Research and Analysis
The Connecticut Homeless Management Information System, CT HMIS, funded in part by the State of Connecticut, Departments of Housing and Economic and Community Development, is a database mandated by Congress in which information on clients utilizing federally, state and locally funded emergency shelter, transitional housing, outreach, prevention and rapid re-housing services are recorded. CT-HMIS has emerged as a national model in HMIS implementation. There are over 600 licensed users of CT HMIS and all the Continua of Care (HUD planning and grant entities) are included. There is data on over 100,000 unduplicated clients.
To support evidence-based solutions to end homelessness, CCEH is embarking on several projects to strengthen and advance CT HMIS as one tool with which to measure the performance of the homelessness crisis response system and to improve not only the quality of the data in the system, but the utility of the system in transforming policy and practice in homelessness assistance and housing.
The success of data analysis initiatives depends on the availability of high quality data that is timely, complete, and accurate. Quality data doesn’t just happen; it is created through an ongoing process of continuous quality improvement involving technical and human dimensions of data collection and data system management.
Data Quality Management
Quality management processes at the provider level, where the data are collected, are essential. These quality processes include clear data collection protocols that establish expectations for timely collection and entry, effective client interviewing techniques, data collection forms that mirror the data collection system, and data quality review by supervisory and management personnel. While these processes must ultimately be implemented by each provider, the CoC and HMIS Statewide Administrator provide critical supports. Data development is itself an ongoing, CQI process, not a one-time event. It requires involvement of all parties – the Statewide Administrator, Local System Administrators, the CT HMIS technology partners, governance bodies, Continua of Care, and most importantly, providers and users.
Data quality reports are produced monthly by Nutmeg Consulting and serve as a tool to support ongoing quality improvement efforts and, therefore, the validity and significance of Connecticut’s homeless data.