Family Stays in HIFIS 4
It's almost universally agreed that family stays in HIFIS 4 are a little problematic, especially if you compare family stays in HIFIS 4 to HIFIS 3.
There are three challenges are for day-to-day use when it comes to front line staff at family shelters, and then even bigger problems that are hiding behind the curtain when you're trying to pull data out of the database.
First, all of the occupancy in HIFIS 4 is bed-based as opposed to room-based. Let's imagine we have a family shelter …
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…
Waterloo's Privacy and Consent Training Video
Data sharing is great, but it's also hard to balance the need to protect clients' privacy against the potential benefits of an open system. And it's even harder to figure out the right language to communicate with staff, so that they're comfortable with the consent conversations they need to have with their clients.
The Region of Waterloo did a great job of making a short (5-minute) video that they use to train their staff about privacy and consent in the context of HIFIS 4.
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 …
Converting Data to HIFIS 4: What You Should Know
Most communities considering using HIFIS 4 are not starting from scratch. The truth is, in a pre-HIFIS 4 world, communities did something to get data for reporting, and in a lot of cases, they don't want to lose all of that prior data.
This situation leads many communities to consider what to do with their previous data, when they switch to HIFIS 4. If you're having these conversations, you're not alone! There are lots of other communities struggling with the same question.
What are the Opti…
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…
What's up with the Geographic Region field on the Client Vitals screen?
Communities ask me all the time about the Geographic Region field on the Client Vitals screen. All. The. Time. Not sure what I'm talking about? There it is below, when you add a new Client.
There are really two questions I get asked:
- Why does it say things like "This Community" and "This Region"?
- What exactly are we supposed to select?
In summary, you're expected to modify the Geographic Region drop-down menu to include relevant regions for your local area. Then, when you add a clien…
How to Operate a Drop-In Centre in HIFIS 4
What Data do you Want to Collect?
The first step to answering a question like "how are we going to record data" is first answering a different question: "what data do we need?"
Imagine one drop-in cent…
How to Record Shelter Diversion in HIFIS 4
Communities often ask about the best way to record shelter diversion in HIFIS 4. This is another area where there is no clear answer. There are a few good options, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. But first, let's talk about what diversion means in your community.
What is diversion?
Consider this definition from the National Alliance to End Homelessness:
Diversion is a strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternate h…