Nemours’ vision is creating the healthiest generation of children by going beyond medicine, and its work with school-based health centers is an important part of that mission. The School Initiatives group in the Population Health Management team at Nemours Children’s Health in Delaware suspected that some school absences in the community were related to undertreated or undiagnosed health issues. The team thought that pediatricians proactively reaching out to the families of students who were frequently missing class might reveal opportunities to intervene and help students stay in school. In the 2021-2022 school year, the school district enrolled 1,940 students, of whom 560 had a Nemours primary care provider. This generated 501 alerts for students missing 3 consecutive days and 71 alerts for missing 10 or more days during the school year. As a result, the Nemours team was able to identify and treat health issues for chronically absent students in 7 cases, putting those students back on the path to regular attendance.
How They Did It:
- Used a health information exchange framework to share student demographic and absence data
- Notified the health system when a patient had frequent school absences
- Addressed care gaps with vaccinations, well child visits, and care plans for chronic conditions
- Communicated trends in students’ absence reasons to the school to address other attendance barriers
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