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July 2017

Happy July HMIS Friends!

"Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the hot nights? Are you ready for the fireflies, the moonlit skies, and a whole lot of fooling around"

Anyone know what movie this is from? It's one of my (Kelli) favorites. 

July is shaping up to be a busy one for your CRHMIS team. We are working on updating our website, reporting, training library, Policies and Procedures manual, and program set up. Just thinking about all of this makes us tired, so gifts of coffee will be accepted everyday from 9-5. 

With a workload of this size it is a good thing that we are hiring for a new Customer Service Rep.... If you or anyone you know is interested in joining your favorite CRHMIS team please click here to view our ad. 

Speaking of trainings, if you have any ideas on the types of HMIS trainings you would like to attend or have us record email Kelli Clark kclark@caresny.org

As always,

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or just want to chat!

A Message from Foothold Technology

Cyber Security Doesn't Work Without "U"

Ok, it sounds a little cliched - like it belongs on that groan-worthy motivational poster hanging in your office someplace - but that doesn't make it any less true or pertinent to all of us. Cyber-security is only as strong as it's weakest link and, because we all work with protected health information on a daily basis, a weak or broken link can have serious repercussions for our organizations and the clients we serve. So, how strong are your personal cyber-security standards?

Do you ever store passwords in your browser?

In AWARDS trainings users frequently acknowledge that they don't know their passwords because they store them on their work computers. We've been seeing this more and more of late, and it's a terrible vulnerability that could leave the data you work with exposed to access by unauthorized individuals. Be sure you NEVER let your browser save a password, and if you've done so in the past be sure to clear that information out of your browser's settings immediately. Furthermore, take the time to set up a secure password management system for yourself for home and business purposes (simply writing your passwords down on a sticky note is not a solution) and with a little research online you're sure to find something that works for you.

Do you ever share a login with someone else? 

Ever give your login credentials to someone who's helping you out? For instance, an intern doing AWARDS data entry over the summer? If you do, you're putting yourself and your clients' data at risk, not to mention violating HIPAA regulations. Everything the other individual does - whether it's simply doing the data entry they were meant to do, curiously dipping into records they shouldn't be looking at, or inappropriately downloading information - is attached to your login in the AWARDS system's audit records. Take the time to make sure each and every individual has his/her own AWARDS login credentials, and that those credentials only give the minimum necessary access to protected health information. Similar standards should be used for other software applications you may use as well.

Do you ever open email attachments or click on links in emails without pausing to think?

This is a tough one because email is something we all use on a daily basis, but before you open anything from an email it's always a great idea to pause for a moment. Even if the source of the email looks to be legitimate and/or someone you trust, that's not always a guarantee of safety - emails can mask the true sender, links can be disguised to point you to somewhere other than where you think you're going, and attachments can contain malware that may harm your machine. When in doubt, take the time to type a known URL directly into your browser rather than using an email link, or verify from the sender that an odd email attachment is legitimate before opening it.

Do you ever neglect to keep your computer up to date?

As the recent "WannaCry" ransomware attacks demonstrated, out of date software can be the ticket into your machine for someone who has the wrong intentions. It's incredibly important to make sure that your operating system and browser are up to date with all of the latest fixes, patches, security updates, and so on. Depending on which applications you use and how your machine is configured, some or all of these updates may be taking place automatically, but if they're not now's a great time to add a reminder to your calendar to check for updates on a regular basis. Also remember to keep your eye on the news for emerging cyber-security threats - even if your system is updated automatically, there may be instances where you'll want to get a security fix in place before it would otherwise be installed on its own. The national news and/or cyber-security sites online can be a great way to stay up to speed with what's happening out there.

Did you answer "yes" to any of these questions? 

 If so, you're not alone (they are all things we've seen in our work with AWARDS users out in the field), but it means that it's time to evaluate and change your cyber-security practices today. We encourage you to use the information we've provided here to make some quick and easy changes in your daily workflow to ensure that your personal security standards are in top shape today. And don't forget - keep yourself informed. Cyber-security is a constantly shifting landscape, and having just that little extra bit of information on current threats and safety types can go a long way toward making your online experiences safe ones.

Best regards,
Foothold Technology

Upcoming Events

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

July 3rd and 4th The CARES Inc office will be closed in observance of Independence Day

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

Foothold Expo Take Away 

On June 22nd Kelli and Emily attended the 10th annual Foothold Expo down in NYC. Here is a taste of what they learned. 

There were 3 HMIS dedicated sessions through out the day at the Expo this year, and we were able to attend each one (and get front row seats). 

Learn Ho to Be the Best in the Pack

HMIS Data Quality is critical to agency success - allowing you to ensure you are providing appropriate and effective services to your consumers, and helping you to remain competitive in the challenging world of obtaining and maintaining funding. We reviewed various data quality reports and reviewed how to troubleshoot common CSV export errors. Be on the look out for some new In House and recorded training videos coming this summer dedicated to identifying and correcting data issues. 

Steady Data in a World of Change

This is one we have all been waiting for folks! We discussed the new 2017 Data Standards changes and how they will affect data entry and reporting. We also learned that CARES Inc will have access again to a "sandbox" database in September, so be on the look out for training sessions to avoid any surprises on October 1st. And above all else, do not panic - we promise it is not that bad this year. 

Waiting List: How to Use AWARDS to Streamline Access to your Programming

The waiting list functionality within AWARDS was reviewed, including the creation and maintenance of the lists. We also discussed best practices for using this functionality for a variety of different intake structures. 

Foster Kitten Update

We are pleased to introduce our newest fosters! Inigo Montoya and Count Rugen (AKA Mitt)

These 2 were pretty skittish when they first came to us, but are beginning to warm up to us. Feel free to stop in and say "Hi" to them.