Based on a recent study, there is a dire need being felt in the US for correctional facilities to implement electronic health records (EHRs). This is because it ensures that inmates get the proper care they deserve. Per stats released by a national nonprofit group called The Treatment Advocacy Center, jails and prisons in the United States of America held over 356,000 prisoners that had severe mental illnesses in 2012. Considering these numbers, the government should be looking into the prisons as well and make improvements in the health care provided to them.
State prisons across the United States are urging the government officials to implement Electronic Health Records. Per The Register-Guard, state prison officials in Oregon were finding paper health records inefficient and ineffective. The major problem they stated was that paper filing systems help all the inmates’ health records in one place and that made them easy to be compromised, destroyed and really hard to find. Such records also included all dental, mental, medical and pharmaceutical health records. So when an inmate went going to see a doctor, his or her file was not easily accessible or was with another provider. This issue could be neutralized through the highly efficient EHR systems now available in the markets.
There are many states that are now starting to find the need for Electronic health records for correctional facilities as opposed to paper documents. Interestingly, twelve of New York City correctional facilities have already successfully implemented new EHRs and they have shown really positive results. Per a study published in the Health and Human Rights Journal, the usage of Electronic Health Records in these twelve correctional facilities helped in improving care for patients in jails as well as those who were mentally ill. This study states that Correctional Health EHRs not only track clinical outcomes and health issues, they also help in obtaining information related to neglect, abuse, and other human rights concerns.