Homeless Management Information System • Akron/Summit County Continuum of Care







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Summit County HMIS Project Overview

Background:

Info Line, Inc. is selected as the host agency of Summit County’s HMIS. With the monies received for this project, Info Line will have responsibility for purchasing and installing the network equipment and software; training all users; compiling aggregate outcome reports; maintaining disaster recovery plans; and ensuring that the project meets the needs of the County as well as those of the participating agencies.

  • Bowman’s ServicePoint is selected as Summit County’s software of choice.
  • The web-based software can be accessed using basic computer equipment and connectivity. This will minimize the financial impact of participating in the HMIS project for Summit County Continuum of Care agencies.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Participating Homeless service providers will use the Summit County HMIS system on a day-to-day basis to document basic demographic information on the homeless population they serve. This will include information such as the age, gender, ethnicity, family composition, known disabilities, and major precursory life events that may have been associated with a person’s homelessness.
  • In addition, participating providers will collect information on the types of services needed by the homeless populations they serve and will record service gaps and barriers associated with those needs.
  • The ServicePoint HMIS system will establish a confidential encrypted client identification code that will allow multiple providers to link information about services they provide to a specific individual or family without having to share confidential service/treatment plan information with the other providers serving that individual/family. This system will be password protected, and only authorized participating service providers with valid passwords will have access to the information.
  • Basic reports and trend analyses related to the demographics of those using homeless services, as well as service gaps/barriers data, will be shared in aggregate form with all homeless services providers and planning/decision-making bodies on a quarterly and annual basis. No confidential client-specific information will be included in these reports/trend analyses. The information will help to inform joint CoC planning and decision-making efforts concerning the homeless services delivery system priorities and resources allocations.
  • Individual participating providers will also be encouraged to review and analyze their own agency-specific data on an ongoing basis to assist them in their internal planning and evaluation.
  • The HMIS system will promote and support more effective communications and information exchange among all homeless services providers and planning/decision-making bodies. The system will allow all participating service providers and planning/decision-making bodies to use an internet listserv function to establish and use CoC-wide and specialized group e-mail lists to support timely communications and information exchange.

Implementation Plan:

  • Complete project implementation spans a 3 year timeframe. During the first year of the implementation plan, core components will be put in place including hardware, software, support staff, processes and procedures, integrating existing data and systems, and training curriculum and end user training.
  • First year implementation also includes a pilot rollout to 3 Continuum of Care members to participate in a testing and training period. During this pilot project system, procedural, and training problems will be identified and corrected.

  • The pilot phase of the project will be instrumental in identifying the effectiveness of the policies and procedures, evaluating the effectiveness of the training to end users and their proficiency in the use of the software. This phase will also allow an evaluation period of system performance to assure industry standards are met (e.g., HIPAA requirements) and to identify any customization features/functionality needed for Summit County’s participants. The ServicePoint reporting system will be tested and evaluated with key stakeholders. Focus will be on communicating required data in a timely fashion and in a format which meets the needs of the City of Akron’s Planning Department, HUD, and participating agencies.
  • By the end of the third quarter of the first year, full implementation into identified participating agencies will begin. Full implementation into participating agencies will be managed in 2 implementation groups. Eight agencies in year two, 5 in year three. Each implementation group will follow the same timeline of events as the pilot group rollout. Including readiness plans, data integration, training, and evaluation of reporting and all aspects of the rollout including customization as needed along the way.

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