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.

Almost 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...

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.

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.

Everyone 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! In fact, Dr. John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, says, “Exercise is like Miracle-Gro for the brain.” Including it in a daily routine...

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...

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.  

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.

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.
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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!

**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.

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.

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

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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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

 

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:

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.