NCCHC Releases New Standards for Health Services in Jails and Prisons

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Posted May 9, 2014

Chicago (May 9, 2014) -- The 2014 Standards for Health Services for jails and prisons present the latest recommendations from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care for managing health services delivery in adult correctional facilities throughout the United States. The standards were updated to reflect the latest evidence and best practices in meeting professional, legal and ethical requirements in providing correctional health care services.

The NCCHC standards are a vital resource for correctional institutions because they provide the framework to ensure that systems, policies and procedures are in place to produce the best outcomes in the most cost-efficient and effective manner. Compliance with these nationally recognized standards helps ensure that facilities provide constitutionally acceptable care and provides a pathway for continuous improvement. Failing to provide adequate health care to an incarcerated person can be considered “cruel and unusual punishment” and can be detrimental to public health and safety and sometimes result in financial or legal penalties for correctional institutions.

Experts spent thousands of hours researching and evaluating feedback from the field to ensure that NCCHC standards remain the most authoritative national resources for correctional health care services. The standards address nine general areas: health care services and support, patient care and treatment, special needs and services, governance and administration, personnel and training, safety, health records, health promotion and medical-legal issues. These editions feature updated recommendations for continuous quality improvement, clinical performance enhancement, patient safety, initial health assessment, pharmaceutical operations and women’s health. The standards provide clear compliance indicators that define expected outcomes and aid in self-assessment, guidelines for facilities of various sizes and best practices recommendations. The standards were last revised in 2008.

The implementation date for the 2014 Standards is October 1, 2014. NCCHC accreditation surveys after this date will assess compliance with the new standards. Likewise, after October 1, the Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) exam will reference the 2014 standards. For more information, visit www.ncchc.org/standards-for-health-services.

About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

NCCHC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in our nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities; operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards; produces and disseminates resource publications; provides technical assistance; offers a quality review program; conducts educational trainings and conferences; and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a representative to the NCCHC Board of Directors.

NCCHC Supporting Organizations: Academy of Correctional Health Professionals, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Bar Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Neuropsychiatrists, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Correctional Health Services Association, American Counseling Association, American Dental Association, American Health Information Management Association, American Jail Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Pharmacists Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, National Association of Counties, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Social Workers, National Medical Association, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, National Sheriffs’ Association, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, Society of Correctional Physicians

For more information:

Kimberly Sterling, Director of Marketing, NCCHC, KimSterling@ncchc.org, 773-880-1460 ext 284