Operational Steps and Data Needs for a Data to Care Program
Health departments that are considering the use of HIV surveillance data to identify HIV-diagnosed persons “not in care” (NIC) and to ensure linkage to or re-engagement in care will need to make important data-related decisions at each step of Data to Care program operation.
To protect confidential patient information, health departments should share the minimal amount of data necessary to accomplish programmatic objectives, and should only share the data with those who need this information in their role with the program.
This diagram outlines basic operational steps for a Data to Care program:
Data to Care Flow Diagram
To learn more about each step, please follow one of the following links:
Health department surveillance programs and systems differ in various and important ways. The operational steps presented on this site are one general example of how a Data to Care program might conduct this activity. We encourage health departments to consider how this process would work best given their surveillance and prevention programs and tailor it to their situation.
Throughout a Data to Care program where HIV surveillance data are used to identify HIV-diagnosed NIC persons and link to or re-engage them in care, health departments might want to:
- Collect and manage program data (i.e., how long it takes to locate a client or whether or not a patient identified as NIC is actually in care) along each step of the program;
- Treat programmatic data with the same level of security and confidentiality as other HIV surveillance data;
- Devise data management processes and systems that will ensure that both HIV surveillance data and ancillary programmatic data are maintained in secure environments; and
- Use program data to conduct quality assurance activities to ensure a highly effective and efficient Data to Care program.