Standards Q & A: RHA vs. Facility Administrator
Q: I work in a jail, and I am confused about something. Who is the facility administrator? Is it the same person as the responsible health authority?
A: This question comes up periodically; you are not alone in your confusion.
The two roles are not the same person. The facility administrator is a custody-specific role, generally the top custody administrator (for instance, the warden or chief) who is specifically assigned to oversee facility operations. The responsible health authority (RHA) is a health services-specific role, generally the top health services person (for instance, the health services administrator or nursing supervisor) who is assigned to oversee health services operations. There are instances in which the RHA is a company (a private health services vendor), an agency (a local health department), or a regional- or corporate-level person (usually for small sites that do not have an on-site nursing supervisor). In these instances, the RHA must be designated to be on-site at least weekly.