Integrating Behavioral and Physical Health Care in the Corrections Systems

Altarum helped Washtenaw County in Michigan deliver better, more coordinated care to inmates through adoption of a health information exchange.

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Altarum helped a county in Michigan adopt and integrate into their correctional system a health information exchange. The goal of the project was to establish a system in which health records could be shared more quickly and easily, improving the coordination and delivery of medical and behavioral health care to inmates.

Our Approach

After the health information exchange was implemented, Altarum created workflows and provided training to corrections staff and clinicians to ensure the system would be fully utilized by those who coordinate and deliver care. This involved mapping existing workflows to new processes for tasks such as locating patient records from individual organizations, including social service agencies, other correctional facilities and juvenile detention centers, and local clinics and hospitals.


As a result of our training, users of the exchange log over 10,000 queries each month. Each query represents an instance in which a provider is adding or obtaining information from the system that can be used to deliver better, more coordinated care over the life span of the patient.

Integrating Behavioral and Physical Health Care in the Corrections Systems Contact

Contact Us

Judy Varela

Judy Varela  - RHIA

Program Director, Quality Improvement

Areas of Expertise
  • Meaningful Use
  • Health IT Adoption
  • Health Data Interoperability

Judy Varela oversees the development and delivery of services offered by the Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption, a program that helps Michigan providers adopt health IT and navigate program requirements for becoming a meaningful user of certified technology. Judy holds a bachelor's degree in health record administration from the University of Pittsburgh, and is certified as a registered health information administrator by the American Health Information Management Association.