Located in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, The Friends’ School is an independent international school, founded in 1887. Offering Pre-Kindergarten – Year 12 programs, including residential accommodation, The Friends’ School has approximately 1300 students. Senior students have the choice of completing the Tasmanian Certificate of Education, studying VET (Vocational Education and Training) programs, or undertaking the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
The Challenge: “We weren’t confident a paper-based system could meet our duty-of-care”
As a progressive school offering a broad range of extracurricular activities and study options, The Friends’ School holds many events, excursions and activities. But, the growing scale and complexity of these activities, combined with increasing demands on the school regarding student care and liability, meant that automating and digitising consent forms and medical records processes was a must.
“Our staff needed fast access to student medical recordsout in-the-field,” said CareMonkey implementer and ICT Director at The Friends’ School, Duncan Gillespie. “This meant replacing the paper-based, manual methods of collecting, accessing and sharing permission, consent and medical information – particularly for off-campus activities driven by our outdoor education staff.”
Gillespie pinpointed the moment The Friends’ School realised they had to update their permission and medical collection processes.
“We went through a risk assessment to evaluate our procedures for all school activities,” explained Gillespie. “The result was that we weren’t confident paper-based systems of data collection and access could meet our duty-of-care obligations heading into the future.
“Before CareMonkey, we would simply send a paper medical form home with students, for their parents to complete, once a year. Not only did the school use a lot of time and resources chasing the forms, the information supplied could be significantly out-of-date for large portions of the school year.
“For example, our Year 7 students go on camp early in the year, and it was difficult to collect medical information in time for that event. And, even when that information was returned and partially stored in our administration system, records had to be printed and physically taken on camp.”
The Solution: “The only product focused on student medical data and incident reporting”
To solve these challenges, Gillespie and The Friends’ School evaluated and implemented CareMonkey in 2015.
“We chose CareMonkey because it was the only product we found that focused on digitising and automating the collection and distribution of student medical information,” said Gillespie. “We particularly liked the fact that parents have complete control of a student’s profile, owning the data and providing consent for the school to utilise that information. Additionally, we saw the ability for parents to share their child’s CareMonkey Care Profile with other organisations, such as sporting clubs, as unique and valuable.”
Results: “We’re providing a better service to parents”
With CareMonkey, The Friends’ School can confidently manage its risk, care for students in emergencies, and collect vital student medical and consent information efficiently.
“Since implementing CareMonkey, we can robustly manage risk and compliance for all school activities, as well as quickly access up-to-date medical records,” said Gillespie. “In fact, we receive daily updates to student profiles through the CareMonkey system. That’s information we did not capture as often by sending out a paper form once a year.
“From an efficiency point of view, automated reminders for permission slips and medical information requests are an enormous time saver, removing the need for manual intervention. But, it’s not just the school that benefits. These days, we’re required to generate more forms than ever before. CareMonkey eForms, which we use a lot, make that achievable without being onerous. CareMonkey enables parents to respond to information and permission requests in a timely manner with less hassle. We’re now providing a better service to parents, while enhancing student care, as well as our health, safety and risk management benchmarks.”
Working with CareMonkey
Aside from aligning ICT and administrative functions in order to bring the management of student permissions and medical data into the digital age, CareMonkey has helped The Friends’ School bring uniformity to form-based information collection and management.
“CareMonkey delivers on exactly what the product says it will,” said Gillespie. “If you’re looking for a way to collect medical profiles and forms, then CareMonkey does that really, really well. It’s robust and reliable.
“And, I always talk about CareMonkey support – it’s been really exemplary. I get straight, honest answers through CareMonkey’s online chat in minutes. Support documentation is excellent and easily searchable. It’s also shareable with staff and parents – it’s a big time saver.”
Gillespie said the next step in The Friends’ School’s CareMonkey journey is to make better use of self-service forms and workflow approvals.
CareMonkey is an online platform that helps schools, clubs, youth groups and other organisations with a duty-of-care collect, share and automate online forms, medical records, as well as meet excursion management and risk management obligations. CareMonkey ensures medical records are kept up-to-date, enabling authorised carers to access the information they need in an emergency on any device – even when offline.
Every day, CareMonkey helps thousands of organisations around the world save time, money and reduce risk by going paperless. Never chase a paper form again with CareMonkey.
Delight parents, carers and staff by automating consent forms and approvals, medical records, excursion and emergency management, staff forms, payments, incident reporting as well as group management and messaging.