August HMIS News

UPDATED Client Consent Forms Now Available in other Languages! After updating our Release of Information workflow, we made some minor changes to our ROI documents in English and these updated versions are now available in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese. All can be found here. Please make sure you use the most updated English versions of these documents going forward.

Update to HMIS Webpages  We’ve reorganized and updated the HMIS section of our website. Please review it and note that this is where you can send in support and training requests.

Clarity Software Updates

Duplicates Merged!  We are happy to report that we completed our planned mass merge of duplicate profile records at the end of last month. This was critical for being able to run the first ever System Level Performance Report for HUD, but it should also make users’ work a lot easier when searching for your clients’ records. A certain amount of duplicates will often be unavoidable, but Planning and Development will monitor this on a monthly basis and merge exact matches. Still, we need your help: if you find any duplicate records in the system, please email Marianne Colangelo and send only their unique ID numbers (or you can message securely within Clarity and use client names). For a great refresher on all the different ways to search for a client record, watch this short video.

Automated Emails for Assessment Due Reminders  Clarity has a great feature that sends an email to assigned staff when you have active clients with an Annual HUD Assessment with an upcoming due date. Unfortunately, a bug that they experienced last month caused this automation to send emails re: client records that were NOT up for an Annual Assessment. If you received any of these messages, please note that the issue has been fixed, and subsequent messages should be reliable prompts for needing to complete Annual Assessments. (Please see the item below on anniversary dates.)

Forgot your Password?  Clarity now offers a self-managed password feature that allows you to re-set your password on your own, in the event of forgetting it upon login. You should see a “Forgot Password” link on the bottom of the main login screen. To use this, you’ll need to make sure you enter your email address associated with your Clarity HMIS account, and follow some steps to prove that you’re not a robot. This function will result in an email sent to you with a link to reset, which will be valid for 60 minutes.

Importance of Anniversary Dates/Correcting Incorrect Dates Stamps on Annual Assessments

One of the changes to the Data Standards in 2014 was to specify that Annual HUD Assessments be completed within 30 days prior or 30 days after the anniversary date of enrollment. HUD’s reporting specifications on this are now very specific, therefore, if the dates are incorrect (outside of this time frame) it will reflect poor performance on APRs.  This is now a fairly common data entry error that needs to be corrected in order for your recorded assessment data to properly count in reports.

The way to check this is to run an APR in Clarity (choose the one listed as [HUDX-220] Annual Performance Report [OCT2015][FUTURE] under HUD Reports in the Report Library) and look specifically at Q16 (see image). Run this report in web format, so the fields with data will also serve as links that allow you to drill down in order to see specific client detail.  APR Detail of Missing or Incorrectly Dated Assessments.

Use this information to fix these records, either by recording a new Annual Assessment and dating it correctly, or by correcting the date on an existing Annual Assessment that was recorded during the reporting period but dated incorrectly. If you have questions because you think the records show the assessments were recorded/date stamped within the correct time frame, please reach out to Marianne Colangelo for help.


Existing Users:  HMIS Training in September

On Monday, September 26th, there will be a voluntary HMIS training for current users. We’ll review the workflow described in the User Manual, as well as the following:

  • Fall Updates to HMIS Data Standards (related to LOT Homeless at Entry)
  • Review of ROI procedure
  • Running canned reports for data quality
  • Q & A

The training will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Spaced is limited — registration is required. If you would like to attend, please register here.

ESG Reports Due this Month

If your project receives ESG funds through the City of Cambridge, keep in mind that the ESG reporting year ended on June 30, 2016. Planning and Development staff will review the data for your project using the ESG report (CAPER). Depending on the HMIS implementation that your agency uses, we will either run this report using ETO/ or Clarity. This will happen the week of August 22nd and we will communicate any issues to staff later that week. Staff are strongly encouraged to review your data sooner in order to get a head start on correcting any issues. Go to “HUD Reports” within the Report Library and choose [HUDX-221] ESG CAPER [2015]. Select your project, choose “not based on funding source” and enter 7/1/15 through 6/30/16 for the date range. Choosing the web format of this report will allow you to click on fields with data to get client details. This is good for reviewing “missing” or “data not collected” information.


Categories: HMIS