Utah prison audit reveals several oversights within inmate healthcare


UTAH (ABC4) – An audit of the Utah state prison system has revealed that several inmates are not receiving proper healthcare due to “systemic deficiencies” within clinical services.

According to the audit, which was conducted by the Utah Legislature Auditor General, several inmates were given inadequate or inappropriate care when it came to issues like COVID-19 and diabetes.

Several examples of inadequate care were stated in the report including:

  • Unresonable delays and inconsistencies in critical medications
  • Administration of wrong medications
  • Resolved ICRs indicating a provider assessment had been completed when it had not
  • Unreasonable delays in appropiate exams and treatment plans

The audit summary also stated that follow-up and patient monitoring is insufficient. The report went on to describe a situation with an inmate who received a treatment plan from an outside specialist. The plan included a critical drug treatment regimen and it was reported that the treatment plan was not consistently followed by medical staff, who then was concerned that the treatment might’ve been unsuccessful.

Another oversight mentioned in the audit explains that the prison had been improperly distributing insulin to inmates with diabetes. The report states that after receiving insulin, inmates do not always receive food within the recommended time frames. Some inmates are going as long as 92 minutes as the duration from the time they receive their insulin to when they eat.

The audit also found that prescribed medications were being administered by EMTs who are not trained to know the side effects of medications that are delivered at pill lines. EMTs are not trained for non-emergency medical assessments, which they had been giving inmates.

States like Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming and use nurses to administer pill lines and to conduct face-to-face meetings with inmates concerning their ICR’s, the report explains.

The findings go on to explain that management needs to ensure that personal health information is protected and unused medications are secured as pictures of several prescriptions were displayed with no regard for anonymity. A picture of a trash can and multiple prescriptions that were half used were shown in the presentation.

Overall, the Legislature Auditor General recommended that the Clinical Services Bureau ensure that all patients have access to correct treatments and medications for corresponding diagnoses.

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