With thanks to Andrea Miller, the Three County CoC data analyst, we now have access to more in-depth analyses of the data collected across the entire region – both the Hampden County and Three County CoCs – during the 2015 Youth Count.
You can find them here:
The Hampden County CoC HMIS and Data Committee met on December 19, 2019.
Present: Deborah Merkman (City of Springfield), Dave Havens (MHA), Pamela Cook (Gandara SHINE), Jeff Langlois (Providence Loreto), L. Viviana deJesus (Homelessness Provider Consultant/Independant Contractor), Laura Saponare (Catholic Charities), Angel Middleton (HRU Lighthouse), Jennifer Lucca (Samaritan Inn)
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES – VARIOUS COMPONENTS
Over the last several months, the Committee has been working on creating/updating the CoC’s HMIS policies and procedures. The Committee had finalized portions of this work, but has been unable to reach resolution on issues regarding data sharing. Specifically, providers have indicated that the ideal system for data sharing would enable sharing of basic identifying and demographic data on a standard basis (with a signed release of information) but allow any participant to choose to specifically allow or not allow sharing of data regarding mental health, substance abuse or HIV status. In order to make this happen, our HMIS must allow users to individually lock and unlock individual items for sharing. This requires us to have the functionality within our HMIS, and this is something that the City is working on with ETO.
The Committee decided that, rather than continue to let all policies and procedures stall while we work on this issue, we should proceed with implementation of the parts that the Committee has finalized, and return to the policies on data sharing once we have the functionality that supports the way we want to be able to share data.
PRIVACY, SECURITY and DATA QUALITY PLANS
The Committee endorsed the Privacy, Security and Data Quality Plans that have been developed. These plans may be accessed through links below, and they are also posted on the CoC Corner -Hampden County CoC page on this Network site.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Committee is still reviewing and finalizing the DRAFT CoC HMIS Manual. The Committe hopes to approve it at the Committee’s January meeting, and forward it to the Board of Directors for approval at the January 24 Board meeting.
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, January 16, 2013, 11 am to noon, Springfield Office of Housing, 1600 E. Columbus Ave., Springfield, MA
The Hampden County HMIS and Data Committee met on October 17, 2013.
Present: Yoshi Bird (CHD), Dave Havens (MHA), Jeffrey Langlois (Providence), Wendy Fydenkevez (Open Pantry), Angel Middleton (HRU), Betsy Shally-Jensen (A Positive Place); Janice Humason (FOH), Maria Perez (NNCC), Laura Saponare (Catholic Charities), Ann Lentini (Domus), Jennifer Lucca (Samaritan), Deborah Merkman (Springfield), Jesus Arce (Springfield), Gerry McCafferty (Springfield)
HMIS Policies and Procedures
After last months’ review of a draft Participation Agreement, it becamae apparent that the CoC needed to revisit all of its HMIS Policies and Procedures prior to creating/finalizing a Participation Agreement. At this month’s meeting, we reviewed a DRAFT Hampden County CoC HMIS Manual which incorporates a privacy plan, a security plan, and our data quality plan.
In our discussion, we recognized a decision point we face: whether to require Contributing HMIS Organizations (CHOs) to conduct a criminal background check on staff who will access HMIS. The criminal background check is in the proposed HMIS regulation, but we do not know if HUD will require it in the final rule; we are not required to conduct criiminal bbackground checks at this time. Some agencies already conduct CORIs on new hires, so do not feel that this will be burdensome. Others noted that, given the importance of clients personal information, that this was an important protect to put in place. Gerry offered to contact agencies individually before the next meeting to get a sense of each agenmcy’s position on this issue.
As part of this discussion, we noted that if we implement the requirement of criminal background checks, each agency would be reviewing criminal information regarding its own staff. There was a suggestion that we develop common standards to provide guidance to agencies on how to evaluate criminal information and apply it to make decisions regarding access to HMIS.
We discussed use of HMIS for data sharing. After researching how this is handled in other CoCs, Gerry recommended that each agency be able to elect whether to data-share or not, and that each agency obtain a written authorization for release of information for a particular client for sharing of that client’s data. The Committee agreed that these were importannt protections.
There was discussion about whether our HMIS provides the capability to share some data but not other data. After the meeting, Social Solutions informed us that the sharing must be done in chunks–that is, we can share only the Uniform Data Elements (basic demographic information) only, or we can share both the Unifirm Data Elements plus the client assessment, but we cannot share just parts of the client assessment. Based on this, it seems that we will want to make sure that we design a release of information form that is specifically asking a client about authorization to release information about mental health, substance abuse and HIV status. The Committee considered that we might just never share any of this data, but then realized that this data often enables someone to be eligible for a program, so there are times when they will want to share that data. Gerry offered to do more research on how this is being handled in other places, as well as working on a release of information form that will comply with federal ansd state law, and also provide clients with enough information for them to make informed decisions.
The Committee will meet Thursday, Nov. 21, 11 am, at the Office of Housing, 1600 E. Columbus Ave., Springfield, to continue working on HMIS Policies and Procedures and the forms that we will use to implement them.
The Hampden County CoC HMIS and Data Committee met on September 19, 2013.
Present: Millie Colon (RVCC), Angel Middleton (HRU Next Step), Dave Havens (MHA), Kaylee Nicholls (Gandara SHINE), Pamela Cook (Gandara SHINE), Janice Humason (FOH), Jeff Langlois (Providence Ministries), Jennifer Lucca (Samaritan Inn), Deborah Merkmen (City of Springfield), Gerry McCafferty (City of Springfield).
The Committee spent most of the meeting reviewing and discussing a draft Hampden COC HMIS Participation Agreement. Once this agreement is finalized, each contributing HMIS organization will enter into the agreement with the City of Springfield. The committee’s comments on the draft are captured in noted (in red) on the attached draft. Gerry will respond to the issues noted and then circulate to the Committee prior to the next meeting
Gerry noted that the City’s existing HMIS Manual, last reviewed in January 2013, is being updated. Committee members should look for a draft prior to the next committee meeting.
Deborah noted that ETO’s data quality reports have changed, and she explained the new format to the Committee. Deborah will continue to send monthly data quality reports to each contributing HMIS organization, and working with the organizations to correct any data errors.
The HMIS and Data Committee will meet next on Thursday, October 17, 2013, 11:00 am, at the Springfield Office of Housing, 1600 E. Columbus Ave., Springfield.