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Inmate health IT program to start this June in Colorado

May 22, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Government Technology recently relayed the story of Colorado's new plan to incorporate medical health technology, like video conferences, into correctional facilities in order to address inmates who are in need of care. This new program is set to begin in June of this year, and extends from the existing capabilities of the Colorado health industry, in a move that might suggest a possible way for a hospital consultant to bridge the gap between different positions.

The alleged goal is for this specific telehealth initiative to both allow for general surgery and focus on those patients with rheumatological concerns, among a few other specific groups. Though this sort of approach to treating the incarcerated isn't new for the state, this program does stand to see the growth of the possibilities of healthcare technology, allowing for greater access and a potentially easier diagnosis for patients in 19 different institutions.

In the GovTech piece, the CDC's clinical support service manager, Liz Mestas, described the procedural difficulties this sort of course could possibly take that are unique to this kind of approach.

"They are going to have to get the medical records first, have their doctors review it and see if the inmate can be seen by telemedicine or if we have to bring them on site," she said. "That's going to be the biggest obstacle."

However, Mestas also suggested that these procedures will be somewhat smoother than previous efforts in similar areas. 

Different state departments can use healthcare IT consulting to work together when coordinating such programs that introduce telemedicine to new or ill-equipped settings. Officials also hope that the Colorado program will prove to be cost effective, and that could be another potential benefit for professionals and governments to consider.