What Changed in the 2016 HMIS Data Standards and Dictionary?

What Changed in the 2016 HMIS Data Standards and Dictionary?

2017-10-25T15:18:43+00:00 July 12, 2016|Tags: , |

Updated September 6, 2016, to include additional changes made in Version 5.1, released August 2016.

Since their first publications, the HMIS Data Standards Manual and accompanying HMIS Data Dictionary have seen multiple revisions. The most recent update to both documents, Version 5.0, was published June 2016 with several changes, including an updated guidance and the significant redesign of one element, as well as new response options and data elements.

While HUD provides a brief revision history, or summary of changes, for each new version of the HMIS Data Standards and Data Dictionary, this article provides a comprehensive summary of the revisions—all in one place.

Each modified element has its own section below (to include changes from each document), which includes the following information for each change:

  • Rationale (if provided in either document)
  • Explanation of what changed, and
  • Page number(s) in the HMIS Data Standards Manual and/or Data Dictionary where you can find full details.

Whether you’re a system administrator or end user, this article will give you a better understanding of the changes made to the HMIS Data Standards and Data Dictionary—and, therefore, a better understanding of how they affect your data collection and HMIS operations.

Here is a quick list of the elements that have changed in Version 5:

  • 2.3 Continuum of Care Code
  • 3.6 Gender
  • 3.8 Disabling Condition
  • 3.917 Living Situation (combines 3.9 Residence Prior to Project Entry and 3.17 Length of Time on the Streets)
  • 4.14A Services Provided: PATH Funded
  • 4.14B Services Provided: RHY
  • 4.16A Referrals Provided: PATH
  • 4.16B Referrals Provided: RHY
  • 4.17 Residential Move-In Date
  • 4.2 Income and Sources
  • 4.21 Connection with SOAR
  • 4.24 Last Grade Completed
  • 4.26 Employment Status
  • 4.27 General Health Status
  • 4.3 Non-Cash Benefits
  • 4.4 Health Insurance
  • 4.47 T-cell and Viral Load
  • 4.48 SSVF HP Targeting Criteria (replaces 4.44 HP Screening Score)
  • 4.49 Use of Other Crisis Services

 

2.3 Continuum of Care Code

This is in regards to the HUD-assigned CoC code for the project location.

What changed: Updated guidance instructing systems to allow for multiple CoC codes to be selected per project.

Reference: Page 15 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

3.6 Gender

Rationale: Gender is used to count the number of men, women, transgender individuals, and clients who do not identify as either men, women or transgender. When enrolling a client who already has a record in the HMIS, verify that the gender recorded accurately reflects the client’s self-reported gender—and correct it if it does not.

What changed: Replaced “other” response with “Doesn’t identify as male, female or transgender,” and removed Dependent A to describe “other”.

Reference: Pages 23-24 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 27-28 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

3.8 Disabling Condition

Rationale: Disabling condition is used to count the number of clients who have a disabling condition at project entry. This data element is to be used with other information to identify whether a client meets the criteria for chronic homelessness.

What changed: Universe of data collected was changed from “Adults” to “All clients”.

Reference: Pages 24-25 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Page 29 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

3.917 Living Situation

The universal data elements 3.9 Residence Prior to Project Entry and 3.17 Length of Time on the Streets, in an Emergency Shelter or in a Safe Haven have been combined in the 2014 Version 5 data standards to one element 3.917 Living Situation.

Further, to facilitate data entry and in response to multiple user questions, the element has been identified as 2 elements which use only the fields and responses necessary for the population being asked the information. 3.917A is to be used for all persons entering a Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter or Safe Haven project and 3.917B is to be used for persons entering in all other HMIS project types.

With this separation and clarification, the definition of chronic homelessness as identified in the final rule in the Federal Register published December 5, 2015, is able to be fully reported through an HMIS.

 

3.917A Living Situation — For persons entering HMIS Project Type: Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, & Safe Haven

Rationale: This element is used to identify the type of living situation and length of stay in that situation just prior to entry into a Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter (ES), or Safe Haven (SH) project for all adults and heads of households.

