This toolkit is designed to help organizations planning to integrate their data. It highlights critical decision points and activities that organizations interested in data integration should consider before the initiation of such a project. Because the specific details of data integration will be highly dependent on the data systems involved and the specific settings of the project, this toolkit is intended to provide high-level guidance so that the project can be completed efficiently.
What Topics Are Covered in This Toolkit?
Lessons learned from the performance sites were used to identify the following critical decision points and specify the objectives that accompany each:
- Readiness: Identify pre–data system integration activities (e.g., client consent, datasharing agreements, stakeholder engagement).
- Current service coordination deficiencies: Identify primary challenges to client service coordination between partner organizations that could be addressed by data system integration. Strategize on how data integration would improve deficiencies.
- Technical decisions: Select (1) a data integration model and (2) integrated data system functionalities. These decisions should be made with partners and, in many cases, data system vendors. • Enhanced service or care coordination: Determine how service or care coordination across providers (hereafter referred to simply as service coordination) should be handled once the data system integration is complete.
- Training on use of integrated data system and service coordination: Design trainings to ensure that end users gain proficiency in (1) technical aspects of the newly integrated system and (2) concrete steps for using the new information to enhance service coordination.
- Quality measurement: Ensure that providers are using the integrated data system and implementing strategies to improve service coordination.
What Is Contained in This Toolkit?
The toolkit contains guidance that will walk organizations through each of the topics above and highlight key questions, options, and critical activities to successfully complete the goals of a data integration project. For each of the key questions/decision points, we include a checkbox to mark as questions are answered. Below each question, we also include space to fill in answers relevant to an organization. Lessons learned by those at the performance sites who participated in the Addressing HIV Care and Housing Coordination Through Data Integration to Improve Health Outcomes Along the HIV Care Continuum project are also offered where relevant.
Who Should Use This Toolkit?
The primary audience for this toolkit is organizational leaders from RWHAP, HOPWA, and other organizations that serve people with HIV and are interested in data integration and want to learn more about it before proceeding. The toolkit is also relevant for policymakers and city or jurisdictional leadership. Even if funding for such a project is not yet finalized, there are various preparatory activities that organizational leaders can complete.