WA Dept. of Corrections releases RFI on Electronic Health Record Systems

The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) recently issued a Request for Information to research and analyze the pros and cons of purchasing an Electronic Health Record system (EHR) for the state’s correctional facilities.

An EHR is an electronic version of a patient’s medical chart, encompassing all aspects of a patient’s health including information such as diagnoses, medications, lab and test results, and radiology images. The record is meant to be utilized and shared by all providers involved in a patient’s care, and serve as an efficient means to coordinate care.

 

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According to the RFI, the Washington DOC provides comprehensive health care including inpatient, ambulatory, behavioral health, dental, and substance abuse treatment services to approximately 19,000 incarcerated patients in 11 facilities.

While over half of the state correctional facilities in the United States utilize an EHR to share health records, Washington State has not yet planned to implement one.

“An EHR will strengthen the quality of healthcare and increase system efficiency by providing readily available access to accurate, current, and legible information. An EHR will allow the Department to share health records with providers in the community who care for patients after release. With an EHR the Department can begin the sharing of health care information to help ensure successful transition for patients leaving the prison system,” reads the RFI.

The RFI notes that the DOC is most interested in systems that can integrate with the Department’s current information systems such as the Correctional Institution Pharmacy System, the State Health Information Exchange (HIE), and the Health Care Authority’s ProviderOne payment system.

The RFI is seeking answers to over 50 questions related to strengths/weaknesses, privacy, pricing, transitions, support, and technology in order to learn more about the EHR options that are available to the DOC.

Responses to the RFI are due March 13th and should be submitted electronically to docrfpresponse@doc.wa.gov