Establishing Formal Information-Sharing Agreements

In most cases, people must provide consent to have their health information shared by a treatment provider; however, a number of exceptions exist relevant to the work of law enforcement. These exceptions recognize that law enforcement officers may need immediate access to health information to protect public safety or otherwise enforce the law. Formal information-sharing agreements help PMHCs protect people's privacy while also supporting the need to share health information among relevant partners. These agreements should be aligned with federal and state privacy laws and clearly articulate what information can be shared among law enforcement and behavioral health staff during an encounter, as well as how this information can be used. In addition, information-sharing agreements often address mechanisms for sharing information, duration of the agreement, and the process for making modifications.

The following agreements and templates have been created or used by jurisdictions across the country to support their information-sharing efforts. These resources can be used as templates for any community seeking to begin or strengthen their efforts. However, any agreements or legal documents should be developed in partnership with local counsel who are familiar with the relevant laws in your jurisdiction.

Examples of Information-Sharing Agreements

Examples of Information-Sharing Agreement Templates