State Health Information Guidance (SHIG) on Sharing Sensitive Health Information


NOTICE: Based on questions and feedback from our webinar participants and readers, we have temporarily removed the SHIG to update content and correct some discrepancies. While updates are in progress, the document will be temporarily unavailable through the CalOHII website. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please check back to this site or send us an email at requesting we alert you when it is reposted.  If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know at Thank you!

The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII), with support from the California Health Care Foundation, has created the State Health Information Guidance (SHIG). The SHIG is an authoritative but non-binding guidance from the State of California written in plain language for a general audience. It explains when, where, and why mental health and substance use disorder information can be exchanged and also provides clarification of state and federal laws.

The SHIG grew out of comprehensive research, drawing from a broad group of stakeholders that reflect cross-industry insights and experience, to get a clear understanding of the problems different groups were facing in the field. The result of the research is the SHIG, a guidance containing 22 scenarios derived from real user stories, which clarify how laws apply to actual situations that arise for care providers.

The SHIG is for YOU! The SHIG is applicable to Physical Health Care Providers, Mental Health Care Providers, Substance Use Disorder Providers, Emergency Service Providers, Caregivers and Care Coordinators, Social Services, Law Enforcement, and Payers.

On this website page, you can:


Download the SHIG 


SHIG Webinar – July 25, 2017


Download Talking Points that contain content for speeches or presentations


View and download the SHIG One-Sheet, which is an outline for discussions, talks, and articles


Download the SHIG Introduction and Description, which can be used in organization newsletters and blogs

The purpose of providing these materials and resources is to encourage dissemination of the SHIG to those who can benefit most by understanding the Known Path to Yes.

For information about this project, please email