Improving Care Coordination for California’s Children and Youth in Foster Care Using Integrated Personal Health Records: A Strategic Plan of Action

In 2011, the State of California established an “audacious goal” to provide an electronic personal health record (PHR) to every child and youth in foster care that would enable information sharing and linkages across data systems, providers, and agencies that serve them. In 2012, the California Health eQuality (CheQ) program awarded a small planning grant to The Children’s Partnership to pull together stakeholders, review the research and current initiatives, and develop a Strategic Plan to help California policymakers, funders, public officials, and advocates chart a path forward to implement this “audacious goal.”

This report highlights the Strategic Plan and the progress made since it was completed in 2013. Consistent with the Plan’s recommendations, a variety of public and private partners, including The Children’s Partnership, have been implementing two county demonstration projects to test two models for providing an electronic personal health record to children and youth in foster care, measure the impact of the PHR on their lives, and generate lessons learned for scaling the model to other counties and/or statewide. Additionally, The Children’s Partnership is convening a variety of stakeholders to brainstorm ideas for incorporating a link to a PHR into California’s new Child Welfare Services data system (CWS/NS), now under design. In the near future, The Children’s Partnership will initiate a learning community of counties currently engaged in electronic information exchange to share lessons learned and best practices for implementing a PHR for children and youth in foster care.

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