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Strategy 4.4 – Promote the Use and Sharing of Information 

State agencies have accomplished many successful IT initiatives during this past biennium. Selected agency projects are highlighted below for the categories of Health Information TechnologyJustice Information System Integration, and Enterprise Geospatial Services.

Agency Spotlights: Health Information Technology



Department of Aging and Disability Services

DADS is collaborating with Medicaid to begin planning for health IT and information exchange with providers that serve long-term care clients.

Department of State Health Services

DSHS is implementing strategies for legacy system modernization that include system retirement, software remediation, combining systems, and creating a blueprint architecture for registries. DSHS IT has created an ARRA-funded Strategic Health Information Partnership (SHIP) initiative, which is expected to result in enterprise-wide health information architecture. DSHS has participated in Medicaid’s development of the Medicaid Health Plan and will continue to provide input as Medicaid updates the plan. This collaboration between Medicaid and DSHS is essential to ensuring that state systems are interoperable and can fully support the meaningful use requirements to exchange data with provider-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.

Health and Human Services Commission

HHSC is engaged in several base technology initiatives that support health information technology:

  • Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA). MITA will transform Medicaid from a claims payment system to a health outcome focused system, and it will promote the use of standards to make Medicaid information more interoperable across all 50 states.
  • Improvement of Data Quality and Use. HHSC is currently involved in several projects to address data quality issues with legacy system conversions, transactional system reporting, data standardization and rationalization across a myriad of independent systems where cross-systems analysis must be performed.
  • Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). HHSC is developing an EDW for strategic decision-making and the identification of operational improvements to programs and functions within the HHS system. The integration of data across all HHS agencies will be used to improve health-care service delivery, evaluate program effectiveness and efficiency, detect fraud and abuse, and aid in forecasting HHS future needs and priorities.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston received a $15 million grant to establish the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare (NCCD). Research at the center will focus on the use of information technology to support problem solving and decision making that optimize patient outcomes. The goal is to design electronic health record (EHR) systems that are user friendly and deliver the information to health workers to enhance decision making. 

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Agency Spotlights: Justice Information Systems Integration



Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 

TABC continues to investigate participating on local and statewide projects to access statewide data as well as share TABC data to other Texas enforcement agencies.

House Bill 11 (80th RS), as well as both agencies’ involvement in the regulation and taxation of certain Texas businesses, necessitated that the Comptroller’s office and TABC cooperate in the exchange of information relating to those businesses. TABC implemented changes to an agency system to capture additional data elements in order to improve coordination in the exchange of information between the agencies. The Comptroller’s office and TABC currently provide each other access to information related to entities involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice 

TDCJ is currently implementing an information-sharing infrastructure as a result of the Texas Path to National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) project. TDCJ is working with Tarrant County on a pilot project for an electronic indictment record. Future plans include working with Galveston County to implement a completely automated Pen Packet using the NIEM XML transactions. Full implementation of the system could take five or more years as the courts and local criminal justice agencies that share data with TDCJ develop their own integrated justice information systems. 

Texas Department of Public Safety

DPS is participating in multiple cross-agency initiatives to share data and enhance interoperability.

  • DPS is expanding the use of the Texas Data Exchange (TDEx). TDEx is a repository of Texas local and state law enforcement incident, jail, and other information made available to detectives, investigators, analysts, etc., in local, state, and federal law enforcement across Texas. DPS will continue its efforts in expanding the scope of local data in TDEx as well as increasing the number of local agencies participating in this valuable asset.
  • DPS is working with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to implement interoperability through DPS’s in-car project. DPS is also involved in data-sharing initiatives through TDEx and LexisNexis Advanced Investigative Solutions. DPS is also exploring data consolidation across all DPS divisions and the implementation of business intelligence to more efficiently manage the disparate systems.  

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Agency Spotlights: Enterprise Geospatial Services



General Land Office

The GLO plans to expand its ability to use and share information with its business partners by expanding our use of cloud computing technologies such as web portals. We will continue to look to partner with public and private entities to share information, such as GIS data, oil and gas production data, oil spill and natural disaster information, and data relating to coastal grants, natural resource protection, and code enforcement.

Texas Animal Health Commission

TAHC partners with the USDA in the sharing of data regarding animal health, disease tracking, and animal traceability. Information is shared between the agencies through databases and reports. TAHC is creating a GIS web-based repository for animal health-related and emergency response maps that can be accessed by other state agencies and federal agencies.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

TCEQ, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6, the Texas General Land Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard, participates in cooperative disaster response management.   An EPA contractor hosts information in the Response Manager system.  The system guides response planning by integrating data collected by responders concerning an emergency situation.

TCEQ routinely shares GIS data, including base map layers, aerial and satellite imagery, and other products with federal, state, and local entities. The Texas Geographic Information Council, of which the TCEQ is a voting member, sets standards that facilitate data exchanges.

Texas Department of Transportation

TxDOT shares map data with the TNRIS GIS data clearing house. TxDOT collaborates with city, county, state, and federal governments on many projects dealing with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

THECB has initiated an effort to integrate geospatial services into the educational data reports that are available publicly on the agency’s website. Current work includes mapping student enrollment by county of residence and preparing an interactive map of public universities at which specific degree programs are offered. There is interest in showing the school district or educational service center region of college attendees and graduates.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

TPWD plans to participate in the identification of strategies to provide a shared solution for geospatial technologies. Once the strategies established by the agency is to explore the feasibility of providing geospatial services to citizens through

Texas Water Development Board

TWDB has many initiatives that are planned or underway that will strengthen and/or expand its capabilities that leverage enterprise or multi-agency services and infrastructure:

  • Statewide Aerial Imagery Project – The statewide aerial imagery project is creating a new statewide aerial map for Texas. The images are acquired by airborne digital cameras and controlled by global positioning systems. Specialized processing removes optical distortions and assembles all of the images into a unified mapping coordinate system. This production process creates an image that has all of the utility of a map. This project works directly with other state agencies to leverage cost savings through the High Priority Imagery and Datasets (HPIDS) contract and provides a mechanism for shared data acquisition and development at a greatly reduced cost.
  • Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS) Viewer Generalized Environmental Modeling System for Surfacewater (GEMMS) – GEMMS is a current project that provides an innovative web-based solution for online mapping. The system has a unique user interface that makes it very easy for nonprofessionals in geographic information systems (GIS) to use. This project is designed for multi-agency use and provides a mechanism for other state agencies to share geospatial information. It allows the TWDB to provide Emergency Management support to Texas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency relating to emergency events in Texas.
  • Texas Hydrologic Information System (HIS) – HIS is an online system being developed by the TWDB and the Center for Research in Water Resources at The University of Texas at Austin. The goals of the Texas HIS are to provide the seamless identification and delivery of water data for Texas. This project works with other water agencies and universities to unify and access coastal water information in a common web mapping environment.
  • The Coastal Geodatabase project is currently in the execution phase. This application will allow users to locate and access data from multiple data sources that are owned and controlled by multiple entities to include internal TWDB Bays and Estuaries data. It enables sharing of surface water data between multiple state, university, and federal entities through a standardized web service.

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    © Department of Information Resources 2012