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Kentucky Goes Binary: 0100101101011001

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 69 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 46-48
Scott A. Haas
Date Published
October 2007
3 pages
This article describes how the Medical Division of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) was able to meet a mandate to select an electronic medical record (EMR), a computerized system designed to capture and display patient-specific clinical information.
This required selecting an EMR that would meet the unique needs of a correctional medical environment and implement that system in all 13 State facilities within 15 months. Using a memorandum of agreement already in place with the University of Kentucky, the DOC invited several vendors to demonstrate and discuss their EMR systems. Vendors were provided with the expectations and flexibility requirements of the DOC. Within 1 month, a vendor was selected, and the process of primary platform implementations was initiated. After 15 months, all 13 State facilities were equipped with a functioning EMR. The two most pertinent characteristics of the selected system were Web-based applicability and feature flexibility. One of the most prominent operational benefits of the EMR is the eContact, which allows for consultation to be provided to the primary care provider in the facility by a group of off-site specialists at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The author advises that before opening discussions with vendors, consultations should be conducted with correctional administrators from other States who have undergone the process of selecting and implementing an EMR, so as to identify the benefits and problems associated with particular EMR features. 1 figure, 1 table and 2 notes