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Electronic Health Record goes Live!

Correctional Health Services successfully launched the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, TechCare™, on August 5, 2013.  The TechCare™ EHR is designed specifically for health care in a correctional setting.  The record maintains all information required to meet national standards for health services established by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).

Federal law dictates that anyone incarcerated must be provided medically necessary care.  While incarcerated they do not have the ability to seek healthcare from their own doctor, so access to care must be provided in the jail.  The NCCHC standards guide and measure the appropriateness of the health care provided in a jail.  Maricopa County Correctional Health Services is accredited by the NCCHC.

With approximately 8000 people incarcerated in Maricopa County Jails on any given day, it is like providing healthcare to a small city!!  About half of the individuals are on medications and more than 25% are being treated for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.  Some have food or medication allergies; others may be recuperating from surgery or withdrawing from alcohol abuse.  Definitely a population in need of medical care!

When an arrestee is presented to a Registered Nurse at 4th Avenue jail, the initial receiving screening health assessment is completed electronically - directly into the patient’s EHR.  When the individual is booked and housed, the healthcare staff at any one of the 6 jails can access the patient’s record.   This electronic system is an improvement over the paper medical charts that had to be transported between facilities as the individuals moved through the judicial and incarceration process.

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