By OPEC Staff

Scores from Centinela State Prison’s third cycle of medical inspections by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) showed a marked improvement from those in the first and second cycles, continuing the department-wide trend of rising scores.

Centinela’s overall third-cycle score was 88.0 percent.

“This is a 13.3 percentage point improvement over the score of 74.7 percent from our second inspection report of this prison issued in May 2011,” the OIG report said, “and a 13.6 percentage point improvement over the score of 74.4 percent from our first inspection report of this prison issued in February 2009.” The first inspection at the prison was conducted in February 2009 and the second, in May 2011.

Warden (A) Amy Miller praised “the tireless efforts” of the staff to provide medical care that meets or exceeds the standards demanded by the courts. Without those efforts, she said, “accomplishments and successes noted by the Office of the Inspector General would not have been possible.”

“I can say without hesitation that the staff at Centinela State Prison are some of the most professional and dedicated staff in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,” Warden Miller said, “and the results of the medical inspection by the Office of the Inspector General only begin to illustrate the great things that happen every day at our institution.”

The OIG’s medical inspection covers 18 components of medical deliver and is composed of 120 questions. The questions are weighted, based on their importance to the delivery of medical care to inmates.

Dr, Kevin Reilly, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Centinela, called the improvements in OIG score “a testament to the systematic review of processes and sustainable improvements implemented by our medical, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, health care access, and administration team.

“This success reflects every team member’s effort in building a model health care system for institutions across the state to strive toward,” he said. “The Centinela team is proud to continue this process of quality improvement in delivering excellent, cost-effective health care to patient-inmates.”

Centinela was 22nd prison inspected during the third round, and raised the average for those inspected up to 86.3 percent.

Medical inspections at the 33 adult institutions by the OIG are in response to the Plata v. Brown lawsuit that claimed the medical care received by inmates did not meet constitutional standards.

Noting that the federal court has yet to define what level of compliance meets constitutional standards, the OIG does not conclude whether a prison passed or failed an inspection, but the California Correctional Health Care System currently applies the following scoring criteria to measure adherence to medical policies and procedures.

• More than 85 percent: High Adherence

• 75 to 85 percent: Moderate Adherence

• Less than 75 percent: Low Adherence

In the first cycle, the average score was 71.9 percent with only 8 of the 33 institutions’ overall scores meeting or exceeding the 75 percent minimum score for moderate adherence in the 20 components.  In contrast, the second cycle scores demonstrated significant improvement with an average score of 79.6 percent and 29 of the 33 institutions meeting or exceeding the 75 percent minimum score for moderate adherence.

So far in the third cycle, the average score has been 86.3 percent, and 13 institutions’ scores have been in the “high adherence” category. Another eight institutions have had scores in the “moderate adherence” range – and four of those within 1 percentage point of “high adherence.”  No institution has scored in the “low adherence” range.

Only one institution has registered a score lower than in the second cycle, and that was by less than half a percentage point – to 89.2 percent.

Third-cycle reports and the summary and analysis for the first and second cycles for all 33 adult institutions are available on the OIG website.