by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | November 27, 2017
From the November 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Medical imaging for prison inmates can present numerous unique challenges.
Officer safety, high costs, consequences related to lack of continuation of care, public humiliation for the inmate, lengthy turnaround times, scheduling conflicts with outside clinics and a lack of medical facilities willing to take inmates as patients are a few challenges that correctional facilities face when sending out inmates for any service.
Kansas Mobile Solutions, a division of the Wichita Radiological Group, has multiple correctional facility contracts in the state of Kansas and has gained a reputation for providing quality customer service for this unique demographic. In early 2016, Reno County, Kansas, approved a contract with Kansas Mobile Solutions appointing it the mobile imaging provider for the Reno County Correctional Facility.
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HealthCare Business News checked in with both organizations to see how the partnership was working out and how mobile imaging can play a crucial role in delivering timely care to prisoners.
A more efficient approach
While many of the challenges mentioned above have been resolved to varying degrees via the partnership with Kansas Mobile Solutions, Linda McMann, RN, director of nursing with the Reno County Correctional Facility, says the biggest impact has been on improving the continuation of care.
Once an inmate leaves to receive medical care outside of the correctional facility’s medical practice, there are often consequences related to multiple facilities and physicians being involved. Some of the possible outcomes include tests and assessments being duplicated, results delayed for days, treatments prescribed that do not adhere to the correctional facility’s safety practices and the communication between practitioners being delayed, limited and misinterpreted.
Through Reno County’s partnership with Kansas Mobile Solutions, McMann says imaging is provided same day, with same-day results. The correctional facility’s ordering physician can view images and reports online and immediately prescribe treatment.
Prisons are consistent, clinical and controlled
The typical imaging exam process starts with an assessment of the injured or ill inmate, and while McMann asserts that quality health care for the inmate is the top priority, they must also be careful not to abuse the service and keep unnecessary costs to a minimum. Imaging services are only ordered if there is a concern that underlying issues exist and the exam is essential in continuing the diagnosis and treatment of the patient.