Case Study: Early Adoption of Paperless Student Athlete Health Information: PRIVIT at University of Florida
The 50,000+ student University of Florida has 564 student athletes on 19 teams. For participation in school sports, all athletes must complete paperwork about their health history, special health conditions, insurance information, emergency contact information, etc. – this is mandatory. All athletes have received their login in May and registration will go on through the summer.
This process used to be paper-based and caused a lot of frustration for both students and administrators. For the past 3 years, however, University of Florida have used PRIVIT, a digital solution that makes the process seamless. For Sports Health Coordinator Emily Flood, PRIVIT makes the registration process easier – and she is able to better monitor and manage health information throughout the year.
Before PRIVIT, everything was done by hand. The student athletes had to complete a dozen or so forms to participate, so school sports administrators sent out large paper packages, students and parents filled them in and sent them back. Upon receipt, school sports administrators, like Emily, supported by a team of students, would enter the information into spreadsheets. With everything hand-written, the team would struggle with illegible entries, omitted information and packages that were sent in half completed. The team would then send letters back to athletes requesting the missing information or confirming information.
In short, the process was a significant burden for students as well as administrators – and it was a challenge to ensure that all data was accurate and up to date:
“Student athletes do not sign up for sports to complete forms. So, it’s a challenge to get them to spend hours on paperwork. Having a digital solution means it is easier to get the forms completed in a timely manner – plus they can do it on their iPad, which is a technology they are very comfortable with.” (Emily Flood, Sports Health Coordinator, University of Florida).
University of Florida started using PRIVIT 3 years ago. The change from paper to digital has meant a world of difference. As they go through the digital forms, students can now see immediately what’s complete and what’s not – and they are unable to submit their paperwork if something is missing. As a result, Emily’s team does not have to communicate back and forth with students about incomplete forms, and nothing needs entered into spreadsheets – the PRIVIT interface allows her to look up and manage teams and student profiles as soon as the student has made his/her entries. The issues she deals with now are much smaller than before, such as a forgotten password from last year’s entries into PRIVIT.
Emily and her supervisor, Stacey Higgins, are the two people who use PRIVIT the most, typically to check links with EMR system, to get parent contact information, to remind and monitor student athletes in terms of health information, and to ensure form completion before releasing the students to sports activities.
“The biggest benefit of PRIVIT are that we have been able to eliminate paperwork, that we can track students easier, and that we always know information is accurate. Safety is a big priority for us, and with PRIVIT, we always have a comprehensive medical history, students need to report everything, and we can better manage the connection with physicians and athletic trainer” (Emily Flood, Sports Health Coordinator, University of Florida).
Student Athlete Safety
At schools and universities, student athletes must register their health information to play sports. The paperwork version of this mandate continues to present an administrative burden as well as a risk to student safety. University of Florida was one of the first schools to adopt digital, completely paperless student athlete health information technology.
Emily also emphasizes that PRIVIT is very user-friendly and highly customizable. In fact, she was instrumental recently in endorsing PRIVIT to Clemson University, a school that now also uses PRIVIT. When she called her colleagues at Clemson, she simply explained that the technology completely replaces paper, that it is secure, and doesn’t allow incompletes. This now makes a big difference at Clemson as well.