Community health and criminal justice agencies vary widely in their adoption of electronic data systems and the resources that they have at their disposal to implement new technologies. Generally, correctional and behavioral health providers lag behind the rest of the health sector when it comes to health information technology implementation. While there are clear benefits to advancing information technology, it is not required to achieve effective data sharing and it is often helpful to adopt technology gradually, paving the way for a fully integrated system by taking incremental steps. Before making any decision about adopting new technology, you should first find out how other justice and health agencies in your jurisdiction are communicating and determine if they have developed information sharing networks that you can become part of by joining an existing Health Information Exchange, for example.

This module: (1) discusses the importance of clarifying your information sharing goals; (2) describes the main information sources that are typically included in justice and health data exchanges; (3) outlines a range of technology options for sharing information; and (4) provides links to resources that will help you develop and maintain information sharing technology.

Click here for an overview of health information technology and how it is improving connectivity between health and justice systems.