Practitioners frequently communicate with schools about their patients. For example, input from the teacher is important in making a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Schools also request information when a child’s medical condition will impact their learning in school and they must make an accommodation. Improving the capacity for a provider to communicate with the school and share relevant information electronically supports the capture of relevant information in the school record, coordination of care for conditions such as asthma, and tracking of information such as school-based vision and hearing screening, which may reduce unnecessary testing.
Schools may use the 2015 Priority List to better understand how EHRs are used to capture more relevant information about their patient, and communicate patient information to the school. Automated completion of school forms by any child EHR would be highly valuable, but challenging due to the wide variety of forms used and very limited use of electronic forms. The 2015 Priority List requirements support the completion of the immunization history portion of the school form.
The challenges to this process are the privacy protections regulating health care organizations (health insurance portability and accountability act, or HIPAA) and privacy protections of outside agencies such as the school system requirements (family education rights and privacy act, FERPA). A national standard for school forms that is implemented in a conventional standard electronic document format such as CDA (clinical document architecture) would facilitate the implementation of desired automated and expedited communication with schools.