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June 2017

Happy June HMIS Friends!

Wait? What? Stop it. It's June already?

How did that happen?

Before we talk about anything else, we want to thank everyone who worked so hard cleaning up historical data in preparation for the submission of the System Performance Measures. You are all rock stars. Seriously! We genuinely appreciate all that you did to get the data as clean as possible, from the relentless emails to the sometimes endless phone calls, to finding old files and updating the records in the AWARDS HMIS Database. THANK YOU!

Speaking of Data clean up..... Data Completeness as well as Quarterly Reports will be posted up on our website by June 5th, so keep your eyes peeled for the notice letting you know.

Remember, no matter how busy things may get here behind the scenes, we are never to busy for our users. If you have questions ALWAYS feel free to call or email us (but never with client level information)

Disabling Condition Errors

When you look at your APR do you see a number other than "0" in the Error Count Column for Disabling Condition for Q 6.b Universal Data Elements? If you answered yes, read on because we have some tipson how to trouble shoot this issue.

Look at the Individual Detail of the report to identify which client(s) are either missing this information or causing a "data error"

Open the identified client's admission record (disabling condition is only collected at project entry)   

Look at the "Special Needs" portion of the admission record.

If any of the special needs have a "yes" recorded take a look at the 3 follow up questions to the right. If the first follow up question has "Client Doesn't Know", "Client Refused", or "Data Not Collected" recorded, this needs to be updated to either "Yes" or "No" in order for Disabling Condition to auto calculate with no data errors.

If any of the special needs have either a "Yes" or "No" recorded, the additional follow up question has either a "Yes" or "No" recorded and Disabling Condition is auto calculating as "Yes" or "No" you will now need to open the client's HMIS Info section of the Face Sheet

Do any of the Special Needs have an answer recorded that is different than what was recorded on the admission record? Example:

Mental Health Problem = No in admission record and yes in the face sheet when it was updated?

Delete this update using the red x that is found in the HMIS Info Update History section of the face sheet.

Open the client's admission record and change the Special Need to reflect the updated information.

We know, we know. We are always telling our users to never record updates in the client's admission record, that all updates need to be recorded in the HMIS Info section of the client's face sheet. Going forward we will be mindful to stress that our users are never to record updates in the admission record unless it is updating a client's disabling condition status. This confused us a bit as well so Kelli reached out to HUD via the Ask a Question feature for clarification. Here is how the conversation went:

Question Text:

Good Morning,

We have a household member that did not have a disabling condition at project entry, and was then diagnosed with one later during their stay in PH. The HMIS Data Standards say that Disabling Condition is collected at Project Entry and can be updated as necessary, but it's not collected at other stages, this is causing an error in the HMIS Data Quality Report since Disabling Condition at entry and update do not match. How can we record this accurately without producing a data error?

Kelli Clark


Hi Kelli, and thank you for submitting a question via the HUDExchange HMIS AAQ.

There should be one and only one value for disabling condition for each project enrollment. There is not a need to retain changing historical information about a client's disabling condition over the course of a project stay. The value should reflect the known status of a client's disabling condition.

Per the 2016 Data Manual, "For residential homeless assistance programs, client intake as part of the program admission process must be separated from the collection of disability information in order to comply with Fair Housing laws and practices, unless this information is required to determine program eligibility or is needed to determine whether applicants need units with special features or if they have special needs related to communication." For this reason, Disabling Condition may be collected at a point later than program entry, but must be stored in HMIS on the program entry record.

If you need to modify the disability status based on new information from the client, do not create an "update" record in HMIS. Instead, correct the stored value in the "program entry" record in HMIS.

So, long story short.... Never update a client's Special Needs section in the HMIS Info section of the face sheet. Always go back into the admission record to update if necessary.

         APR Data Memo FAQ's

Answers to the most common questions the HMIS Team receives about the APR Data Memos

Q. Who do I talk to at CARES Inc about the APR Data Memo I just received?

A. That depends on what you want to talk about. If you have a question about how to identify who is missing data/needs to have their record updated or how to actually update the client record, you want to contact Kelli Clark (kclark@caresny.org) 
on the HMIS Team. All other questions should be directed to Maureen Burns (mburns@caresny.org)
on the CoC Team.

Q. Do I really have to correct all this data?

A. Programs are advised to do as much as possible to clean up their data. Data Quality related to Personally Identifying Information (name, DOB, SSN) is vital to the ability to be able to run community-level reports. Data Quality related to Annual Assessment/Update, Chronic Homeless Status and Destination will have a significant impact on program-level and community-level Performance Measures because these elements are used to determine both the scope of homelessness as well as program and system outcomes. 

Q. Is there a way I can monitor my program's Data Quality on my own?

A. Absolutely! In fact there is a quick video tutorial here  that shows you how to do this. 

Q. This memo is telling me that we are not serving as many chronically homeless as we really are. Why is that?

A. The most likely cause is that records were not updated back in 2014 and/or 2016 when HUD released updates via the HMIS regarding auto-calculating chronic homelessness. This is easily corrected by simply updating the client's admission record. 

Q. How do I know where in the client record to update/correct the information?

A. Most of the information is going to be updated/corrected in the client's admission record. Only Annual Assessments and Discharge information will be updated in places other than Intake/Admission. 

Upcoming Events

You can register for any upcoming training(s) by visiting the events calendar at caresny.org

June 6th The CRHMIS Team will be hosting the first Semi-Annual Collaborative Applicant Workshop at the CARES Inc office. ***There will be a longer response time to Helpdesk Tickets, as all CRHMIS Team members will be attending***

May 8 - 9th Allyson and Kelli will be in Watertown NY attending the PNHC Quarterly Meeting

June 21st HMIS In House New User Training here at the CARES Inc office

Don't forget, if you can't attend a New User Training either in person you can always take the training on your own here

Message from Foothold Technology

We wanted to let you know that We've recorded three short videos that we think will be helpful to share with users in regards to common questions that we get about the new CoC APR. In addition to these videos we are hosting a webinar about the CoC APR on Monday, June 12th at 1:00 PM ET. You may register here if you wish to attend the live event. The event will be recorded and placed into Online Help a few days after the event has finished.

Here are the pre-recorded videos which you may wish to view:

Using the Sage Export Files

This video explains how to use the new Sage Export Files for submitting your APR to HUD. (6 minutes)

Understanding Chronic Homelessness

This video explains how Chronic Homelessness is calculated in AWARDS. (17 minutes)

Understanding Annual Updates

This video explains how Annual Updates are recorded for clients, and how those updates affect the CoC APR. (14 minute)

AWARDS HMIS Tip of the Month

There is a permission that can be set by you Customer Service Rep that will send you an Internal Audit message via AWARDS alerting you when a client is due for an Annual Assessment. Before you request this be turned on keep in mind the following:

  1. You will receive this message for every client that is in the program(s) you have access to, whether they are on your caseload or not.
  2. This message is only sent 1 time, 30 days before the client's anniversary date.
  3. This is a message that is automatically generated by AWARDS, the CRHMIS team are not senders of these messages.

Contact your Customer Service Rep (Sue or Kelli) to request this permission.

Foster Kitten Update

Say "Hello" to Bear, Bunny, Monkey, and Moose! These guys came to us about 2 weeks ago and are seriously the 4 biggest cuddle bugs ever.

Please excuse Bear's appearance. He feels the need to dive into his food, and literally lay in it while he's eating...