During the application process, we determined that a project was incorrectly typed or the project is converting to another project type. What should we do in HMIS?

Date Published: October 2017

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Each time a project type change is about to happen, it takes a considerable amount time and attention by the HMIS Lead to consider all the ramifications of the change and the best way to do it. Unfortunately, there is not a “one-size-fits-all approach,” and making a change will affect your system and project-level performance measures. Thus, you want to carefully consider: 1) if the change is absolutely necessary; and 2) whether making the change by administratively transferring the entire record or by using exit/entry will have the least impact on reporting.
Critical considerations:

  • Does the change create backward movement into or forward movement out of homelessness? For example, a change from Transitional Housing (TH) to Emergency Shelter (ES) would be a backward movement; a change from TH to Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) would be a forward movement. A forward movement allows the project and community to “take credit” for movement into Public Housing (PH) via an exit/entry vs. an administrative record switch.
  • If you are moving backward, and you exit everyone, are you causing households to “return to literal homelessness” by the nature of a program change? If so, how can you mitigate that? Should you?
  • How will each project type change affect your project and system performance measures, such as length of stay, length of time homeless, increases in income, and positive housing outcomes?

The reality is that measurement and performance will always be affected in some way. Think through the Annual Performance Review (APR), System Performance Measures (SPMs), and other reporting timing for each project you are changing, and make sure the change is necessary before you move records or do exit/entry switches.

Tags: Program Administration - Project Set Up