- 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
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.
A critical part of improving the health office overall meant developing more consistent documentation than what she was able to achieve with her paper-based logbook. The level of detail in her notes could vary depending on time of day or how busy she was tending to multiple students at one time. “I was looking for ways to standardize my language and terminology because notes can be open to interpretation, especially when a sub nurse is in,” Marcy said. She kept this goal in mind when she became a Magnus Health customer and began to familiarize herself with the Treatment Notes module. Soon, she realized that she could use her notes in conjunction with detailed protocols for first aid, head injuries, seizures, allergic reactions, diabetes, and asthma. “I’ll give credit to Magnus for encouraging me to use action plans in our requirements library. Those were what really inspired me to build my pre-filled nursing notes,” she revealed.
Marcy further explained, when she began putting the protocols together, she turned to reputable resources that were developed by experts and physicians. Some examples include the Patient Coordinated Care Plan by the Epilepsy Foundation and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan by Food Allergy Research & Education.
The protocols allow her to perform her assessments quickly, thoroughly, and consistently. She keeps each protocol in a binder with step-by-step instructions to remind her (or her sub) what to look for when providing certain types of treatment. Then in her Magnus Health account, she has drop-down menus that match the written protocols. This makes entering a note for a student extremely easy. While on her iPad or computer, Marcy selects the appropriate protocol from a list, then fills in any additional information in a comment field. And since most things she sees in the health office are pretty straightforward, the dropdowns work perfectly to ensure that her notes are specific, but to-the-point. This is a huge time saver and “time is critical,” she explained, “because I usually see around 40 kids per day that need my attention. Plus, from a liability standpoint, if a parent were to ask me if I provided the proper treatment to their child, I could refer them to my protocols.” Marcy even has her diabetes note template settings configured to email a notification to the parent when she enters a student’s blood sugar levels. She finds that this is an excellent way to share information with parents quickly and securely.
Like most school nurses, Marcy is a champion multitasker. Even while explaining how she developed her protocols, she was answering the other phone line, tending to a student, and graciously accepting Valentine’s Day cards and flowers from a few others. Hopefully the system she devised for her record keeping will help the rest of you multitaskers keep your health offices running like well-oiled machines (or inspire you to come up with a system of your own)!
Do you have an example like Marcy’s that you’d like to share? Shoot us an email with your idea. We love learning firsthand from our customers how to make SMR even more useful!
P.S. Check out our new case study on Polytechnic School to learn other ways Marcy has taken advantage of SMR.