Online Training and Automated Documentation for Administering Meds in Schools

Period of Performance: 08/18/2008 - 05/31/2010

$369K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mccarthy Medical Marketing, Inc.
Vancouver, WA 98685
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The primary goal of the school nurse is to assure the health and safety of the students in the school(s) she/he oversees. This includes assuring that medications are administered to schoolchildren correctly. New data indicate that about 35% of school nurses are responsible daily for over 5,000 students. Approximately 20 million children attending public schools have chronic health conditions requiring the administration of medications during the school day. Frequently the school nurse must delegate the responsibility of administering medications to schoolchildren to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAPs). Errors in medication administration are 3.1 times more likely when UAPs dispense medications than when nurses carry out this responsibility. Our long-term goal in this project is to provide for the safety and well being of children who receive medications during the school day by reducing the incidence of medication errors. Our hypothesis is that a focused, comprehensive, standardized training tool, with an integrated documentation system, will fill a community need by assisting school nurses in performing their supervisory responsibilities and by reducing the medication error rate by the UAPs who are delegated the task of medication administration. Our project, GETTING IT DONE! / GETTING IT RIGHT! was found to be feasible in Phase I research. In Phase II, we plan to complete the development of the training programs for school nurses and UAPs and to develop an automated documentation system for recording the administration of medications. Since nearly 100% of U.S. schools now have access to high speed Internet connections, both of our programs will be Internet-based. Documentation will be accomplished using PDA technology. A computer, an electronic camera, and up to three PDAs will be provided to the schools during the testing phase of the project. We will compare our documentation program to a commercially available student health program used in the WA state public schools. Development and subsequent marketing of Getting It Right!/Getting It Done! will allow public health and school nurse researchers to track conditions affecting school children and the types of medications being given in schools using the programs.