Wisconsin State Senator Van Wanggaard visited the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus Thursday, April 19, to follow up on the Posters in the Rotunda research project by students Chris McMahon and Trevor Severson titled "Improving Healthcare Delivery in the Department of Corrections." The meeting was also attended by School of Business and Technology Dean Fred Ebeid along with the students' professor Abey Kuruvilla and Business Department Chair Michelle Gee. Chancellor Ford welcomed the senator. Background on this story is available on the UW-Parkside web site.
As an employee of the Robert E. Ellsworth Correctional Center, McMahon saw areas of improvement in time and resources used to address inmates healthcare issues. Successful implementation of their proposal could save millions of dollars in the Department of Corrections' (DOC) yearly budget.
The students' presentation outlined the paper-based process currently used by the DOC to report and act on inmate health concerns. This process includes carbon-copy forms and spiral notebooks as well as a 24 hour timeline to register inmate concerns. The antiquated process and slow response time leads to increased 911 calls and trips to the emergency room. The process also opens the DOC to potential lawsuits.
By using their research and applying the lean principals McMahon and Severson propose, the DOC would eliminate some steps in the process and replace others through use of new, yet common technologies such as digital cameras and tablet computers.Sen. Wanggaard said the idea was very practical and suggested steps for actual implementation, such as starting with one location as a pilot and then expanding. Moving forward, McMahon and Severson as well as the UW-Parkside Business Department will work to further research their proposal. Potential meetings with the Department of Corrections are expected.