What changed: Complete reworking of element. Element blends the old 3.9 Residence Prior to Entry with 3.17 Time on the Streets, Emergency Shelter, or Safe Haven in order to enable an HMIS to completely calculate an individual’s/household’s status as Chronically homeless at entry and at a later point in time. Element has been divided into 3.917A and B based on the project type. 3.917A is applicable for persons entering project type: Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, and Safe Haven while 3.917B is for persons entering all other project types.

Full details: See 3.917A Living Situation in the HMIS Data Manual and Data Dictionary, Version 5, for data collection instructions, response descriptions, system logic, and more.

Reference: Pages 25-29 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 30-32 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

3.917B Living Situation — For persons entering all other HMIS project types (i.e. NOT – Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, or Safe Haven)

Rationale: This element is used to identify the type of living situation and length of stay in that situation just prior to project entry for all adults and heads of households entering any of the following HMIS project types: Transitional Housing, any form of Permanent Housing including Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing, Service Only, Other, Day Shelter, Homelessness Prevention, and Coordinated Assessment (Coordinated Entry).

What changed: Complete reworking of element. Element blends the old 3.9 Residence Prior to Entry with 3.17 Time on the Streets, Emergency Shelter, or Safe Haven in order to enable an HMIS to completely calculate an individual’s/household’s status as Chronically homeless at entry and at a later point in time. Element has been divided into 3.917A and B based on the project type. 3.917A is applicable for persons entering project type: Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, and Safe Haven while 3.917B is for persons entering all other project types.

Full details: See 3.917B Living Situation in the HMIS Data Manual and Data Dictionary, Version 5, for data collection instructions, response descriptions, system logic, and more.

Reference: Pages 29-34 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 32-35 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.14A Services Provided: PATH Funded

Rationale: To determine the services which PATH funded that were provided to clients during project participation.

What changed: Field 2 response options were changed by PATH. “Outreach” has changed to “Reengagement”; “Screening/assessment response” was split into two responses; “Housing technical assistance” changed to “Housing eligibility determination” and “Other PATH-funded service” was removed.

Reference: Page 69 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 62-63 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.14B Services Provided: RHY

Rationale: To determine the services provided to youth during project participation.

What changed: Data collection requirements have been corrected to clarify the expectation that each service type need only to be recorded once during project enrollment.

Reference: Pages 74-75 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 63-65 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.16A Referrals Provided: PATH

Rationale: To record the number of referrals provided to clients during program participation.

What changed: Field 2 response options have changed: “Primary health care” changed to “Primary health/dental care”; “Relevant housing services changed to “Housing services”; “Housing placement assistance” was changed into “Permanent Housing” and “Temporary Housing” was added; Medical assistance” was changed to “Medical Insurance”. PATH also clarified that collection of referral information on job training, educational services, and housing services are optional response options, not required.

Reference: Page 69-70 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 70-72 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.16B Referrals Provided: RHY

Rationale: To record the referrals provided to clients during program participation.

What changed: Data collection requirement has been corrected to clarify the expectation that each referral need only be recorded once during project enrollment.

Reference: Page 75 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 72-73 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.17 Residential Move-In Date

Rationale: This element is used to document the date that a client enrolled in a Rapid Re-Housing project moves into housing. This data is critical to point-in-time and housing inventory counts as it differentiates clients who are enrolled in a Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) project and are still literally homeless (in emergency shelter, Safe Haven, transitional housing or on the street) from clients who have moved into permanent housing.

What changed – Data Standards: Data collection instructions have been clarified to respond to issues identified with this element. Additionally, the “information date” and “yes/no” response have been removed from the element to remove the confusion those responses created. Note: Guidance on reporting abilities related to alternative means of capturing data using a “Pre-Entry Project” have been added to the HMIS Data Dictionary.

What changed – Data Dictionary: Information date has been removed; where ‘In permanent housing’ is ‘No,’ the effective information date is the project entry date. Where ‘In permanent housing’ is ‘Yes,’ the effective information date is the residential move-in date. In systems currently set up to create multiple records per enrollment, an information date would be necessary to identify the most recent record, which is the record which must be used for reporting / export purposes. Guidance related to collection point and alternative means of capturing data has been updated.

Reference: Page 65-66 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 73-74 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.2 Income and Sources

Rationale: Income and sources of income are important for determining service needs of people at the time of project entry, determining whether they are accessing all income sources for which they are eligible, describing the characteristics of the population experiencing homelessness, and allow analysis of changes in the composition of income between entry and exit from the project and annual changes prior to project exit. Increase in income is a key performance measure of most federal partner programs.

