Patient Escort

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Our prison has a shortage of custody staff right now. As a result, inmates sometimes miss their on-site clinic appointments for annual assessments. Since we can document that the patients were scheduled for the assessment, would this meet the standard?

This problem could affect two standards. P-A-01 Access to Care requires that the responsible health authority identify and eliminate any unreasonable barriers, intentional and unintentional, to inmates receiving health care. P-D-06 Patient Escort states in compliance indicator #1 that patients are transported safely and in a timely manner for medical, dental and mental health clinic appointments inside and outside the facility. Compliance with these standards could be compromised if custody is not transporting patients to the clinic in a timely fashion. Custody staff shortage is not an acceptable justification for missing appointments.

— From CorrectCare Volume 33, Issue 4, Fall 2019