Preparing for weather emergencies and increasing communication [Client Success Story]
- 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
When 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.
Portsmouth Abbey was able to really put Magnus to the test when they faced a challenge no school wants to face – Hurricane Sandy. In October 2012, when Sandy quickly approached, and Portsmouth Abbey was already integrated with Magnus, Gorman approached Magnus Health Client Services for advice on how to handle a power outage, with all records stored online. The “Print All Requirements” feature, and Magnus911 cards allowed the Portsmouth Abbey nurses to pull down the pertinent information, in case a power outage prevented them from accessing the records online.
“It took us about five to 10 minutes to get all the files we needed. We downloaded everything and managed to get through Sandy…I was afraid that with online medical records, we would have our first serious problem. But we didn’t, and everything worked out fine,” Gorman said. Client Services was a big part of helping Gorman and her team face the Sandy issue. “It’s fantastic service. It was one of my concerns switching over and it’s just amazing to see how quickly everything gets into the system,” Gorman added.
Portsmouth Abbey is also enjoying increased communication benefits internally. “The biggest [benefit] has been the communication between all the nurses and across departments – we never used to know what the athletic trainer was doing, and now we can see the notes that we need to see,” Gorman said. The schedule of five nurses and one doctor can present communication issues, but “from home, nurses can see what’s been going on during their days off, and feel better being caught up when they return to work. It saves us so much time from doing double work because we can see what’s been said to parents, and it’s drastically improved internal communications.”
Gorman and her team at Portsmouth Abbey took a chance moving away from their manual, paperbased system, and though they were hesitant about changing all of their processes, they soon saw the benefits. “We love the program and are very happy to be using it,” Gorman said.