The Georgia Department of Corrections understands the impact that telemedicine has on the correctional system and has incorporated the concept into its FY’03 Annual Report (http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/pdf/hsovrFY03.pdf) identified the use of five specialty telemedicine clinics: Dermatology, Podiatry, Gastrointestinal, Infectious Disease, and General Medicine. According to the 8-10-2010 Georgia Department of Corrections FY ’09 Annual Report (http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/Research/Annual/GDC_annual_report_FY2009.pdf)
healthcare costs will comprise up to 20% of a prisons budget. The strategic plan in the report identified Decreasing Revenues and Budget Cuts as well as Increasing Need for Mental Health Services as challenges. Leveraging technology is a stated goal. The strategic plan identifies an Expansion of Telepsychiatry as one of the processes to achieve the stated goals.
Benefits of telemedicine include: 1.) Fewer security risks for transfers and external consultations. 2.) Shorter waiting times (or reduced delays) to see specialists. 3.) Access to better quality specialists and to specialty care not previously available. 4.) Fewer acts of inmate aggression, or use of force by guards, due to improved mental health services. 5.) Fewer grievances about health care or mental health care.