169041 Economic Analysis of School-Based Nursing in a Southern School District

Monday, October 27, 2008

Willie H. Oglesby, MSPH, PhD , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Kelli Kenison, MS , Department of Health Education, Promotion and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Chad-Everett Allan , Dutch Fork High School, District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, Irmo, SC
Background: School-based health programs are increasingly recognized as important players in children's health care. Nurses and other health care providers working in schools play an essential role in the health protection of American children. One growing health concern among American youth is diabetes mellitus. Currently, there are limited comprehensive population-based estimates of diabetes mellitus incidence among youth in the United States covering all major racial/ethnic groups and types of diabetes mellitus (type 1 or 2).

Methods: The costs of salaries paid to school nurses during the academic year and were adjusted for nurse type and percent of time focused on student care. Costs were compared to student case load at each school in a southern school district and were compared to a range of estimated medical costs for diabetes management.

Results: In the school district, school-based nursing care that reduces the likelihood of diabetes complications costs only $33.34 per student. However, the cost for not providing that care is $17,000 if that student's unmanaged diabetes progresses to a point that requires additional medical intervention and treatment.

Discussion: School nurses administer medications, conduct screening examinations, coordinate health promotion programs, and provide other medical services to children in their care. These services reduce the burden on the United States health care system by reducing the frequency of office visits for medicinal dispensation, promote behaviors that reduce the likelihood of negative health outcomes, triage potentially health challenging conditions for immediate treatment and care, and other cost-saving effects. Further research must be conducted to fully assess the financial savings of school nursing programs across the US healthcare system.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of viewing the poster, participants will be able to: - increase knowledge of threshold analysis - articulate the cost savings of providing school-based nursing programs.

Keywords: School-Based Health Care, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the analysis of data and wrote the report on which this poster is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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