IT Cure Eight Years in the Making

California inmates sued over substandard medical care in 2001. Full deployment of critical systems begins this year.

2001

California Department of Corrections healthcare budget: $724 million

Inmate count: 157,142

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April: 10 inmates sue the state, accusing the prison system of violating the Eighth Amendment with medicine that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment

2002

Healthcare budget: $879 million

Inmate count: 159,695

June: U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson pronounces prison healthcare system unconstitutional. State agrees to fix the problems.

November: State senate advisory committee concludes that Department of Corrections technology is "antiquated"

2003

Healthcare budget: $935 million

Inmate count: 161,785

2004

Healthcare budget: $1 billion

Inmate count: 163,939

Medical review of 193 inmate deaths finds 34 to have been preventable or possibly preventable

July: An audit committee requested by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls for an overhaul of the prison healthcare system, asking the University of California hospital system to take over inmate health care. The university declines.

2005

Healthcare budget: $1. billion

Inmate count: 168,035

June: Henderson places prison healthcare system in receivership

2006

Healthcare budget: $1.2 billion

Inmate count: 172,528

Medical review of 426 inmate deaths finds 66 to have been preventable or possibly preventable.

April: Bob Sillen starts work as receiver. Calls conditions in San Quentin "appalling."

June: Federal review finds prison pharmacy costs are up 4 times higher per inmate than comparable prison systems.

October: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency in prisons. Among measures to relieve overcrowding, state may step up inmate transfers between prisons.

After paying $100 million in overdue vendor and medical bills, Sillen spends $5 million on a pilot of contract management software at four prisons

November: John Hummel is appointed CIO of the receivership

2007

Healthcare budget: $1.6 billion

Inmate count: 171,144

April: All 33 state prisons receive new networking and telecommunications gear for telemedicine program so remote doctors can treat inmates.

May: Gov. Schwarzenegger approves a $7.7 billion prison expansion plan.

July: Judge Henderson says overcrowding must be addressed to fix medical care. Orders a three-judge panel to consider a prisoner release. The state appeals.

September: Maxor's GuardianRx pharmacy management application goes live at Mule Creek State Prison. Sillen issues a request-for-proposals for a "clinical data repository," database to track inmate medical records.

November : Sillen files a three-year plan that includes IT infrastructure. Says total overhaul could take at least 10 years

2008

Healthcare budget: $2 billion

Inmate count: 170,455

January: Sillen is fired, replaced by Clark Kelso, former CIO for the state.

February: Hummel resigns

March: Kelso proposes new three-year plan to improve business processes and technology, including completion of the Maxor rollout and the clinical data repository by mid-2009.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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