Steps for a smooth discharge for Department of Corrections (DOC) patients
For all Department of Corrections patients:
- Send an electronic request through Health Link to the Coordinated Care Office. They will fax all necessary paperwork to the prison and send a hard copy of the packet to the unit (a hard copy is still necessary to send along with the officers).
- For all new medications that are not OTC, either the pharmacist or nurse should contact the prison to verify whether or not these medications are in stock/on formulary. For any medications that the prison does not have, a three day (bridge supply) should be sent with the patient via the Correctional Officers. The pharmacist will order these medications from the outpatient pharmacy and have them sent up to the unit.
- The UW RN should call the nurse at the Health Services Unit (HSU) at the receiving institution to give a verbal report. At this time, verify that the nurse has received the faxed discharge paperwork. In your discharge note be sure to note the name of the RN you spoke with and that you have verified that the faxed discharge paperwork has been received. A copy of the phone and fax numbers for all of the institutions is available on D4/6 (3-9322) or the Security Unit-D4V6 (3-1322).
- When the above three tasks are completed and you have the packet and medications (if necessary) in hand, contact the Sergeant on the Security Unit (3-1322). If the inmate has any special transport needs such at oxygen, a wheelchair van or ambulance, be sure to notify the Sergeant. He will then contact the institution and arrange for transportation. Please DO NOT notify the officer in the room if the inmate is within earshot. DO NOT let the inmate know s/he is being discharged until the transportation has arrived. At this point it is ok to remove the IV or make any other preparations in the inmate’s presence. If an inmate is told that s/he is discharging in advance, there is a potential for the inmate to harm him/herself or others to avoid returning to the prison. More commonly, the inmate may miraculously develop a new complaint (such as chest pain) in order to prolong his/her stay. Also, to help ensure security is maintained, do not tell family members (if allowed to call for updates) about discharge plans. If they ask, tell them that you are not allowed to release that information.
Additional Requirements for Discharge to Dodge Infirmary
The Dodge Infirmary is a 60-bed skilled nursing facility located at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, WI. Three of the beds are reserved for hospice/end of life care.
In addition to the discharge requirements noted above, the following must also be met:
- Since beds at the infirmary are limited, the UW MD should call the MD at the infirmary 24 hours prior to an anticipated discharge (if possible). This helps to secure a bed for the patient and allows the UW MD to plan for alternative discharge arrangements if the patient does not meet the Infirmary’s admission criteria
- If it is not possible for the MD to call in advance, s/he must still call the MD at the infirmary to be approved for admission to the infirmary. (The patient WILL NOT be admitted without permission/approval of the Infirmary MD).
- Dodge Infirmary only accepts admissions PRIOR to 1700 (5pm) Monday through Friday and does not accept admissions on weekends.
Outpatient/Short Stay (Not Observation)
These inmates are rarely housed off unit.
Examples of admit diagnosis include GI pH Probe Study or other brief procedures where the inmate needs to be observed for a few to 23 hours post-procedure.
- Must be admitted as outpatient short stay (OSS)
- Need discharge face sheet printed from Health Link as well as the DOCs “Off Site Service Request” form, filled out by the UW MD.
- Do not need a full packet faxed and printed by Coordinated Care Office.
To send an electronic request to the Coordinated Care Office through Health Link:
- “In Basket”
- “New Message”
- In the “Pools” search bar type “cc coo” to find the Coordinated Care Office
- “Subject” type D/C Packet
- “Patient” type Patient’s Name
- “Phone” type your unit phone number
- “Notes” (This is my “canned note” that I usually use, you can type whatever you want to get the same point across)
- Please fax d/c packet to X Correction Institution at (xxx)xxx-xxxx. Also need a hard copy of the packet, as patient is an inmate.
- And voila, you have sent your electronic request to the CCO.
Questions? Feel free to call the nurses on D4/6 (3-9322) or the officers on D4V6 (3-1322) with any questions, any time!
Updated 4/2009 by Lisa Troia, RN