Patient Centered Care in Correctional Practice

An online continuing education course for nurses, medical health professionals, and other interested individuals working in a correctional setting, whether jail, prison, or juvenile detention facility. This information is also helpful for those working in forensic mental health units or hospital locked units.

The concept of patient-centered care was originally described in Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on health care quality as “providing care that is respective of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decision”. This is a difficult proposition in a secure environment where health care is not a primary goal, and is predominantly provider-centered and episodic in nature. Correctional patients are generally not trusted to be a part of the health care team - and certainly not the center of it. Yet the principles of patient-centered care, when applied in this setting, have opportunity to greatly decrease clinical error and increase compliance with the treatment plan.

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Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Apply the core concepts of patient-centered care to the correctional setting.
  2. Describe the role of patients in their individual safety.
  3. Identify ways to overcome barriers to incarcerated patient involvement in health care.
  4. Outline ways to include incarcerated patients as members of the health care team.
  5. List practices that can promote incarcerated patient involvement in their health care.


Chapter 1: Core Concepts of Patient-Centered Care

  • Dignity and Respect
  • Information Sharing
  • Participation
  • Collaboration

Chapter 2: The Role of Patients in Individual Safety

  • Reaching an Accurate Diagnosis
  • Treatment Plan Input
  • Treatment Monitoring
  • Identifying Side Effects and Adverse Effects of Treatment
  • Family Participation

Chapter 3: Barriers to Patient Involvement

  • Paternalistic Organizational Culture
  • Lack of Patient Preparation
  • Practitioner Behaviors
  • Legal Liability
  • Perceived Negative Effect

Chapter 4: Patient as Team Member

  • Informing the Management Plan
  • Monitoring and Ensuring Safe Delivery of Treatment
  • Informing System Improvements

Chapter 5: Specific Practices to Promote Patient Involvement

  • Helping Patients Understand Their Role
  • Improving Health Literacy
  • Encouraging Medication Adherence
  • Applying Motivational Interviewing Principles
  • Using Patient Complaints and Inmate Grievances
  • Summary
Chapter 6: References
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $10.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

Lorry Schoenly

Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN, CCHP-RN is a nurse author and educator specializing in the field of correctional health care. She provides consulting services to jails and prisons across the country on projects to improve professional nursing practice and patient safety. 

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Course Accreditation

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