Why Schools are the Best Line of Defense in a Widespread Disease Outbreak
According to the Institute of Education Sciences, in 2014, about 49.8 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools in America. Another 5 million attended private schools. With the majority of our young people attending schools on a daily basis – a place where they interact with others constantly – schools play an enormous role in overall health of our communities.
With the recent measles threat casting new light on the vaccination debate, parents, schools, and caregivers nationwide are more fearful than ever. The majority of the people who have contracted measles have not been vaccinated and most experts agree that vaccination is our best defense. Administrators are struggling to identify which students are at risk, which parents need to be notified, and how to educate the community about health safety.
Schools have been placed at the forefront of this frightening battle, but have not been given the tools to properly execute a prevention strategy. The current system in most schools involves a lot of paperwork and tedious data entry making it difficult to assess student information. This is true for all aspects of health including understanding who has what allergies and conditions. However, technology can change the way schools and childcare facilities examine health records and communicate with parents about important health issues.
We developed CareDox to serve as a platform to enable the automated and streamlined collection of information, creating a more effective and accurate process. Today’s technology can greatly increase student safety, reduce the clerical workload on nurses, and improve efficiency in monitoring student health and communicating with parents.
Improving student health requires schools to have real time, accurate, secure and accessible health information and we should ensure schools have nothing less.
Parents should demand better from schools and school administrators need to demand better options. By utilizing technology, we can greatly increase overall health safety in communities nationwide. When issues such as the measles outbreak arise, states and schools can harness this power to educate families about options, then a smart approach to dealing with an outbreak and ensuring our children are safe can be developed.
Editor’s Note: Write in the comments and let us know what you think about schools playing a role in preventing disease outbreak. Are they equipped to do so? Are schools in your area doing so?
Hesky Kutscher is a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold both ShopLocal and HighGear Media. As a family man with three children and a passion to disrupt healthcare, Hesky founded CareDox for kids and schools everywhere. When he isn’t networking with the healthcare and educational industry, you’ll find him watching soccer and talking to his mother.