Notes on HMIS from the NHSDC Conference

Foothold’s Director of Client Services, Paul Rossi, and QA specialist Kelly Pickell represented us recently at the National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) Fall Conference in Arlington, VA.  The NHSDC Conference brings together a variety of human services providers and software developers from many different fields to discuss best practices and challenges in an attempt to foster coordination and cross-agency collaboration.

As leaders in Foothold’s HMIS (Homeless Management Information Systems) work, Paul and Kelly were especially involved in discussions of the upcoming changes in the programs funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the push for HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) programs to develop Coordinated Assessments and Centralized Intake models. Before the conference, Paul and Kelly had attended a special plenary for software providers where they discussed the increased usage of HMIS among various federal partners such as the Veterans Administration.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Michael Lardieri from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and Dr. Bill Harms from Silopanna Healthcare Consultants, who discussed federal initiatives such as Meaningful Use and how to use Health Information Exchanges and other cross-sector data sharing to coordinate care and to improve performance outcomes. Notably absent was the opening speaker, Ann Oliva, HUD’s Director of the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, who was unable to attend due to the government furlough (read her Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post about it here). Paul commented that that it was the first time in 10+ years that she wasn’t part of the conversation there.

On December 17th, Paul and Kelly will be hosting a Round Table meeting for HMIS staff and CoC leaders to discuss many of the things that were shared at the NHSDC conference. They will discuss the Centralized Intake models that currently exist in Foothold’s AWARDS software and discuss how these future changes will benefit providers. For more information about AWARDS HMIS, please contact [email protected].