Tips and Tricks
Expanded Contact Information
Have you ever had a client that didn't have a cell phone number and couldn't reliably access the internet to check their email?
That was rhetorical. Of course you have!
Typically, we use the Contact Info tab on the Client Vitals screen to record the way we can contact our client, but the default options are out-of-date and fairly limited. Like, who has a pager or a fax machine these days?
What if I told you that instead you could make this tab way more useful?
The first thing that you'd…
Making the most of Transitional housing status
As of HIFIS version 4.0.59, there's a new feature that identifies the client's Housing Status.
The Housing Status is derived from a combination of both the client's Housing History and their Admissions, and can be one of 5 statuses:
- Chronically Homeless
You can look up the Housing Types that belong to the Housed, Homeless, and Transitional categories in Administration > Housing Continuum by looking up the Reaching Home Continuum. A client is Chroni…
Passwords & Account Security
Several years ago, we wrote about a new feature (new in version 4.0.52!) that allowed for more secure passwords in HIFIS, with more options for customizing.
Internet security has evolved, so we thought it was time to revisit our old discussion. HIFIS has several features that allow you to configure some things, but how should you configure them?
One thing that has been examined recently is policies that force a user to create a new password every so often (typically 90 days). …
How to Record Street Outreach in HIFIS 4 (Revisited)
Street outreach involves moving outside the walls of the agency to engage people experiencing homelessness who may be disconnected and alienated not only from mainstream services and supports, but from the services targeting homeless persons as well.
Street outreach is when a worker goes outside of their place of employment to deliberately connect with people experienc…
Simple Training Time Calculator
Luckily, there's a simple way to get yourself a rough idea of how long you need to spend training your staff. We've put together a calculator where you can put in your requirements and find out how much time you need. Note that this gets you a very, very rough idea! Just a place to start.
How to Record Hotel/Motel Stays in HIFIS 4
HIFIS 4 has lots of great features, but one of the things that is missing is an out-of-the-box way for you to handle programs that sort of operate like shelters but sort of don’t. One example of this is communities that have a motel voucher program or something similar, in which homeless clients stay in a hotel or motel room that is paid for by a service provider. A host homes program might share similar challenges as well.
How Are Motel Stays Different?
Let’s start by discussing the key diffe…
Fun with Custom Tables: Landlord Engagement
In HIFIS, every action typically needs to be attached to a Client. For example: you do a referral for a Client; you do a SPDAT with a Client; you make case notes about a Client. Most of the time, this isn't a problem, except when it is.
What if you have someone in your system whose job is to liaise with landlords? Perhaps a significant portion of their day is spent reaching out to landlords to negotiate for allocating some empty units (in general, not specific units) for some Housing First Cli…
Fun with Custom Tables: Consent
As mentioned in a previous article, there are some challenges in HIFIS 4 regarding the ability of users to keep track of who they're allowed to talk to about the client.
There's a Consent module in HIFIS which is really intended to keep track of whether the client has consented for you to store their data in HIFIS. This is a bit of a weird assumption for some communities, who point out that it could be potentially redundant. If staff are well trained and they're getting informed consent from al…
Look at a single individual staff. One day, they're going to be doing things the old way (whether that's entering things into HIFIS 3 or taking notes with pen and paper), and then the next, they'll be expected to start using HIFIS 4. This can be a little intimidating, not to mention confusing for staff.
That's why it's important to …
Shared User Accounts for Temps and Volunteers
Well, actually, it is a big deal.
Within the IT world, it is very strongly recommended that user accounts are NEVER shared. There are several really important reasons why thi…