This school year is coming to a close, but the next academic year is closer than we think. Pennsylvania requires physicals and other health screenings prior to school enrollment each fall. Unfortunately, parents and caregivers can simply forget—or wait until the last minute—to take care of the mandated school health requirements. This can result in stress and “urgent” appointments your team must squeeze into already-jammed back-to-school-time schedules.
So what can you and your staff do? Summer is an ideal time for parents to schedule time off of work and handle appointments for their children. If your front office team has any capacity to do outreach and proactive scheduling calls with patients going into grades K or 1st, 7th, and 12th, consider reaching out to their parents and caregivers now. A call or postcard in the mail can be a big help for families who might need a little reminder about the state-mandated requirements for physicals and immunizations. For reference, you can click here to find the state-mandated requirements and forms.
And, once those patients come in for their appointments in the summer, be sure to send those records to their school nurse. While most school nurses follow the district’s schedule and are not working in the summer, email addresses and fax lines are set up to securely accept students’ PHI. Your school nurse may reach out to your team before the close of the school year to review any changes to the process. Or, your team is always encouraged to check in with the school nurse to determine the best process for securely sharing records and PHI.
You and your staff play an essential role in ensuring our region’s students meet all state-mandated health requirements and are ready for another successful academic year. School nurses across the region appreciate all you do and wish you a happy and healthy summer.
Through a partnership with Moses Taylor Foundation, the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies has been exploring ways to better collaborate with our region’s school nurses. We’re pleased to share a series of articles over the next few months to open conversations and highlight topics that matter to our regional healthcare community.