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What are Health Data Utilities?

Health Data Utilities represent a new paradigm to support community-centric health data exchange. They serve as a resource to multiple stakeholders within a defined region with expanded purposes beyond clinical data exchange such as public health, social determinants of health, quality improvement, and value-based care.

Explore resources for Health Data Utilities.

Defining Health Data Utilities

Health Data Utilities (HDUs) are regional or statewide entities that combine, enhance, and exchange electronic health data across care and service settings for treatment, care coordination, quality improvement, health equity, and public and community health purposes. They serve as health equity infrastructure and enable specific, defined use cases with extra protections to ensure patient privacy and protection. HDUs should build on existing technical, organizational, and trust infrastructure in states and regions.

Key Characteristics of Health Data Utilities

Health Data Utilities, despite their diverse implementations, share several key characteristics:

Neutrality and flexibility in meeting stakeholders’ goals



Connected region or state geography

Multi-stakeholder, cross-sector participation

Modular infrastructure and advanced technical services


Inclusive governance

Leverage state and
local authority

Health Data Utilities: Resources & Support

Civitas is excited to share our Health Data Utility resources. It is our mission to advance this field. Please reach out if you need support or would like to request a presentation from the Civitas team on this subject.

Health Data Utility Issue Brief

As the need for comprehensive health data and interoperability grows, the realms of HIE and health improvement are rapidly changing. This issue brief discusses Civitas Networks for Health and the Maryland Health Care Commission's work to define the key characteristics of emerging HDU models.

Health Data Utility Framework

In follow up to Civitas Networks for Health and Maryland Health Care Commission’s Health Data Utility Issue Brief, the goal is for the Framework to assist collaborators and entities within states in assessing their current readiness level, identifying next steps, and actioning or furthering implementation of Health Data Utilities.

How States Promote and Govern HIEs and Engage Them to Support Public Health

This four-part research project was conducted by Civitas Networks For Health CEO Lisa Bari, alongside two industry thought leaders, in an effort to understand how states engage with their regional HIEs.

Health Data Utilities: Federal Advocacy, Policy Milestones, and State Progress

We’ve made a lot of progress over the past few decades to prompt the emergence of Health Data Utilities across the country.

Health Information Exchange, State Development, and State Designation

Click on a state to view details

State development highlight

State law creating, designating, or enabling statewide HIE

State law creating, designating, or enabling statewide HIE, plus regional state-sanctioned HIE platforms

State law creating system of multiple HIE(s)

Statewide HIE created or recognized by state executive or health department authority

Statewide HIE(s) operating without any formal state sanction

State law creating, designating, or enabling statewide HIE, plus regional state-sanctioned HIE platforms

No current statewide HIE operational

Forging a Path for Health Data Utilities

Many Civitas members are utilizing existing health IT, health data, and quality improvement infrastructure to advance Health Data Utilities to further interoperability and improve health and health care delivery. Check out our community stories below.

Serving Communities Health Information Organization

Learn about how Santa Cruz County is leveraging health information exchange to improve care delivery for behavioral health clients.


Discover how CyncHealth is working with dozens of health care and community-based organizations to build a social determinants of health ecosystem.

Manifest MedEx

Read about how LA county is using longitudinal patient records from Manifest MedEx to care for older adults and individuals experiencing homelessness.

North Carolina Department of Health Information Technology

Discover how North Carolina's HIE – NC HealthConnex – is supporting Black mothers with secure health data exchange.

Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP)

Learn how CRISP worked with Civitas Networks for Health to develop an HDU framework.

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