To help improve the mental and physical health of those persons its custody
SPRINGFIELD, IL (June, 2019) The State of Illinois is taking action to streamline and improve the health and healthcare of those persons incarcerated in the State’s prisons and detention centers. The State also intends to reign in the soaring costs of providing quality healthcare to its more than 40,000 adult and juvenile incarcerated persons.
The IDOC / IDJJ programs are part of an agreement with the federal government to upgrade the State’s prison system to help advance the quality of healthcare provided inmates and improve healthcare outcomes. As part of this program, the State has agreed to expand and upgrade its healthcare facilities and equipment, and hire staff dedicated to implementing and overseeing stringent quality assurance and disease control programs and electronic health records systems.
The State of Illinois, through IDOC and IDJJ, contracted with KaZee, Inc, an Atlanta based healthcare IT company, to assist with the implementation and support of a state-wide electronic heath records system. KaZee is charged with assisting the State of Illinois automate the process of managing patient healthcare charts and records and supporting the State in the delivery of cost-effective quality medical, dental, mental health, pharmacy and other specialty care.
“Improving access to quality healthcare and specialists along with continuity and follow-up care should greatly improve healthcare outcomes and improve the overall physical and mental health of the persons in the custody of the Illinois Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice” says Tina Neely, IDOC EHR System Implementation Project Manager. “In addition to improving the overall health of the State’s inmate population these programs will help assist inmates re-enter society, decrease recidivism rates and help improve public safety.” She adds.
KaZee is intimately familiar with the Illinois Department of Corrections having help automate health record systems for IDOC’s female inmate facilities over the past 6 years.
“While the cost of providing healthcare continues to increase rapidly, States are under severe pressure to improve the quality of the healthcare they provide to the people in their custody.” says Albert Woodard, Chairman and CEO, KaZee, Inc. “As a result, they are increasingly turning to information technology systems and solutions.”
From 1988 to 1998 the US prison population doubled according to the U.S. Justice Department making the U.S. the number one incarcerator worldwide. In 1978 the U.S. inmate population was approximately 750,000 people. Today that number is reported to be in excess of over 2.2 million individuals. “Increasing prison populations are due to aging, tougher sentencing laws, longer prison sentences, as well as increases in chronic illnesses diabetes and heart disease, infectious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis and mentally ill and homeless patients now being housed in prisons and jails.” says Woodard.
Illinois is no exception; its prison population has grown eight percent since 2000. Illinois has the 22nd lowest incarceration rate in the country, with a rate of 341 per 100,000 people sentenced to a year or more behind bars in 2016, slightly below the national average. Currently, Illinois has a total of 43,657 people in state prisons.
About KaZee, Inc.
KaZee, Inc., is a leading provider of high-quality information technology (IT) products and services to the healthcare industry. Working with the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, KaZee helped develop and implement one of the first Electronic Health Records Systems in the Country and one of the largest Telemedicine Operations in the World outside of the U.S. Department of Defense. KaZee works with Parkland Hospital today to help support Parkland’s contract with Dallas County to provide quality healthcare to the County’s inmate populations. Both programs have received high recognition for the quality and cost effectiveness of the healthcare they provide their inmates. KaZee is a national firm that supports its customers all across the country. For more information about KaZee visit www.KaZee.us.