Rhode Island Homeless Management Information System Data Quality Standards

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1 Rhode Island Homeless Management Information System Data Quality Standards Special thanks to Kathleen Freeman for her guidance and toolkit (From Intake to Analysis: A Community Toolkit for Developing and Monitoring a Data Quality Standard) as the Data Quality and Evaluation Committee has worked to ensure timely and accurate data on the state of homelessness in Rhode Island. GENERAL INFORMATION 1.1 Purpose The purpose of this Data Quality Standard is to standardize expectations and provide guidance to HMIS participating programs on the extent and quality of data entered into the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Management Information System. 1.2 Development Process The Rhode Island Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Management Information System Data Quality Standards were developed through a collaborative effort across homeless service providers and spearheaded by the Data Quality and Evaluation Committee. 1.3 Definition of Data Quality HMIS data quality refers to the extent that data recorded in the Rhode Island Continuum of Care HMIS accurately reflects the same information in the real world. A perfect overlap between data and reality would result in a hypothetical data quality rating of 100 percent, while a data quality rating of 0 percent would indicate that there is no match between the information entered into an HMIS and the same information in the real world. No data collection system has a quality rating of 100%. However, to meet the Rhode Island CoC s goal of presenting accurate and consistent information on homelessness, it is critical that the HMIS have the best possible representation of reality as it relates to homeless people and the programs that serve them. Specifically, the goal is to record the most accurate, consistent and timely information in order to draw reasonable conclusions about the extent of homelessness and the impact of homeless services. 1.4 Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) For the purposes of this document, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) means ServicePoint software application and all modules, assessments, reporting capacities, standard or customized, contained therein. 1.5 Supporting and Legacy Systems For the purposes of this document, all legacy and supporting systems are identified as non-servicepoint systems that transfer information to the Rhode Island CoC HMIS. 1.6 Key Documents Key documents needed as supporting references to this document are listed below: Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Data and Technical Standards, April, 2010 HUD Notice on VAWA (March 2007) HUD Supportive Housing Program (SHP) Annual Progress Report (APR) HUD Supportive Housing Program (SHP) Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) HUD Supportive Housing Program (SHP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) 1

2 1.7 Definitions: A record in the Rhode Island Continuum of Care is a compilation of the Universal Data Elements (UDE) and Program Specific Data Elements(PDE) and subject to the Completeness Standard for each data element 1.8 Acronyms and Abbreviations a. PDDEs: HUD s Program Descriptor Data Elements as set forth in the HMIS Data Standards data March 2010, Data Elements 2.1 through b. UDEs: HUD s Universal Data Elements as set forth in the HMIS Data Standards dated March 2010, Data Elements 3.1 through 3.15 c. PDEs: HUD s Program-specific Data Elements as set forth in the HMIS Data Standards dated March 2010, Data Elements 4.1 through 4.15H d. APR PDEs: The subset of HUD s Program-specific Data Elements required to complete the SHP Annual Performance Report (APR) set forth in the HMIS Data Standards dated March 2010, Data Elements 4.1 through 4.14 e. QPR: HUD s Quarterly Performance Report for the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. f. HPRP: HUD s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. 1.9 Points of Contact See Attachment A 19.1 Information & Coordination See Attachment A 2

3 DATA QUALITY STANDARDS The Data Quality Standard for the Rhode Island CoC is split into seven (7) categories. The general standard outlined is applicable to all HMIS participating programs with following exceptions noted by specific program type. Unless otherwise noted, all participating programs, including those transferring data from legacy and supporting systems, are expected to achieve and maintain the general standard. Note: Homeless Service Providers whose primary target population is victims of domestic violence are currently collecting the data and providing non-identifiable data to the CoC. 2.1 Timeliness The purpose of timeliness is to ensure access to data when it is needed either pro-actively (for monitoring purposes, publishing information to increase awareness, or to meet reporting requirements) or reactively (in response to a request for information or to respond to inaccurate information). All HMIS participating programs will ensure entry of data for new clients, services, and entry/exits for a month is completed by the 15 th of the following month. Exceptions: Emergency Shelters: All HMIS Emergency Shelter participating programs will ensure entry for new clients, services and entry/exits within 48 business hours from initial contact. HPRP Programs: All HPRP programs will ensure entry for new clients, services and entry/exits within 48 business hours from initial contact. Outreach Programs: All HMIS Outreach participating programs will ensure entry for new clients, services and entry/exits within 48 business hours from initial contact. Prevention: All HMIS Prevention participating programs will ensure entry for new clients, services and entry/exits within 48 business hours from initial contact. 2.2 Completeness The purpose of completeness is to ensure sufficient data on clients, their demographic characteristics, and service use to facilitate confident reporting and analysis on the extent and characteristics of the homelessness including: Unduplicated counts of clients served at the local level Patterns of use of people entering and exiting the homeless assistance system Evaluation of the effectiveness of homeless systems All Clients Served The purpose of all clients served is to ensure that all clients that are being served by service providers within the Rhode Island CoC are represented in the HMIS. All clients served by the program entered into the HMIS with the data set outlined in the program type s definition of record and in accordance with the corresponding data element percentage standard. No anonymous allowed Program Descriptor Data Elements There are two purposes of the Program Descriptor Data Elements. One purpose is to ensure that the HMIS is the central repository of information about homelessness in the CoC, including information about 3

