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February 2024Vol. 25, No. 1Case Study Highlights Maryland Department of Health & Human Services' Data-Sharing Initiative

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) published a case study examining its efforts to create an enterprise-integrated case management system (eICM) to improve data-sharing efficiency and overall outcomes. This effort is part of a larger project from the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). OPRE is sponsoring a project to create tools that agencies can use to help develop data-sharing initiatives while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the families they serve.

Case Study Report: Montgomery County, MD’s Electronic Integrated Case Management System (eICM) Data Sharing for Program Operations While Protecting Privacy shares DHHS's experience developing and implementing the eICM. The report highlights data-sharing practices, privacy and confidentiality challenges and solutions, and advice. DHHS's goals and priorities for data sharing included the following:

  • Collaborating with community partners
  • Addressing drivers of intergenerational poverty
  • Ensuring equity in services and outcomes
  • Using data for decision-making and advanced analytics
  • Reducing duplicate work and administrative burden

DHHS encountered several challenges designing the eICM's framework and working with staff as they transitioned to day-to-day use of the new system and the accompanying cultural shift. For example, there was pushback from both staff and supervisors who felt a deep kinship or protectiveness over the families they served. Helping them shift their mindset from "my" client to "our" client was essential.

Read the case study in full for details on privacy practices and risk mitigation strategies DHHS implemented as well as more lessons learned and recommendations.