For years, Phoenix’ Maricopa County failed to properly document and manage medical data for thousands of jail inmates, says the Arizona Republic. Inmates died. Taxpayers paid out millions of dollars in settlements. The Board of Supervisors and Correctional Health Services failed to address fundamental record-keeping problems, despite advice from their own consultants and a federal judge’s order.
Now, county officials are moving forward with a $10 million plan to buy an electronic medical-records system, a key to improving inmate care. A central system for medical records allows easy access to medical history for repeat visitors, helps track infectious diseases and allows medical staff to make sure inmates are housed in appropriate conditions.