Wyoming HMIS Data Quality Policy
Purpose: The Wyoming CoC has adopted Data Quality Standards for the WyHMIS.
Policy: This policy establishes specific measures for benchmarks of Timeliness, Completeness, and Accuracy. These will be measured on an end of month by month basis with an annual summary on the close of the federal financial year (October 1 – September 30).
Data Quality Monitoring
All HMIS Agency Administrators must ensure that the minimum data elements are fulfilled for every project utilizing HMIS. Tools for monitoring data quality in HMIS are available, including Advanced Reporting Tool (ART) reports such as the 0260 HUD CoC APR Data Quality/Completeness and the 0213-0215 – Universal Data Element Completeness reports.
Projects that do not adhere to the minimum HMIS data entry standards will be notified of their deficiencies and given appropriate training by the HMIS Lead agency on how to correctly enter data. Projects continuing to be in default the following reporting year will be required to submit a written plan of correction to the CoC board.
Projects that remain in “plan of correction” status the next year with no improvement may have HMIS access suspended until such time that the CoC board determines the project is ready to correctly enter data. CoC-funded projects that do not meet the minimum data entry standards for two consecutive years will be reviewed for possible repurpose of funds.
On behalf of the WY CoC and its members, ICA must create aggregate monthly, quarterly, and annual reports for our community and for the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Reliable aggregate reports are only feasible when all relevant data is entered and verified BEFORE aggregate reports are created. That means all HMIS client encounter data must be entered into the HMIS in a timely manner to ensure that all clients served in that time period are included in each report. The minimum requirements below do NOT override any additional or more stringent data requirements of program funders or directors. The ultimate goal of the CoC is to move toward real-time use of reliable HMIS data for checking bed availability, program eligibility, and referral/service confirmation.
To achieve that goal, agencies are encouraged to enter intake, entry/update, exit, and service data as soon as possible. Real-time data entry is ideal. The CoC minimum data requirements do NOT override or replace any additional date required by various funders. The following minimum HMIS data entry timeliness benchmarks are established for:
- Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Prevention projects: All Universal Data Elements data elements will be entered within four (4) business days of shelter entry/update and exit dates or prevention service start date.
- Outreach projects: Limited client-identifying data elements will be entered within four (4) days of the first outreach encounter. Upon engagement for services, all remaining Universal Data Elements data elements will be entered, within four (4) business days of engagement.
- Transitional Housing, Permanent Housing, and Rapid Rehousing projects: All Universal Data Elements and Project-Specific Data Elements will be entered within four (4) business days of housing entry/update and exit date.
Complete and accurate HMIS data for the month must be verified by agency administrators by the fifth (5th) working day of the month following the end of the reporting period. For example, data for the month of April must be entered and verified for aggregate CoC HMIS reports by the fifth business day of May.
Client records input into the HMIS via a data integration process will be input into the HMIS in accordance with guidelines setup with each individual data integration project. This includes Victim Provider Services (VPS) shelter providers and other non-participating agencies.
This benchmark requires that, data for all consenting persons receiving homeless support from HMIS participating programs will be collected and entered into the HMIS system. Universal Data Elements and Project-Specific Data Elements will be completed as required and defined by HUD for each project type. Where there are situations in which responses to certain data elements cannot be determined, exceptions to these expectations will be accepted, with limitations. These exceptions are defined in the benchmark as limited to an acceptable range of null/missing and unknown/don’t know/refused responses.
Data Completeness Rates – Nulls: Data elements recorded as null/missing will not exceed five percent (5%) of the total number of records for program participants in the period being reported.
Data Completeness Rates – DKR: Data elements recorded as unknown/don’t know/refused will not exceed ten percent (10%) of the total number of records for participants in the period being reported.
Bed Utilization Rates: Bed Utilization Rates will be reported for the same reporting period. Family-specific programs that assign one household per unit will report UNIT utilizations rates for their Point in Time utilization rate calculations. Acceptable utilization rates will fall between sixty-five percent (65%) and one hundred-five percent (105%).
- Victim Provider Services (VPS) clients will collect all Universal and Project- Specific data elements, as required and defined by HUD, but will record the data in an internal data collection system reportable to the CoC. The total required data elements recorded as null/missing will not exceed five percent (5%) of the total number of records for program participants in the period being reported. 2. For clients refusing consent for data to be entered in HMIS, the data will be collected and reported to the HMIS lead agency anonymously outside of HMIS.
The purpose of establishing an accuracy benchmark is to ensure that the data in the CoC’s HMIS is the best possible representation of reality as it relates to persons facing homelessness and the projects that serve them. To that end, all data entered into the CoC’s HMIS will be a reflection of information provided by the client, as documented by the intake worker or otherwise updated by the client and documented for reference. Knowingly recording inaccurate information is strictly prohibited.
Accuracy is best determined by comparing records in the HMIS to actual client-reported information, most easily retrieved in the form of paper records or the records of another provider whose information may be considered more accurate. Project managers will periodically check their own project data accuracy to the greatest extent possible. Consistency directly affects the accuracy of data; if an end user collects all of the data, but that data is not entered it in a consistent manner, then the data may no longer be accurate. Agency Administrators will also ensure that the data is understood, collected, and entered consistently across all programs in the HMIS.