Public Health & HIE Goals Matrix

Matching Health Department Goals with HIE Capabilities

A health department has many needs, and local HIE options may offer a wide range of opportunities. How do you find the "sweet spot" on which to focus your early HIE efforts?

The Public Health & HIE Goals Matrix offers one approach to answering this important question. Download the instructions and template in either PDF or Excel form here, or continue below to use the tool online.


Public Health & HIE Goals Matrix - Instructions & Example (PDF)

Public Health & HIE Goals Matrix - Template (PDF Form)

Public Health & HIE Toolkit Workbook (Excel)

First, identify the health department's information exchange priorities. Ideally, these priorities drive technology decisions, not the other way around.

Instruction 1

In the first column of the Goals Matrix, identify which goals best match your agency's current needs.

Try to limit your selection to the top FIVE goals based on the department's strategic plan, jurisdictional health improvement plans, other planning documents, and top program or administrative challenges.

Note: The HIE-relevant goals provided in the Goals Matrix may not address all of your unique needs. Please feel free to add your own.

Once the health department's priorities are identified, they can be matched against available HIE service offerings.

Instruction 2a

At the top of the "HIE Option" table columns, list each locally relevant HIE opportunity you discovered in your environmental scan.

Don't forget exchange capabilities offered by your own Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Laboratory Information System (LIS), as well as those made available to you through state or federal public health information systems.

Instruction 2b

Under each HIE option (column), briefly describe the capabilities offered - now or in the planned future - relevant to each health department goal (row) in the cell where they intersect.

It may be helpful to use the knowledge and imagination of both program staff and HIE representatives in this process. Insert capabilities that address both the identified priority and non-priority goals.

Finally, look at how available HIE capabilities stack up to health department goals and priorities.

Instruction 3

Identify intersections that appear to address priority goals effectively and efficiently.

Take note of key points, such as:

  • If one solution appears to be easier or less expensive to implement than another.
  • If one or more HIE functions might serve multiple goals (e.g., pulling care summaries from many other providers might satisfy several priority and non-priority goals at once)
  • The extent to which one option strengthens not only health department capabilities, but also the quality, effectiveness, safety and resilience of the entire jurisdiction's health system (including healthcare providers and other partners)

Based on these considerations, identify possible HIE opportunities that appear to yield high value to the health department under the "HIE Priorities" column.

A final point:

If there is a strong need and no appropriate HIE solution locally available, it may be opportune for the health department to begin creating a local solution. This may be done by partnering with an existing HIE organization or working with existing partners, like hospitals and labs.

It is likely that other communities have solved the same, or a similar, problem and can serve as helpful examples. Finding them will take some research - some efforts are discussed in peer-reviewed literature, but more often they can be found in non-peer reviewed white papers and project reports.

Inquire at national associations and federal agencies. Lists of such documents are available, and it is recommended that applicable documents be reviewed before designing local projects from scratch.

Finding a pioneer that has gone before will almost always be worth the effort.

Once some near-term project possibilities have been identified, it is time to assess whether the selected HIE options are practical and sustainable. The Public Health & HIE Project Risk Appraisal Tool will assist health departments in assessing the readiness and risks associated with both the potential HIE service provider and the health department.

Continue to Next Page: Public Health & HIE Risk Appraisal Tool

Navigate the Toolkit


Deciding to Engage

Engaging with HIE

Case Studies

Toolkit Downloads

A PDF of the complete Toolkit can be downloaded on the Public Health & HIE Toolkit Downloads page.  The PDF includes illustrations, footnotes and references not visible using the web version.  Individual tools and reference materials can also be downloaded from the Downloads page.

Return to the Public Health & HIE Toolkit Homepage.