A Primer on Limiting Access to Client Files
One of the pillars of protecting client information is making sure that the only people accessing a client's information are the people that need that information to be able to serve the client. A previous article discussed limiting user access to files via attestation, but that's not the only tool in your toolbox.
Service Provider Visibility Settings
A shelter that only serves adult men does not need to be able to access client files for women and children, and they probably don't need to a…
A Primer on Attestation in HIFIS 4
A tool that HIFIS 4 provides to support this approach is called Attestation. It's one of multiple tools that can be made use of, but it's simple to set up.
A Primer on Consent in HIFIS 4
It can be quite a challenge to understand the legal implications of what communities should be doing and should not be doing on this front, but here is a good resource to understand Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Many Provinces and Territories also have their own regulations, but they are frequently modeled after PIPEDA.
In general though, you can …
New HIFIS 4 Feature: Report Categories
One of the privacy issues in HIFIS 4 has been reporting. You could set up your user rights templates to be as limited as you wanted, but when it came to reports, it was all or nothing.
If you gave a user permission to run reports, they could run all reports, and the reports could be designed to pull data from anywhere. So reports acted as a bit of a loophole. Maybe I want to share some case management information but not other information, so I'll make a report, and now even users that don't ha…
Custom Look-up Table Values and Roll-Ups
Not all of the drop-down menus in HIFIS (any version) are going to meet every community's needs. One community might really like the available Reasons for (Service) Restrictions, while other communities might find its options limited. Most communities want to change the options in the Geographic Region drop-down menu, and many want to update the Goods and/or Services menus to better reflect the services they offer.
You can customize values in these drop-down menus. They're refer…
How to Handle Program Billing in HIFIS 4
Back in the olden days, a lot of funding for homeless programs were funded on a per diem basis.
That means that shelter beds were paid for based on their usage. For every bed-night (one client in one bed for one night), service providers would receive a set amount ($43.00 for emergency shelters in Ontario in 2011).
When HIFIS was first developed, per diem funding was standard. Today, HIFIS Administrators can see the legacy of this type of funding if they know where to look. For example, when y…
Video: Sharing Service Information in HIFIS 4
Hi, this is Ali from ACRE Consulting, here to show you a little bit about how information is shared between service providers in HIFIS 4, and what your options are for customization.
The first thing that's important to understand is the difference between client information and service-related information.
How to Record a Client's Support Network in HIFIS 4
One of the best practices in ending homelessness is to work with a client to develop a support network of friends, loved ones, and professionals who work together to support the client. That way, an intensive case manager can ensure that the client has robust social supports for the future when the client might have a crisis and the intensive case manager might no longer be available to support the client.
Communities might also simply wish to record a client's emergency contact information or …
New HIFIS 4 Feature: More Secure Passwords
In HIFIS 3, the strength of users' passwords didn't matter as much, because a user had to be at the physical computer in order to login, which meant they were on site at a service provider.
In HIFIS 4, that all changed. The default configuration for HIFIS 4 is that it's hosted on a website that anyone can access if they have the URL. Then all they need is a username and password.
The Olden Days
In the olden days (i.e. a few months ago), communities could set a default password (the factory …
How to Record Sexual Orientation in HIFIS 4
Update: As of May 2019, CHPI no longer requires reporting on the number of LGBTQ clients that access shelters.
Communities frequently ask me how to record sexual orientation in HIFIS.
There are many reasons that a community would want to collect this information. For example, since we know that LGBTQ youth account for as much as 25%-40% of youth experiencing homelessness, you might want to identify which clients need appropriate services.
In Ontario, any community receiving Community Homeles…