Community information exchange called a ‘game changer’ for St. Louis

The Community Information Exchange (CIE) movement continues to grow across the country. Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, recently called the Greater St. Louis CIE a game changer.Because we accelerated the deployment of the CIE due to COVID, nearly 15,000 people were assisted by the CIE in early 2022,” she said in a recent interview with Magazine Saint Louis.

Tucker described the CIE as an integrated technology platform “and a way for a network of resources and partners in this community to coordinate services for someone who calls with a list of issues. We are able to dig deeper and better assess a person’s immediate and long-term needs. Very often, when someone calls 211 or asks for help, they usually don’t have a single problem. If they say, “We need food,” chances are another situation is unfolding. They are probably underemployed or unemployed.

“It allows us to do a more comprehensive assessment and focus on the whole person when we host the hotline,” Tucker told the magazine. “What we can then do is coordinate multiple services and ensure that the caller or customer is connected to our network of resources. Currently, we have nearly 200 partners who are part of this network. We can take a holistic approach to helping the person, so it’s not just a matter of ‘giving them food’ and assuming the problem is solved. »

The St. Louis CIE, led by United Way, aims to become the regional coordinated entry system that connects client data between health and social service providers.

According to its website, the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) is part of the CIE leadership team, which also includes BJC HealthCare and the University of Washington alongside United Way.

The RDA also said it was developing an open data standards project to facilitate data sharing between providers — an effort funded by Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These open standards aim to align existing data types like the HL7/FHIR standards for electronic health records, the HUD/HMIS data type for homeless services, and the human services data specification for referrals.

In St. Louis, 2-1-1 serves as the backbone of the CIE and Greater St. Louis Connection Center, helping to connect St. Louis residents to participating CIE agencies.

The larger Unite Missouri is a coordinated care network of health and social service providers. Network partners are connected through the provider’s shared technology platform Unite Us, which enables them to send and receive electronic referrals, meet people’s social needs and improve health in communities. Unite Missouri is sponsored by Cync Health and Mercy. Centraide of Greater Saint-Louis is a strategic partner of the network. The network is supported by a Missouri-based Unite Us team that focuses on community engagement, network health and optimization, and customer success.

Tucker said Magazine Saint Louis that basic needs and comprehensive supports are areas of strong emphasis. “We see families who need help to raise the income or support to pay rent or stabilize their housing. Especially through COVID-COVID has made what was already difficult worse. Nearly 43% of families in the region struggle at some point to meet basic needs on a monthly basis,” she said. “We are also focused on jobs and workforce development. Mental health is definitely a concern. When we think about what we see across the country, our community is not immune to what is happening.