Vermont Statewide HMIS Data Sharing
In March of 2022 both HUD CoCs in Vermont voted to share HMIS data statewide. This is a great step in offering client centered services and helping those experiencing services reach their goals with housing.
What is Statewide HMIS Data Sharing: Statewide data sharing is the ability to disclose client personal identifiable information (PII), services, program enrollments, shelter stays and other data from one HMIS organization to another HMIS organization inside of HMIS across the State of Vermont. Data sharing is the ability to transfer data from one agency to another electronically through HMIS. Data sharing is a comprehensive term used differently in each community where it is implemented. Data sharing is intended to meet identified needs – with principles for implementation locally defined and need-based.
Some beneficial aspects of data sharing include:
Coordination of Client Care
- Understand client needs
- Link clients to appropriate services
- Document chronic homelessness
- Reduce duplication of services
- Ensure client privacy protections
- Increased organization collaboration
- Trauma Informed
Implementation of Coordinated Entry
- Share assessment results
- Identify available beds
- Manage prioritization lists
- Determine prioritization
- Inform assessment & service assignment process
- Record client progress
Increase Effectiveness of Referrals
- Inform best-fit intervention
- Connect clients to mainstream benefits and services
- Enable comprehensive system-level data analysis
Improve Data Quality
- Increase HMIS and CES participation
- Reduce duplicate client records
- Reduce data entry burden
Only users with access to the VT HMIS would be able to see this data, which is the same way the current data sharing works. Just like with the regional sharing, users would only look for a client file if they are serving. Users and agencies that utilize the VT HMIS are required to sign agreements, like the HMIS User Agreement and the HMIS Agency Partnership Agreement. All users are required to take an Annual HMIS Privacy and Security Training specifically for HMIS. Agencies are responsible to make sure that they train their staff on confidentially of client information.
What are the privacy and confidentiality protections?
- There is a clear purpose, as well as use limitations.
- There are well-defined data collection procedures and limitations.
- There are both openness and accountability - agencies consent by signing a release of information.
- The client cannot be denied services based on refusal to share data.
- The client is not guaranteed to receive assistance by consenting to share data.
- The client always has the right to request corrections to HMIS record.
- Client data is only entered once.