4 programs and clients, thereby making available within the system the data necessary to: 1) complete required reports including the Annual Performance Report (APR), Quarterly Performance Reports (QPR) for HPRP funded programs, the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), and the Housing Inventory that is part of a CoC s annual funding application; 2) track bed utilization; 3) calculate rates of HMIS participation; and 4) monitor data quality. Complete program descriptor information also enhances the HMIS as a tool for supporting information and referral services. The second purpose is to clearly identify programs providing direct service to clients versus those who are the overarching corporate/agency name. Because this is information is required as part of basic administrative set up of programs within the HMIS system, no null/missing Program Descriptor Data Elements are allowed Universal Data Elements The purpose of the Universal Data Elements is to ensure that all homeless service providers in the Rhode Island CoC are documenting the data elements necessary to produce a Continuum-wide unduplicated count of clients served, to provide accurate counts for various reporting requirements, including HUD SHP Annual Performance Report, the HPRP Quarterly Performance Report, the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, and other reporting requirements, and to ensure that the CoC has sufficient client data to conduct basic analysis on the extent and characteristics of the populations they serve. The percentage of Universal Data Elements with null/missing and unknown/don t know/refused for all clients served in the Rhode Island CoC will be no higher than 2% Program Specific Data Elements The purpose of the Program Specific Data Elements is to ensure that all Rhode Island CoC HMIS participating recipients are documenting the data elements necessary to produce the SHP Annual Performance Report, the HPRP Quarterly Performance Report, the HUD CoC Outcome Measures, and to ensure that the CoC has sufficient client data to conduct analysis on the extent and characteristics of the populations they serve. The percentage of Program Specific Data Elements with null/missing and unknown/don t know/refused for all clients served in the Rhode Island CoC will be no higher than 5%. 2.3 Accuracy The purpose of accuracy is to ensure that the data housed in the Rhode Island CoC HMIS is the best possible representation of reality as it relates to homeless people and the programs that serve them. The data quality and evaluation committee will develop, if needed, policies which extend beyond the timeliness standards set earlier. 2.4 Consistency The purpose of consistency is to ensure a common interpretation of questions, answers, and which fields need completion in the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Management Information System. The Data Quality and Evaluation Committee, in coordination with HMIS Steering Committee, will develop policies that pertain to standard intake forms, required training and 4

5 training schedules, and monitoring schedules. The policies will also detail who is charged with these tasks. 2.5 Monitoring The purpose of monitoring is to ensure that the standards on the extent and quality of data entered into the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Management Information System that have been agreed upon by the CoC and their homeless service providers are met to the greatest possible extent and that data quality issues are quickly identified and resolved. The Data Quality and Evaluation Committee will ensure that a monitoring policy is developed and circulated to all HMIS participants. 2.6 Incentives The purpose of incentives is to provide positive re-enforcement to <insert CoC or HMIS Jurisdiction name here> Continuum of Care (CoC) service providers who achieve and maintain data of the extent and quality outlined in this standard. A policy for incentives will be developed by the Data Quality and Evaluation Committee in conjunction with HMIS participants. 2.7 Agreement The purpose of agreement is to ensure that all participants in the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Management Information System are aware and have agreed to the Rhode Island CoC Data Quality Standards. Upon adoption of these data quality standards, all HMIS participants will be required to sign an agreement stating they will to the best of their ability achieve the quality standards. 3.0 Data Quality Standards Reports 3.1. Universal Data Elements by AHAR category type 3.2. Universal Data Elements by Program Type 3.3. Universal Data Elements by Agency 3.4. Program Specific (APR required) by Program Type 3.5. Program Specific (APR required) by Agency 4.0 Quick Reference Guides for Required Data Elements 5

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