Gettlove nearly doubled in size in the last year and implemented a Supportive Services Department that is responsible for providing ongoing support to our formerly homeless clients now living in the community. We recognized early on that in order to successfully and responsibly implement the Housing First model that it was necessary to provide a case management team that could address the various and unique needs of this newly-housed population.
Gettlove voluntarily began utilizing the HMIS system in 2011 in order to more efficiently track client outcomes. The system serves as a tool for increased communication within the agency when working with a client that has multiple case management goals. HMIS provided us with a centralized system for tracking not just client demographics but also detailed case notes and milestones. Our multidisciplinary Supportive Services team is able to access the HMIS database to review case notes dating back to our first engagement with the client. This has proved invaluable to us when working with a client over the course of many years or to address a complex challenge that requires greater specialization than can be provided by the primary case manager. For example, this allows our Benefits Advocate to look back on case notes during the client's housing process to find information that may be helpful for completing an application for benefits.
It is our hope that HMIS will continually improve and adapt to suit the needs of both the providers and the clients. Because much of our work is done in the field, on the street, or in a client's home, a mobile web-based version that allows a case manager access to the HMIS data anywhere would be a great first step. We also believe that greater information sharing would lead to greater collaboration between providers. Much of the work that we do is dependent on accurate and detailed client history and the ability to learn from and collaborate with other providers that have worked with a particular client in the past would save time and help us take a client from the street to a home in a shorter period of time.
To learn more about HMIS click HERE
For more information on Gettlove visit www.gettlove.org
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