Their mission: Modernize the CFJC’s medical records

As shared from Roll Call: the DAJD newsletter, December 2021 – January 2022 issue

A promising shift could soon deliver more streamlined medical care for youth at the Patricia H. Clark Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC).

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about having an opportunity to switch over to electronic medical records,” Juvenile Division Director Allen Nance said recently.

During the second quarter of 2022, a project team will be migrating CFJC’s paper charts to software developed by Epic, a Wisconsin-based company that’s a leader in the medical records field. The team overseeing the switch toured the CFJC in November. They’re being led by DAJD’s Tricia Diamond (PPM IV, DAJD) and Jason Ortiz (HIT PPM IV) from Public Health.

Pictured: The Epic Project Team is working to transfer youth medical records at the Patricia H. Clark Children & Family Justice Center to Epic, the same software in use at DAJD’s adult divisions. The project team, consisting of DAJD and Public Health employees, visited the CFJC on Nov. 9, 2021.

“Epic provides an opportunity to ensure our workflows provide youth with continuity of care based on equitable access while ensuring continuous improvement,” Diamond said.

Epic is a federally certified electronic medical records system that the DAJD and Jail Health Services use at the adult jails. More than 50% of the U.S. population have their medical records in Epic. DAJD will now expand its use to the CFJC.

The move offers advantages for optimizing health care, managing staff time more efficiently, and protecting patient privacy (HIPAA). Nance said that’s particularly important when serving marginalized communities, where access to quality health care may have been spotty.

“A lot of young people come here and get treatment they’ve never received before,” Nance said. “This will be a way for us to advance their medical care in ways we have failed to do in the past. In addition, records of treatment that a youth received at the CFJC will be available to medical providers upon the youth’s return to community.”
The new records system will provide medical staff with information about previous treatment, vaccination history and more. Staff can also look forward to leaving the old system of paper charts behind – and some relief from the task of deciphering doctors’ notoriously illegible scrawl.

“We are excited to bring CFJC onto the Epic system!” said Ortiz, the Public Health project manager who’s helping to lead the migration. “We will bring forward the lessons learned from all the prior implementations to benefit the youth and staff at CFJC.”