The use of EHR’s and telemedicine as an improvement to patient care and substantial cost reduction tool has led to the deployment of similar systems in correctional systems across the country, including Georgia Department of Corrections, the city of Philadelphia, Maricopa County, Ariz., and Los Angeles County approved $17 million for an EMR system for its juvenile detention facilities. Such action is a move in the right direction. The key will be how well all of these systems derived from a multitude of suppliers can integrate with each other to establish continuity of care in and out of the correctional ecosystem. Some of the criteria to meet meaningful use requirements is data portability; nevertheless, they are not necessarily required to speak to each other.
I hope that as the EHR companies race to enroll as many individual providers, hospitals, and government groups into their programs they don’t lose sight of the long-term value proposition associated with creating robust API connections in and out of their products.