New Toolkit Highlights Cross-Sector Data Sharing to Improve Housing, Health, and Human Services Outcomes

Cover of Community Information Exchange Toolkit

As communities nationwide grapple with how to reduce disparities in health and well-being outcomes based on where they live and access to resources, local leaders are increasingly looking for solutions that promote data sharing and cross-sector collaboration. Recognizing this opportunity, 2-1-1 San Diego recently released a toolkit that highlights the development and evolution of a Community Information Exchange (CIE), which improves care coordination by enabling housing, health, and social services providers to engage in cross-sector data sharing.

The toolkit, which was funded by the Schultz Foundation, provides information on essential strategies for creating a CIE, including fostering a network of community partners, establishing a governance structure and compliance framework, developing data-sharing technology, and ensuring long-term sustainability.

The toolkit also highlights the centrality of creating longitudinal records that store information about each individual’s situation and history across multiple service providers. For example, when a homeless services provider updates a client’s move from a shelter to permanent housing in the Homeless Management Information System, the CIE will automatically notify partners who provide the person’s health care or food assistance benefits. Keeping all partners in the loop reduces the burden historically put on individuals experiencing crises to be proactive about accessing services, and instead allows partners to provide an extra layer of support and referrals to additional services.

In addition, the data generated through ongoing use of the CIE provides communities with insights about the barriers and opportunities associated with improving outcomes at the population level. For more information about the CIE, visit www.ciesandiego.org to download the toolkit or sign up for an upcoming webinar.

Headshot of LDC Principal Kris KuntzKris Kuntz, Principal, is passionate about creating innovative solutions to address homelessness. Prior to joining LDC, he performed agency-wide evaluation activities for San Diego’s largest homeless services agency, that included a drop day center, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and a federally qualified health center.  He was an integral part of Project 25, San Diego’s successful homeless high utilizer project and worked with Managed Care Organizations to sustain the project after the United Way’s initial investment. To learn more about LDC’s work with homeless assistance systems, contact him at kris@lesardevelopment.com.

Jessica Ripper, Senior Associate, manages marketing and business development and covers organizational development and systems change, with an emphasis on health and human services. She specializes in partnering with multidisciplinary teams to advance policies and programs to improve the quality of life for children and families, and has extensive experience translating complex social issues into compelling stories, reports, training curricula, and tools that influence the media, policymakers, donors, and community leaders to take action. While at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ms. Ripper helped to develop Evidence2Success, a framework to guide public investment in evidence-based programs for children and youth by strengthening partnerships among public systems, schools, and communities. She can be reached at jessica@lesardevelopment.com.