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Corrections Department Receives Awards for Innovative e-Health Service

Dr. John Tarrant, Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo, and Dr. Scott Haas

Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo (center) presented the Department of Corrections and the agency’s medical director, Dr. Scott Haas, (right), with awards during the recent e-Health Summit in Lexington. Dr. John Tarrant accepted the award on behalf of the Department of Corrections.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) and the agency’s medical director, Dr. Scott Haas, received Health IT Innovators Awards at the recent Kentucky e-Health Summit.

The e-Health Summit was held in Lexington and presented by the Kentucky e-Health Board and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The awards recognize advances in the implementation and day-to-day use of electronic medical records (EMR) in the healthcare workplace.

The awards were established by the Kentucky e-Health Network (KeHN) Board and were the first awards of this type given by the KeHN Board.

There were two award categories, one for an individual and one for an organization.  However, the review committee felt that the implementation of the electronic medical record within DOC, combined with Telehealth in DOC, was an excellent example of this type of innovation and that Dr. Haas deserved the individual award recognizing his support/leadership of this innovation, according to the nominating committee.

The Department began implementation of an EMR system in November 2005 as a result of a collaborative effort between DOC, the University of Kentucky and CorrectCare, Inc. 

The tablet computers now used by DOC prison medical staff immediately update the official electronic medical record for inmates by sending information wirelessly to the EMR server. Once information is received any number of events may be triggered automatically, such as collecting labs, changing diets, adjusting medications or other treatments, or referral to a specialist.

In addition to the increased efficiency and ease of medical documentation, the technology also provides for consultation with non-DOC specialists without inmates ever leaving the institution. By a process named e-contact, a DOC physician may electronically provide health information, including photographs and video of the patient to an outside consultant through a system similar to e-mail. The consultant may then review the information and make treatment recommendations to the DOC physician who will follow up with the appropriate care. 

E-contacts provides more timely and efficient consultation, reduced transportation costs and increased public safety.

The DOC EMR and e-contact system was implemented statewide in June 2006.


Last Updated 1/9/2008