sent. You can also type a personal message that will be texted and/or emailed immediately to all of the injured student’s emergency contacts, informing them of the situation. If there is not any internet access at your location, you can provide the EMT the students Magnus911 card. The EMT will have access to the internet in his vehicle or at the hospital, and the ability to get the students medical records at that time.

The key to handling any emergency is good communication. The Magnus 911 feature allows you to communicate and coordinate with all relevant parties from one site. It eliminates the need to look up individual student records and make multiple calls to contacts.

Try the Magnus 911 today and you will be prepared for tomorrow!!!

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June 03, 2011

Eliminate the paper chase next fall! Send us your "Legacy Data"

A recurring theme in my conversations with school nurses lately has sounded a lot like this:

"I would absolutely love to start using Magnus for next year, but we have already sent out our forms to parents for next year!”  I actually love hearing this because of the sigh of relief I hear on the other end of the phone when I respond, “That’s actually great news. We can collect and convert all of those forms to our system for you when you return next fall."

So just think: the enormous chore of record collection and review that you dread all summer long could disappear with a little “Magnus magic”. Any records, (and we mean ANY records) that you have collected or are in the process of collecting can be sent to us to upload to your account.  Once you receive your immunization records, consent forms, medication authorizations any form you collect from your students can be shipped to us (or send to us digitally- your choice). This means that it is never too late in the school year to begin working with us.

Consider the possibility of returning to school next fall to have all of your student’s health information collected and neatly organized by your school and student-specific requirements. Whether they are forms you have collected over the summer or forms you collected long ago makes no difference. And if you’d like to go a step further, we can even review your documents for you. A Magnus-staff nurse, aware of all of your state and school-specific requirements can review all of your student’s records for you, removing the entire burden of record collection and review from your plate entirely.

You have enough hats to wear when you return to school each fall without having to add “file clerk” to the list. Let us do the heavy lifting for you and devote your energies toward what you are really meant to be, a nurse.

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April 29, 2011

10 Must-Have Health Resources

While doing our research here at Magnus Health, we have come across certain sites that we have found to be very useful and full of pertinent information.  We thought we would take this opportunity to share 10 of our favorite sites with you - we hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to us.

Office of Non-public education (federal)

Department of education

CDC web site

US Department of Health and Human Services

National Association of School Nurses

National School Board Association

Council for American Private Education

US FDA (Food and Drug Administration)


Kids Health


Office of Non-public education (federal)

ONPE is the liaison to the nonpublic school community for the U.S. Department of Education. Their mission is to foster maximum participation of non-public school students and teachers in federal education programs and initiatives.  They are a wonderful resource and are fantastic in their response to questions and inquiries.

Department of education

Everything you need to know about HIPAA and FERPA straight from the government.


CDC web site

A great resource to learn about current health issues in the nation and your state.

Click on your state to be directed to your individual state’s health department.

School and Childcare vaccine information

This page provides Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), government, and nongovernment resources for school personnel planning or maintaining an asthma management program.

US Department of Health and Human Services


National Association of School Nurses

This is a wonderful resource for school nurses.  The ‘resource’ link on their page gives you further resources to use as well.

National School Board Association


Council for American Private Education

Private schools information on crisis management

US FDA (Food and Drug Administration)

From this page, you can register for recalls or announcements from the FDA.  It allows you to choose your topics or areas of interest (ex - Drugs, Food and Nutrition, Medicine, etc) and receive direct emails regarding any recalls or cautions.  This tool is very helpful for the school nurse to keep up with the latest drug and instrument recalls.


Links to the official online statutes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You can also browse user-friendly summaries of laws and state statute citations by topic and by state.

Kids Health

A great resource for administrators as well as a great site to share with parents.

...and don’t forget about Magnushealth.com
We provide research papers, blogs and links discussing current hot-topics in the school health industry.



We know that this list is just a drop in the bucket of great online resources.  Do you have any go-to sites?  Let us know and we can get them posted on or blog as well.  We all know that in this internet age everything we need to know is theoretically right at our fingertips, however we also know that valid information can be somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack.  We believe that a well informed community is a better community and we are here to help.
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April 04, 2011

WhippleHill Integration Launched

WE HEARD YOU AND WE HAVE RESPONDED! Magnus now makes it even easier for you to use your WhippleHill account to access your students' health and medical information. WhippleHill and Magnus Health have partnered to offer a single sign-on (SSO) integration, along with account provisioning. The integration was designed to save both school administrators, as well as parents time by bringing their student health records online. Implementing this web-based student medical record also allows schools to be more eco-friendly, in addition to saving them time and money on print and mailing costs.

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February 23, 2011

Record Review for Independent Schools

Each year we learn more from our clients as they describe different issues they face in the day-to-day management of medical records. Many school nurses tell us it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks during the summer to collect and review as many forms as possible. If the review isn't done by the first day of school, it's nearly impossible to collect the remainder of the information as well as juggle 30 to 60 sick visits a day.

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January 24, 2011

Student Medical Records Workshop - Washington, D.C.

I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of dedicated independent school educators from the VA, MD, and DC areas on January 19th in Tyson's Corner. I want to thank everyone for attending the meeting and I hope that all were educated. Goals of the group before the meeting ranged from learning how to remove paper from the health system, to understanding how confidentiality and regulations apply to health information.

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September 28, 2010

What is a web-based "student medical record"?

The Magnus Health SMR (short for "student medical record") is an online solution that helps schools collect, track, access, and protect student health information. 

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July 26, 2010

Live support added!

Our latest release includes live support for all users of Magnus Health SMR. We are adding this service on top of our current email and phone support to better serve our users. We see it as a way to get your questions resolved quickly and easily. When you are logged in to your account you can click on "Contact Support" and now live support will be your first option!
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April 21, 2010

Magnus Health joins WhippleHill Ecosystem

We are happy to announce our addition to the WhippleHill Ecosystem. Since 1998 WhippleHill has been providing targeted communications solutions for independent schools through their Podium platform. We are completing a single sign-on integration between applications so independent schools can take advantage of a more seamless experience. Look for an announcement this summer with more information. Thanks to the WhippleHill team for extending the invitation, we look forward to a great partnership!

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