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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


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IJIS Responds to the Health Care Interoperability Roadmap

Posted By Robert L. May II, Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On 9 February 2015, the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released an interoperability roadmap – Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0. The draft roadmap proposes critical actions for both public and private stakeholders that will advance our nation towards an interoperable health IT ecosystem. Health IT that facilitates the secure, efficient, and effective sharing and use of electronic health information, when and where it is needed, is essential to better care, smarter spending, and a healthier nation.

The IJIS Institute commends the ONC for developing a comprehensive national vision and a shared interoperability roadmap. The publication of the health interoperability roadmap and the request for public comments is a great step forward in aligning interoperable standards for maximizing information sharing and we greatly appreciate this opportunity to comment.

The IJIS Institute has been leading a national effort on justice and health information sharing for several years and, based on this experience and lessons learned, recently provided written feedback on the ONC Roadmap. (See a copy of the IJIS Institute’s ONC Roadmap feedback attached to this blog post.) IJIS provided specific recommendations on Governance, Implementation, Business Alignment, Interoperability Standards, Security, Privacy, and Trust that promote a more holistic national approach utilizing interoperable information standards where clear intersection points exist in both the justice/public safety and health business domains.

While the draft roadmap may allude to linkages between health and criminal justice communities, there needs to be a more explicit discussion about interoperability between these two communities. As stated in the report published by the IJIS Institute in 2013, Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes, A Report by the Criminal Justice and Health Collaboration Project, “Information sharing between the criminal justice and healthcare communities has the potential to enhance both public safety and health outcomes by reducing redundancies, enhancing continuity of care, and generating efficiencies in both domains.”

The IJIS Institute realizes the critical importance of having the right perspectives at the table when information sharing and interoperability is the end goal. We are actively engaged in the Standards Coordination Council (SCC), chartered under the White House’s Information Sharing and Access Policy Committee, to explore opportunities to further semantic interoperability with cross-domain applications being advanced by stakeholders that ONC should consider participating in and leveraging the shared assets across multiple Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and Industry bodies. SCC members are currently engaged in a national effort called Project Interoperability. The goal of Project Interoperability is to help government and the private sector identify a baseline of terms, standards, frameworks, tools, and techniques to create an information sharing network in mission-agnostic terms for any type of information sharing. IJIS Institute encourages ONC to align their interoperability framework with the framework/s identified as part of the Project Interoperability and, at the same time, leverage the lessons learned, best practices, and tool sets developed by the SCC community.

IJIS Institute is ready and willing to help ONC to identify and include the vital criminal justice component for cross mission interoperability. Information interoperability is critical because it increases timely information sharing, can reduce costs and redundancy, and leverage best practices–all steps to improve decision making for government leaders, industry, and citizens.

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Tags:  IJIS  Interoperabilityinformation sharing  justice-to-health 

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Standards-based Victim Notification Services Success

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The IJIS Institute posted a press release today that announces the successful enhancement of the information sharing capabilities of five states’ Victim Notification Systems (VNS): Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, and Alabama. The projects were funded by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grants, including the most recent three that were performed under a subcontract agreement between the National Criminal Justice Association and the IJIS Institute. The National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification provides a standards-based approach for all states to create or enhance VNS and, ultimately, provide better services to crime victims.

The IJIS Institute acknowledges the significant contributions of the following IJIS Member companies involved in these implementations of the victim notification standard who contributed to the improved information sharing and services to victims: Appriss, Microsoft, Open Networks, and URL Integration.

There is already evidence of the impact the National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification implementation is having on VNS effectiveness. The press release features some really great quotes from stakeholders involved with IJIS in this project, and they are really worth a here they are!  This is truly information sharing making a difference, and showcases IJIS and IJIS Member capabilities and the successful collaboration of government and industry. 

