Magazine article Corrections Forum

Bringing It in House

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Bringing It in House

Article excerpt

With the prison populations getting older as well as the escalating costs of transporting and supervising in-mates and paying the outside community hospitals for healthcare services, more correctional facilities are adding these types of services in house.

"From our viewpoint and 20 years of experience, it is much easier for the facility and inmate with health issues to receive services in house verses being sent out. It is much more cost effective and safer for the general public," says Kimberly Kline Bordelon RN, BSN, CNN and VP of Operations at North Miami Beach, Florida-based Physicians Dialysis.

She explains there are plenty of variables to consider. "If inmates have to be transported outside for medical intervention there are several steps that have to be followed. First coordination of transportation and security cost is very expensive and time consuming. You need to determine the length of time all parties will be absent from the correctional compound, which can usually be an all-day event. You also need to see if the inmate is stable to transport for medical services/intervention." Lastly you also need to see if meals and/or medications that will be missed can be made up as well as services he or she is scheduled to receive."

On-site Dialysis

"Now, more than ever before, increasing attention is being paid to the need for on-site services in correctional facilities," adds Christopher W. Bell, vice president of Business Development at NaphCare Inc., Birmingham, Ala. "We routinely work with custody staff to evaluate each facility's service needs for maximum costsavings. Furthermore, with increasing numbers of staffing shortages and hiring issues in the correctional industry, employee retention and labor efficiency are keys to correctional success with facility health."

NaphCare is a leading provider of direct, on-site dialysis treatment services to correctional facilities in the country. The company also provides on-site medical care and offers a variety of services according to each client's needs. Bell reports that correctional agencies in nine states have partnered with NaphCare to realize savings for transportation, off-site treatment services, and consolidation of medical trips.

He explains that because providing on-site medical services results in significant transportation cost-savings, NaphCare provides a majority of services within their partner detention facilities. "Even when acute care is needed, it is not uncommon for NaphCare to summon medical specialists to the site rather than send an inmate off-site for care.

"Each facility is unique, therefore adding additional on-site healthcare services hinges upon the needs of the site."

"For example, prior to NaphCare managing medical services at Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) in Las Vegas, Nev., the previous medical provider did not offer on-site obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) or on-site dialysis treatment. Upon assuming the contract, NaphCare successfully recruited more than 20 positions left vacant by the previous provider, improving on-site medical services and consequently reducing off-site trips," Bell says.

Custody Staff Support

"From a medical partner's perspective, emphasis on advances in these areas provides custody staff in correctional operations the structural support they need for success. At the CCDC facility, NaphCare offers a systematic team of professionals who work with custody staff to create an overall cost-containment program which ensures organization of critical resources and accompanying required on-site management services. Our on-site management team is the driving force behind transportation cost-savings at that facility," Bell states.

TechCare Clinical Operations System

At CCDC, NaphCare's clinical operations system, TechCare, serves as a planning and organization resource for the facility's critical assets. "This system keeps track of all patient encounters so that no information is lost for off-site or on-site medical treatment. …

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