Is there a difference between records kept within HMIS and hard copy records created for or generated from HMIS? Can we donate computers that had HMIS records on them?

Date Published: October 2017

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Physical copies of records containing client information collected for HMIS such as a paper-based HMIS data collection form or a report printed from the HMIS should be handled with the same care as records within the HMIS software.

As noted in the 2004 Data & Technical Standards: “A covered homeless organization must supervise at all times any paper or other hard copy generated by or for HMIS that contains PPI when the hard copy is in a public area. When CHO staff are not present, the information must be secured in areas that are not publicly accessible.”

HUD has set a standard for the proper disposal of stored HMIS information, as noted in the 2004 HMIS Data & Technical Standards:

"In order to delete all HMIS data from a data storage medium, a covered homeless organization must reformat the storage medium. A covered homeless organization (CHO) should reformat the storage medium more than once before reusing or disposing the medium.”

To avoid inadvertently distributing personal protected information (PPI), you should reformat the hard drives on the old computers prior to re-purposing or discarding them.

Tags: Data - Data Retention and Disposal

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