Skip to Content

Individual Health Plan (IHP)

What is an Individual Health Plan?

The Individual Health Plan (IHP) documents:

  • the student’s needs for school health services and school nurse services,
  • the steps of the nursing process, and
  • the student outcomes/goals to promote student health, prevent disease, and enhance academic achievement. 

The IHP includes:

  • assessment,
  • nursing diagnosis,
  • outcomes/goals,
  • planning and implementation, and
  • evaluation.

Who Develops the Individual Health Plan?

The licensed registered school nurse or other licensed qualified health care practitioner develops the IHP with the student, family, health care provider, and school team to coordinate health and nurse services at school, to and from school, at home, and in the community.

Where is the IHP documented on the IEP?

On the PLAAFP page mark the corresponding box under "Health Needs".

Reference the location of the IHP in the "Other information essential for the development of this IEP" section of the PLAAFP. For example, John’s IHP is located in the nurse’s office.

Confusion about FERPA vs. HIPAA

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) specifically excludes identifiable health information in "education records" that are subject to the regulations outlined in FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act).


Assessment is the collection and evaluation of pertinent information that serves as the basis for development of the IHP and establishes the baseline for measurement. Sources of information include, but are not limited to:

  • interviews with the student, family and staff;
  • review of student health record, medical records and physical examination;
  • health history;
  • consultation with other healthcare providers; and
  • nursing observations

The licensed registered school nurse determines the appropriate nursing diagnosis(es) by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting the information using professional knowledge and expertise to indicate how the student’s health affects academic achievement, participation, and attendance.

Nursing Diagnosis

Nursing diagnosis is a method of organizing and summarizing assessment data to define the student’s health needs and establish the plan of care. A complete nursing diagnosis is composed of at least a diagnostic label and related factors. It provides the basis for the selection of nursing interventions to achieve outcomes for which the licensed registered nurse is accountable.


The outcomes/goals that direct the planning and priorities for action are derived from the nursing diagnosis.

Outcomes/goals are statements of what the student is expected to do, experience, or learn as a result of implementing the IHP. Key outcomes/goals center on attendance, participation, and academic achievement. They are content and time specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable.

Planning and Implementation

Planning and implementation of interventions details the delivery of health services to achieve the desired student outcomes/goals. During this process, the nurse considers the educational implications and selects nursing interventions that support the student’s psychological, behavioral, and safety needs, family needs, and health system functioning.

Components of the documented intervention statements include:

  • therapeutic actions;
  • the designated qualified personnel completing the intervention; and
  • the time, duration, and frequency of the intervention.


Evaluation requires ongoing systematic analysis of the student’s response to the IHP interventions and is done in collaboration with the student, family, and school team.

Decisions about plan modifications, additions, or deletions are based on the data collected during the implementation of the IHP. Evaluation also includes at least an annual review of the student’s current health status and progress toward meeting the identified outcome(s) /goal(s).

Emergency Health Plan

Students with life threatening conditions should have an Emergency Health Plan for both individual health needs and for the safe student evacuation in the case of disaster. This plan can either be written in the intervention portion of the IHP or in a separate document referenced in the IHP.

If the team decides to develop a separate "Emergency Health Plan." The plan should include: student demographics, condition, trigger, signs of an emergency, actions to be taken, and special instructions staff need to know.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on August 09, 2020 at 6:06am.