eSchoolCare: An Academic-Practice Partnership Using Mobile Technology to Improve Nursing Care

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 3:50 PM

Lori S. Anderson, PhD, RN, CPNP
School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the conceptual basis for the use of mobile technology with school nurses.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to give examples of how the eSchoolCare iPad application is used in a school setting.

School-age youth increasingly bring a variety of health-related needs into classrooms. The extent to which needs are met has implications for children and families. The increasingly numerous, complex care requirements of students have left school nurses seeking further training to provide quality care. 

eSchoolCare is an innovative iPad-based educational application (app) that provides on-the-go support for school nurses caring for children with chronic conditions (CCC). This 3-year project is funded by a US Health Resources and Services Administration grant. eSchoolCare provides guidance for nurses on delivering care for CCC in schools. Five chronic conditions are covered, asthma, allergy, cancer, diabetes, and mental health disorders. The objectives of the project are to improve competency and capacity of nurses who provide school-based care of CCC and to improve health and educational outcomes of CCC. 

 The Healthy Learner Model, based on the Chronic Care Model, was used as the conceptual framework for the project. Software development and content were based on current literature and the developer’s prior studies of school nurses. The materials were developed in collaboration with advanced practice nurses at a local academic children's hospital and academics at a school of nursing.

Project evaluation is provided by an academic evaluator and consists of a nurse practice survey at baseline and years 2 and 3 that includes data on nurse planning and care activities, knowledge and confidence in caring for CCC, absenteeism, and job satisfaction. Individual interviews and focus groups provide additional data on school nurse use of and satisfaction with the app. Tracking data on nurse use of the technology is collected.

eSchoolCare currently serves about 100 school nurses practicing in Wisconsin, USA. This model linking the knowledge of academics and expert clinicians directly to practicing nurses has the potential to be successful in other areas and with other populations internationally.