Online Program

Examining data sharing and integration protocols in five American communities: An assessment of homeless management information systems applications

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oyewale Shiyanbola, MD, MPH, Department of Health Services Research & Administration, UNMC College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, PhD, Epidemiology Department, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Nizar K. Wehbi, MD, MPH, MBA, Health Services Research & Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Erin Bock, MPA, Research and Evaluation, The Sherwood Foundation,, Omaha, NE
Erin Porterfield, LCSW, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH), Omaha, NE
The implementation of homeless management information systems (HMIS) guidelines by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was meant to ensure accurate homelessness data collection and monitoring. The Subsequent, Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009, sought to improve homeless data and information security, placing more emphasis on performance based funding. Central access points for homeless service delivery were also expected to be implemented by HUD. These weren't available in all continuum of care (CoC). We sought to examine the data sharing and integration methods implemented in five innovative communities as reported in HUD assessment reports and assess their performance measurement modalities. Phone interviews were administered to these CoCs and their homelessness reports were reviewed. Data and Information collected were summarized into several tables and compared along with the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area CoC. The five innovative CoCs had poverty rates above the US national rate of 13.8%, and implemented homeless data sharing and integration protocols among their homeless service providers. They utilized Central access points while four of them implemented performance measures. However, the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area CoC despite an 11.5% poverty rate, underperformed on some HUD benchmarks. Applying innovative HMIS applications such as central access points and full access data sharing networks by homeless service providers appears to be significantly beneficial to improving homelessness. However, these applications should be designed to meet a community's homeless needs. Implementing performance measures is also beneficial and should be employed in line with HUD's performance guidelines.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the benefits of implementing central access points as well as data sharing and integration techniques in the delivery of homeless services.

Keyword(s): Homelessness, Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a supervised student investigator studying the novel applications of homeless management information systems in the course of homeless services delivery. My interests include the improvement of health services delivery in minority and indigent populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.