Mixed-methods Study of Integration of Housing and Medical Data Systems for Enhanced Service Coordination of People with HIV

Published in: International Journal of Care Coordination, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 43–51 (March 2020). doi: 10.1177/2053434520913206

Posted on RAND.org on April 21, 2020

by Vivian L. Towe, Laura M. Bogart, Ryan K. McBain, Lisa Wagner, Clare Stevens, Shira H. Fischer, Sarah MacCarthy

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Housing is a determinant of HIV-related medical outcomes. Care coordination has been successfully used to treat patients with HIV and can be improved through electronic exchange of patient data, including housing data.


Primary data were collected from four sites across the U.S., each comprising partnerships between local HIV medical and housing providers. Between March 2017 and May 2018, we conducted a mixed-methods evaluation, focusing on preparatory activities, implementation of tasks related to data integration, and service coordination. Nineteen focus group discussions were conducted with providers, organizational leaders, and clients. Ten interviews were conducted with data system vendors and administrators. Site visits, logs, and progress reports provided information about data integration progress and other activities.


Key activities included changes to client consent, setting up data use agreements, and planning with data system vendors. Sites selected one of three models: one-way data transmission between two systems, bidirectional transmission between two systems, and integration into one data system. Focus group discussion themes included: challenges of using existing data systems; concerns about the burden of learning a new data system; and potential benefits to providers and client, such as having more time to spend delivering client services.


Using health information technologies to share data has widespread support, but uptake is still met with resistance from end users. The additional level of complexity differentiating this study from others is the exchange of data between service providers and care providers, but sites were able to accomplish this goal by navigating extensive barriers.

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