Data Matters April 2015

Data Matters
April 2015
News HIC/PIT Update
All HIC and PIT forms have been finalized.  211OC is currently working to enter all data into HDX to submit to HUD.  Within the next week, the agencies should receive an email to confirm their HIC and PIT data.  If 211OC does not receive a confirmation from your agency, the HIC and PIT data will be submitted as is.In May, 211OC will be updating the bed counts in HMIS to match the 2015 HIC data.  Your updated bed information should be visible on the OC_Bed Utilization report starting in June.  If you do not see your updated bed information on the report, please contact HMIS-helpdesk@211oc.org.
HMIS User Meeting – Save the Date
The next quarterly HMIS User Meeting will take place on May 20, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m at the Village Conference Room. If you have any HMIS items you’d like to discuss, please send your topic suggestions to HMIS-helpdesk@211oc.org. Mark your calendar and save the date!
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Agency Audit
It’s that time of year again! The 211OC HMIS Team will be visiting agencies starting in April to audit whether or not they are in compliance with the HMIS Policies and Procedures. Many agencies have already been scheduled.  If your agency would like to proactively schedule an agency audit, please contact HMIS-helpdesk@211oc.org.  To view the checklist of items to be audited, please click here.

Did you know?
When answering a client’s project entry or project exit questions, the disability and domestic violence follow-up questions should not be answered if the initial question is ‘No’. If any of these questions are answered ‘No’, please skip to the next appropriate question. When we begin using version 5.5, the jump logic will work correctly, and this should no longer be an issue.
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What is Considered Acceptable Documentation for the ‘Status Documented’ Field?
When the new Data Standards were released, 211OC entered a ticket with HUD asking what is considered acceptable documentation for the ‘Status Documented’ field.  This data element is to indicate if there is documentation in the client’s paper file or HMIS verifying if the client has been continuously homeless for one year or more, the number of times the client was homeless, or the number of months homeless in the past three years.

We received a response from HUD that projects should follow any record keeping requirements for the ‘Status Documented’ field established by their funder(s).  For example, CoC-funded Permanent Supportive Housing projects can use HMIS data (like an enrollment in a Transitional Housing, Outreach, or Emergency Shelter project), a written referral, or a written observation by an outreach worker as acceptable documentation.

For projects that do not have funder requirements, HUD states the Continuum or HMIS implementation can decide what constitutes acceptable documentation.  In this case, 211OC has determined that HMIS data (like an enrollment in a Transitional Housing, Outreach, or Emergency Shelter project) or written observation by an outreach worker can be considered acceptable documentation.  If you would like to see the full response from HUD, please click here.

Changes to HMIS Questions
The following changes have been made to the HMIS Intake form:
  •          Made Date of Birth and SSN spaces larger to allow for more room to write in
  •          Removed the following questions:
    •    “What circumstances contributed to your current housing situation?”
    •    “From where is the youth being emancipated?”
  •          Added new question required for SSVF:  “What is the AMI percentage for the Household’s Income?”
  •          Re-numbered questions to account for the additional and removed questions.

The questions above marked as “removed” have been removed from HMIS. It is important to use the most updated HMIS Intake and Exit forms (available on the HMIS v5 Forms page on ochmis.org) to avoid confusion about questions being removed or added to HMIS. If your agency prefers to use your own intake and exit forms you can ensure better data quality by carefully looking over the HMIS Intake and Exit forms to make sure that your agency’s form contains all of the same questions. It is fine to re-word questions slightly so that clients will better understand them, but the required information needs to be collected.

HMIS Patch Updates for March
In the month of March, our HMIS vendor made some changes to HMIS to improve system functionality.  Please click here to see a list of the updates that apply to you.  If you have any questions about these updates, or if you find any issues with these updates, please email HMIS-helpdesk@211oc.org.
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211OC Holiday Schedule
(211OC will not be closed for any holidays in April)
Tax day is Wednesday, April 15th!  Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd!
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HMIS Help Desk Email: hmis-helpdesk@211oc.org
HMIS Help Phone Line: 714-589-2360