Anna Johnson-Manternach, MS, LAT, ATC might have a hidden affinity for new things. Liberty High School, one of the three high schools in the Iowa City Community School District, is practically new - opening in 2017. Since Liberty High’s opening, it has continued to grow. New athletic facilities were still being built two years after Liberty first opened its doors. Liberty has just over 1,200 students playing a combined 13 boys and girls sports, and athletics in Iowa are year-round. Baseball and softball play their season in the summer. But one thing that was getting stale for Johnson-Manternach was Liberty’s baseline testing program.
“We’d been with one baseline and post-assessment provider for a long time. The product was changing, especially in how the product was being marketed and billed. That product just began to be less and less useful for us at the high school level,” said Johnson-Manternach. The three athletic trainers from the Iowa City school district worked closely together to determine their options. “We knew our schools were moving away from computer labs, and the three schools combined is a large number of athletes. The three of us wanted to shift our focus to something more user-friendly and less rigid in structure.”
Together, the three Iowa City school district athletic trainers decided to implement Sway. The biggest benefit to Johnson-Manternach was the availability of the data. “With our old system, if I wanted the data on the sideline, that wasn’t available to me. Now, I have my data accessible when I need it, wherever I need it.”
Having the data available so easily was a big change for Johnson-Manternach. “Before, I would give the baseline test, and then the scores were somewhere else and I didn’t necessarily need to access it because I wasn’t responsible for understanding or interpreting the data at that time. I didn’t have information readily available for the students and their families because I had to wait for the physician to get back to us.”
Getting Support from Sway
Changing how data was accessed meant that Johnson-Manternach and her colleagues now had to invest a bit of time in the beginning. “It was a big change, having all that data available to me now. But, we’ve had great support from Sway to understand and help interpret the data when we don’t necessarily understand or something doesn’t seem quite right.” While having new oversight over the data was a change, Johnson-Manternach sees it as a benefit. “At the same time, I’m not on an island anymore and totally reliant on the physician’s time schedule. I’ve got support from Sway to help me understand when things don’t make sense to me.”
Positive Change - One Athletic Trainer at a Time
Something that Johnson-Manternach loves about athletic training is how the profession is a close-knit community. “We all talk about what we’re doing, and feedback is important,” said Johnson-Manternach. “Athletic trainers are very honest about their opinions, especially when it comes to new equipment or software that we’re looking at. We don’t talk to the company - we find another athletic trainer who’s using it and talk to them. I’d recommend switching to Sway to any athletic trainer.”