On October 1, HUD released new 2020 Data Standards and, after years of waiting for Coordinated Entry-specific required data elements, we finally have some! Since most communities have been doing Coordinated Entry for years already and have well-established data collection processes, HUD is giving CoCs until April 1, 2020 to fully incorporate them (rather than requiring us to have started on October 1, 2019).
This is a good thing for a number of reasons:
1) Our software developer, WellSky, is still in the process of finalizing these data elements in HMIS. If our communities started using them now, chances are future updates could create some complications to reporting. Better to proceed cautiously!
2) IT’S A BIG TRANSITION! Building in new CES data elements means some communities will need to alter their workflow (ie the steps end users take in ServicePoint to complete an assessment, add someone to the priority list, make a referral to housing, etc). This requires new training and new written instructions and we want to make sure we get that right.
So what does this mean for the average HMIS end user right now? We really want this to be on your radar. There is no immediate action to take. There will be announcements around required training opportunities that you should be hearing about starting in February 2020 – know that those training times will be in partnership with local CES leadership, so you will likely be hearing about them from those contacts as well (ie priority list managers, CoC Coordinators, etc).
Immediate next steps on our end are focused on plotting out this transition in detail and digging into more in-depth communications with local CES leadership, so that all decision-makers are in the loop and feel confident in this rollout.
For now, keep your eyes and ears open for updates both in upcoming newsletters and locally at your regional meetings. We are excited for this change and believe it will be a positive step in moving Minnesota’s CES work to the next level. If you want to read more about these data elements, here is a summary handout from HUD.