Early on, the CHQC recognized that communications and privacy policies designed to protect children also pose challenges to efforts to coordinate care. Thus, we formed the Communication and Confidentiality Task Force to identify and tackle the issues.

Family members, providers, school staff, lawyers, and children’s advocates serve on the task force, which identified several challenges to coordinating children’s care, including: building trusting relationships, maintaining confidentiality and clarifying the rules governing information sharing, and developing processes for sharing information among children and their families, schools, and other members of a child’s care network. The task force also identified confidentiality issues that are of particular concern when behavioral health issues are involved.

To help address these issues, the task force produced “Communication Matters, a guide for sharing information about a child’s care,” which contains helpful tools and resources that support effective communications among children and families, primary care providers, behavioral health providers, and school staff, while also addressing privacy issues.

The task force also supported CHQC’s advocacy and policy efforts, providing much-needed expertise across the state around communication and privacy issues in children’s health care.