Ongoing promotion of the use of the Vermont Asthma Action Plan continues to be part of Health Department School Liaison’s work.The School Liaisons are available to provide guidance and assist school nurses with improving communications with local provider offices.This can help to improve the rate of asthma action plan receipt at the school setting.
The School Liaisons and the VT State School Nurse Consultant continue to work with School Nurses to track students with special health needs such as diabetes, life-threatening allergies, seizure disorders, and asthma (and many more).This tracking includes using school health records (including electronic health records) to track students with special health needs, ensure they have obtained or created a current student individualized health care plans and/or emergency care plans, and that all relevant staff have had appropriate training needed to assist in the student’s care.School nurses maintain documentation of care provided tor students with all chronic illnesses, student education in disease management and self-care skills, all referrals, and communications with the families and the students’ medical homes.Accurate documentation helps the student and team track changes in wellness and disease status, and the need for specified nursing and health interventions.Guidance related to documentation, medication management, and working with children with special health needs is available in the Standards of Practice:School Health Services Manual.
The Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) continues to coordinate with the Asthma Program in the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) on several asthma-related efforts.During the 2013/2014 school year, school nurse received a memo from the Asthma Program requesting that they consider including a standardized set of questions on the school’s annual student emergency or health update form. Though all public schools have been reporting on the number of student’s with asthma and asthma action plans, the manner in which this information is asked may vary from school to school.The following questions were provided to the school nurses, and reflect validated questions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which align with questions used for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
The questions are:
- Has a doctor, nurse or other health professional EVER said that your child has asthma?
- If yes, does your child STILL have asthma?
Response Categories: “yes”, “no”, “don’t know/not sure”, and did not answer the question
Response Categories: “yes”, “no”, “don’t know/not sure” and did not answer the question
The 2014/2015 Vermont School Nurse Report was edited to accommodate data entry for schools that implemented the new question format this year.
The MCH is also working with HPDP on the development and implementation of a school-based electronic health record (EHR) asthma grant, based on work being done over the last four years promoting the purchase of student electronic health records (EHR) with a grant that involves flu-like and acute gastrointestinal illness surveillance. The use of EHRs is an important resource for identifying, tracking, and maintaining current individual health plan (IHP) for students with asthma. Our partner, the Vermont Asthma Program is assessing what school nurses who use student EHRs may need for additional training related to asthma care, management, and guidance on how to create linkages of care between medical homes, schools, and families of students with asthma. Currently 25 participating school nurses have the opportunity to collect baseline data that will drive the development of new asthma management tools. These nurses represent the Springfield School District, the Barre School District and the Chittenden East Supervisory Union. The tools will further guide asthma care, improve school health services, and ultimately outcomes for their students. This asthma grant allows them to demonstrate leadership for other school nurses as they model their acquired knowledge and skills. The VDH State School Nurse Consultant coordinates with the Asthma Program on this grant work, promotes the exchange of educational information through the AOE newsletters, the VDH School Nurse (SN) Bulletin, as well as connects with participating school nurses and Health Department School Liaisons.