Effectiveness of Education on the Use of a Functional Capacity Tool in Corrections

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Upadhyaya, Ramesh
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Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing , Reproducibility of Results , Prisons , Prisoners
ackground: There is little to no education provided about how to use an assessment tool used in determining the functional capacity of an incarcerated person in the State Prison system of North Carolina. This assessment, vital to determining the individual needs, is also used to initiate a plan of care, particularly those with chronic or acute illnesses. Purpose: The aim of this quality improvement project was to develop, implement, and evaluate an educational program designed to assist the medical providers within the state of North Carolina Prison System in the administration of a functional capacity tool known as PULHEAT. Methods: A quantitative analysis using a retrospective chart review was used to collect pre- and post-intervention data to determine whether a statistical significant change in medical providers’ utilization of the tool occurred. The secondary outcome of the project aspires to provide the highest quality medical care to ensure that each patient seen in the North Carolina State Prison System achieves the maximum functional capacity possible, and that this function, measured objectively, improves over time. Results: The mean of the scores in the pre-intervention assessment were significantly lower than the mean of the scores in the post-intervention assessment. Thus, fulfilling the primary outcome of this project. Recommendations and Conclusion: The educational program is expected to be implemented system-wide and made a mandatory annual training. Further research to test the tool is the next logical step, to determine the validity and reliability of the tool itself. Keywords: correctional healthcare; quality improvement; functional assessment; functional capacity tool; education; patient assessment; medical duty status; patient acuity; correctional medicine; correctional healthcare; correctional nursing; performance improvement.