Update for Cambridge HMIS Users

At the March HSPC meeting I provided an overview of the changes to the HMIS data standards that are specific to CoC and ESG program funded projects. The handout from that meeting is linked below, and it is an updated version of the summary document published in September of 2014.

Summary of 2014 HMIS Data Standards (March 2015)

In addition, HMIS users should be aware of current software and workflow issues that may be confusing when working with active clients’ assessment records:

Issue: You are completing an Update or Annual Assessment for a client whose previous information was entered when the 2010 Data Standards were in effect — Whether you populate from a previous assessment or not, the TouchPoint record will include questions that should only be answered at Entry (A-4 through A-20). Since these are coded as required, you won’t be able to submit your other current information unless they are answered. However, answering these questions at any point other than Entry will not properly record the data needed for reporting purposes.

Solution: You should first edit the Entry assessment for the client, answering the questions on the first tab as well as any required and not answered on subsequent tabs, and then submit. Therefore, you will have updated the client’s record with 2014 Data Standards at the point where the answers will be captured for reporting. You can then complete the Update or Annual assessment TouchPoint, and if you populate from the previous assessment, you won’t be prompted to answer questions only required at Entry.

Issue: You are completing an Update or Annual Assessment and you choose to populate from the previous one taken, in order to bring in data that haven’t changed, including earned income. However, you notice the previous income information did not come over. 

Solution: You will need to be mindful of noting the type of income (assuming it is the same source since the last assessment) and the amount (again, if this has stayed the same) and enter this information over again. Of course, if this is part of what you are updating or recording as changed in an Update or Annual assessment, record the new information.

We recognize that these software issues add layers of confusion and extra work for staff entering data at this point in time. The vendor is aware of the issues and Cambridge and other HMIS leads are working to get improvements.

Please don’t hesitate to call me or your HMIS Site administrator if you get stuck or have any questions.