The Mission-Critical Resource Center

MCP Enables Iowa Pilot Project to Share Inmate Healthcare Data

Iowa now has a consistent, simplified interface to exchange inmate healthcare data Summary:

  • Today the corrections community shares health information through a patchwork of hard-copy paper reports, faxes, and, in some instances, emailed documents and information. Jail administrators often comment about "scrambling" to identify inmates' healthcare providers and health history.
  • The state turned to Mission Critical Partners to build data exchanges that ensure secure and timely information sharing between offender management systems and healthcare providers' electronic health record/medical record systems.
  • MCP leveraged its data integration capabilities to build a consistent, simplified interface to exchange data. Also applied was MCP's DataSphere integration solution to address governance, architecture, and technology requirements between the many-to-many information-sharing arrangements.


Structured like most states, Iowa's correctional community has county jails and a state department of corrections (DOC). Both the prisons and the Iowa DOC need to provide healthcare data for inmates. They must manage the inmate population to minimize the potential spread of infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19. Correctional facilities also need to provide updated healthcare information to community providers if or when an offender goes on probation, pre-trial supervision, or is released to the community.

The Challenge:

Sharing such vital information has been hampered through the years because it traditionally was paper-based. Information often was not collected adequately and, in some cases, not collected.

Data gathering has increasingly become digitized in recent years, making it easier to manage and archive information. The need now shifts to ensuring secure and timely information sharing between offender management systems and healthcare providers' electronic health record/medical record (EHR/EMR) systems. The state of Iowa recognized that those data systems largely are siloed.

The Solution:

Iowa hired Mission Critical Partners for a justice to health pilot project, which is primarily funded through a grant authorized by the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund (CESF) program, which is the justice component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. MCP developed standards-based reusable interfaces designed to enable the vendors to implement a data-sharing capability more easily.

The Results:

Bidirectional sharing of continuity-of-care documents has begun. These documents identify medical diagnoses and procedures related to each inmate and their prescribed medications. The healthcare provider(s) use the data-sharing capability to send information to the correctional facility at the point of incarceration. When the correctional facility releases the individual into society, the facility reciprocates by providing the current health status.

The next step will be to enable the sharing of admission-discharge-transfer (ADT) system information.

Download the client success story to learn more about the state of Iowa project.

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