Welcome to the State of California 

Meaningful Use

Health Information Exchange Toolkit for LHDs

As the electronic availability of health information explodes, there are exciting opportunities and incentives for local health departments.  This tool kit was assembled by the Health Information and Data Committee of the California Conference of Local Health Officers to help local health departments get familiar with the issues to interact knowledgably with community partners in order to maximize the opportunity.  Few health departments have electronic access to patient information that would facilitate follow up and case management of reportable conditions, such as tuberculosis.  This tool kit was assembled to help you if you want electronic access to hospital patient data for your staff, and to help you understand meaningful use, health information exchange and how to get involved.  There are considerable financial incentives for medical providers and hospitals in the next few years to implement health information exchange, including public health elements.

The section “Regulations and Laws” reviews mandates for reporting to local public health in California, laws regarding health officer powers, an excellent review of sections of HIPAA that are quite permissive regarding access for public health purposes, and the text of SB 541 detailing fines to hospitals for security breaches, which explains the depth of their reticence to expand public health access to data. 

The section “Resources” includes sample data use and business associate agreements, a chronology of CCLHO efforts for data access prior to Meaningful Use, a summary of benefits for hospitals and public health granted electronic access to patient data and a document suggesting definitions of “minimum necessary” for access for a variety of scenarios.  The TB Case documents illustrate how electronic data exchange would greatly enhance public health investigation and case managements.  The Meaningful Use timeline and description of public health opportunities associated with Meaningful Use summarize the opportunities available, while the OHII flow map illustrates the complexity of health information exchange.  The power point summarizes the opportunities for public health in the move towards meaningful use. 

The “Weblinks” section can be a resource for updates.  Most useful is the eHealth in Public Health link for ongoing developments in the state, including documentation of the Immunization registry (or lack thereof) that local health departments will be asked to provide to community partners seeking incentive payments for meaningful use.  The “ehealth stakeholders” reference illustrates the inter-relationships of groups working on health information exchange in the state, who is who and how do they relate.  Other web sites, including the NACCHO tool kit, may be useful on an ongoing basis.

Representatives of the following groups contributed to the tool kit:  California Conference of Local Health Officers, California Conference of Local Data Managers, California Department of Public Health, California Hospital Association, California Office of Health Information Integrity, Cal eConnect, California Department of Health Care Services, Public Health Foundation Enterprises, and the County Health Executives Association of California. 

Regulations and Laws


Web Page Links


Last modified on: 10/3/2013 2:32 PM