What changed: PATH is now required to collect this data.

Reference: Pages 44-47 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 45-48 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.21 Connection with SOAR

Rationale: To identify persons who are connected to the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) program.

What changed: PATH is now required to collect this data at project entry, update, annual assessment, and exit.

Reference: Pages 71-72 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Page 78 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.24 Last Grade Completed

Rationale: To identify the educational attainment of youth served in RHY projects.

What changed: The element is no longer just a RHY required element, SSVF and VASH will also use the element. This element has been updated with new response categories: “Associate’s degree”, “Bachelor’s degree”, “Graduate degree”, and “Vocational certification”.

Reference: Page 77 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 80-81 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.26 Employment Status

Rationale: To assess client’s employment status and need for employment services.

What changed: Collection now includes HUD/VASH.

Reference: Page 79 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 82-83 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.27 General Health Status

Rationale: Information on general health status is a first step to identifying what types of health services a client may need. This element permits comparison between homeless youth to other youth their age.

What changed: Collection now includes HUD/VASH.

Reference: Page 80 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 83-84 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.3 Non-Cash Benefits

Rationale: Non-cash benefits are important to determine whether clients are accessing all mainstream program benefits for which they may be eligible and to develop a more complete picture of their economic circumstances.

What changed: PATH is now required to collect this data.

Reference: Pages 47-49 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 48-50 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.4 Health Insurance

Rationale: Health insurance information is important to determine whether clients currently have health insurance coverage and are accessing all mainstream project medical assistance benefits for which they may be eligible, and to ascertain a more complete picture of their economic circumstances.

What changed: PATH is now required to collect this data. Indian Health Services Program and Other have been added as response options to Field 3.

Reference: Pages 49-52 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 50-52 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.47 T-cell (CD4) and Viral Load

Rationale: To measure the extent to which housing impacts health of persons with HIV/AIDS.

What changed: Response options changed in Field 3: from “yes/no” to “Undetectable”, “Not Available”, and “Available” to facilitate the identification of undetectable viral load levels.

Reference: Page 97 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 100-101 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.48 SSVF HP Targeting Criteria (Previously 4.44 HP Screening Score)

Rationale: To facilitate VA evaluation of outcomes based on the urgency of need and type of barriers and vulnerabilities present at the point of project entry and outcomes across projects.

What changed: This is a new data element. It replaces data element 4.44 HP Screening Score.

Full details: See 4.48 SSVF HP Targeting Criteria in the HMIS Data Manual and Data Dictionary, Version 5, for data collection instructions, response descriptions, system logic, and more.

Reference: Pages 105-106 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 107-109 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

4.49 Use of Other Crisis Services

Rationale: To aid in prioritizing chronically homeless veterans with a history of high utilization of crisis services.

What changed: This is a new data element.

Full details: See 4.49 Use of Other Crisis Services in the HMIS Data Manual and Data Dictionary, Version 5, for data collection instructions, response descriptions, system logic, and more.

Reference: Page 106-107 of the HMIS Data Manual, Version 5. Pages 109-110 of the HMIS Data Dictionary, Version 5.

 

In Sum…

Continual revisions to the HMIS Data Standards and HMIS Data Dictionary are a positive sign that we are learning to better address and measure homelessness. As the HMIS Data Standards Manual states in its introduction:

To end homelessness, a community must know the scope of the problem, the characteristics of those who find themselves homeless, and understand what is working in their community and what is not. Solid data enables a community to work confidently towards their goals as they measure outputs, outcomes, and impacts.

With the most recent revision to these documents, communities can be further assured that they are part of a system that values and is working toward collecting the highest quality data possible in order to make the greatest impact necessary to end homelessness.

*This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of Bitfocus, Inc. Bitfocus, Inc., and its subsidiary Clarity Human Services, is not, by means of this publication, rendering operational, business, financial, or other official advice, services, or instruction. This publication is not a substitute for such official advice services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business or operations. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or organization, you should consult a qualified professional advisor (such as your HUD representative or HMIS system administrator). Bitfocus, Inc., its affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

 

Want to learn more?

 

2017-10-25T15:18:43+00:00 July 12, 2016|Tags: , |