Larry Arrington, a chief systems architect working with the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, said of the implementation in Alabama, “The NIEM-compliant County-Jail data exchange, which resulted from the National Information Sharing Standard for SAVIN project with IJIS, has given the state of Alabama an information exchange vehicle to collect jail inmate and booking data for the first time ever. This data will allow victims to register for offenders at the county level, and receive custody status change notifications via email, SMS text, or interactive voice response phone calls. This would not have been possible without the assistance of the IJIS project team.”

“The assistance that the North Dakota Criminal Justice Information Sharing Program (ND CJIS) received from IJIS provided the opportunity to enhance our court victim notifications. Specifically, our most noteworthy accomplishments were:

  • Ability to triage urgent notifications vs. less time-sensitive notifications: The timing on notifications for urgent messages is now near real-time, which ensures victims receive prompt and clear notification of cancelled and rescheduled hearings. Non-urgent notifications are held, consolidated, and released once a day.
  • Consolidating messages regarding disposition and court events: Previously, the data was often repetitive, omitted or confusing for victims. The aggregation afforded by the enhancement provides clear and user-friendly notifications.
  • Enhanced quality assurance detection and correction: The enhanced system provides program administrators with timely notification on various system failures throughout the data transfer process. This has resulted in quick detection of missing or invalid code values. The resulting intervention has improved data entry at the source, notification specificity, and our vendor’s ability to interpret court data.

Unfortunately, prior to this project, many victim witness coordinators would not refer victims to use the court notifications due to the delayed, confusing, repetitive and overly generic notifications. The reactions we’ve gotten from victim witness coordinators since this project have been positive. We anticipate that we will see a dramatic increase in the number of users within the next year due to the increased referrals and outreach made possible by these improvements.

ND SAVIN’s mission is to provide victims and other concerned individuals access to timely and reliable criminal justice information. The enhancements support the mission of ND SAVIN, specifically relating to the court process, statewide.” –Heidi Smith, SAVIN Program Manager, State of North Dakota

“The partnership that the Montana Department of Correction (DOC) has had with the IJIS institute has resulted in a very positive impact to our agency relative to Crime Victim Notification. The ability to receive an acknowledgment from our victim notification provider gave us more than a verification they received notification information; it gave us the ability to see how they interpreted our notification information and make changes that provided more accurate notification messages to the victim.” –John Daugherty, CIO, Montana Department of Corrections

“The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority has dedicated time and resources to creating a multi-jurisdictional, cross-discipline, statewide information sharing environment using the Global Standards Package. The technical assistance provided by the IJIS Institute enabled our state to implement a standards-based information exchange for SAVIN while providing our public safety stakeholders with first-hand opportunity to realize the benefits of adopting and implementing Global standards. This newly implemented automated exchange virtually eliminates the potential for human error and missed notifications and can be replicated to meet county needs.” –Mike Carter, State of Illinois

“The enhancements to the SAVIN system not only allows us to provide more timely information but also improve access to additional vital information that we were not previously able to share. This initiative with the IJIS Institute has strengthened our SAVIN system allowing us to provide improved services to the victim community in the State of Indiana.” –Brent Myers, Director of Registration and Victim Services at the Indiana Department of Correction

Tags:  IJIS  information sharing  SAVIN  standards 

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The IJIS Factor is Back!

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Monday, March 2, 2015

Welcome to the new IJIS Factor blog!

With the rollout of a new website for the IJIS Institute and a new Member portal, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to start fresh with the IJIS Factor blog.

Over the years, the IJIS Factor blog has been a great way for our leaders to talk about current issues and trends in information sharing and safeguarding, and it will continue to serve that purpose going forward. We also want the blog to be an area where our committee and task force leaders can talk about their accomplishments and hot topics, where Members can talk trends and cutting edge concepts and solicit feedback, and where staff can tell you about what the IJIS Institute is doing.

If you are interested in providing a blog article, please contact our webmaster at

Please subscribe to The IJIS Factor Blog so you will see all the posts and keep up with the important work of the IJIS Institute and its Members! 

Tags:  ijis  information sharing  member 

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